Publication - Statistics

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2019/20: main findings

Main findings from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2019/2020, including self-completion findings covering the period 2018/19 to 2019/20.

232 page PDF

4.3 MB

232 page PDF

4.3 MB

Contents
Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2019/20: main findings
Summary infographics: plain text version

232 page PDF

4.3 MB

Summary infographics: plain text version

Key findings from the 2019/20 SCJS on: Overview of crime in Scotland

  • Total SCJS crime is estimated to have fallen by 46% since 2008/09, though showing no change since 2018/19
  • Similarly, the proportion of adults experiencing crime has fallen from around one-in-five in 2008/09 to around one-in-eight in 2019/20
  • The likelihood of experiencing crime in 2019/20 was higher for those in urban areas and those in the most deprived areas, with those aged 60 and over least likely to be victims
  • A small number of victims experienced a high proportion of all crime. The 3.6% of adults who were multiple victims experienced over half of all crime

563,000 SCJS crimes were experienced by adults in Scotland in 2019/20.

  • This is a 46% decrease in crime in Scotland since 2008/09
  • 11.9% of adults experienced crime in 2019/20. This is a 8.5 percentage point decrease in adults experiencing crime in Scotland since 2008/09

What type of crime was experienced?

  • 66% of crime was property crime. Types of property crime are vandalism (38%), other household theft (27%), personal theft (22%), motor vehicle theft (8%) and housebreaking (6%)
  • 34% of crime was violent crime. Of all violent crime, the majority was minor assault with no / negligible injury (73%). Other violent crime comprises minor assault with injury (10%), attempted assault (6%), serious assault (6%) and robbery (5%)
  • 40% of crimes were reported to police

A small number of victims experienced a high proportion of all crime.

  • 88.1% of adults did not experience any crime in 2019/20
  • 8.3% of adults experienced one crime, corresponding to over two-fifths (43%) of all crime in 2019/20
  • 3.6% of adults experienced two or more crimes. These victims experienced over half (57%) of all crime in 2019/20. However this rate of multiple victimisation has more than halved from 8.2% in 2008/09

11.9% of adults experienced crime. This rate varied across the population.

  • Those aged 60 and over were less likely than other age groups to experience crime
  • People living in the 15% most deprived areas were more likely than those living elsewhere in Scotland to experience crime
  • People living in urban areas were more likely than those living in rural areas to experience crime
  • No difference was found between men and women in the likelihood of experiencing crime

Key findings from the 2019/20 SCJS on: Focus on violent crime

  • The total number of violent crimes is estimated to have fallen by nearly two-fifths since 2008/09, mostly driven by decreases between 2008/09 and 2010/11, but has been more stable in recent years
  • The proportion of adults experiencing violent crime has fallen since 2008/09
  • The majority of violent crimes were minor assault with no or negligible injury (73%). Other violent crime comprises minor assault with injury (10%), attempted assault (6%), serious assault (6%) and robbery (5%)
  • Experiences varied across the population with 1.0% of adults experiencing nearly two-thirds of violent crime

194,000 violent crimes were experienced by adults in Scotland in 2019/20

  • This is a 39% decrease in violent crime in Scotland since 2008/09
  • 2.5% of adults experienced violent crime in 2019/20. This is a 1.6 percentage point decrease in adults experiencing violent crime in Scotland since 2008/09

Violent crime in 2019/20

  • Over three-fifths of violent crimes took place in public settings (63%)
  • Almost three-in-four violent crimes were committed by male offenders only (73%)
  • Offenders were believed to be under the influence of alcohol in over two-fifths of violent crimes (44%)
  • Violent crime in 2019/20 did not commonly involve the presence or use of weapons (19%)
  • 48% of violent crimes were reported to the police

A small number of victims experienced a high proportion of violent crime.

  • Most adults (97.5%) did not experience any violent crime in 2019/20
  • 1.5% of the population experienced one violent crime, corresponding to over a third (35%) of all violent crime in 2019/20
  • 1.0% of adults experienced two or more violent crimes. These victims experienced almost two-thirds (65%) of all violent crime in 2019/20. However this rate of repeat victimisation has fallen from 1.6% in 2008/09

2.5% of adults experienced violent crime. This rate varied across the population.

  • People aged 60 and over were less likely than other age groups to experience violent crime
  • Men were more likely than women to experience violent crime
  • People living in the 15% most deprived areas were more likely than those living elsewhere in Scotland to experience violent crime
  • People living in urban areas were more likely than those living in rural areas to experience violent crime

Key findings from the 2019/20 SCJS on: Focus on property crime

  • The total number of property crimes is estimated to have almost halved since 2008/09, but is unchanged since 2018/19
  • The proportion of adults experiencing property crime has fallen since 2008/09
  • The most common types of property crimes were vandalism, other household theft, and personal theft
  • A small number of victims experienced a high proportion of property crime. The 2.4% of adults who were repeat victims experienced 45% of all property crime

369,000 property crimes were experienced by adults in Scotland in 2019/20.

  • There has been a 49% decrease in the amount property crime experienced in Scotland since 2008/09
  • 10.0% of adults experienced property crime in 2019/20. This was a 8.0 percentage point decrease in adults experiencing property crime in Scotland since 2008/09

Property crime in 2019/20

  • 38% of property crime was vandalism
  • 27% was other household theft (including bicycle)
  • 22% was personal theft
  • 8% was all motor vehicle related theft
  • 6% was housebreaking
  • 36% of property crimes were reported to the police

A small number of victims experienced a high proportion of property crime.

  • Most adults (90.0%) did not experience any property crime in 2019/20
  • 7.6% of adults experienced one property crime, corresponding to over half (55%) of all property crime in 2019/20
  • 2.4% of adults experienced two or more property crimes. These victims experienced 45% of all property crime in 2019/20. However this rate of repeat victimisation has more than halved from 6.4% in 2008/09

10.0% of adults experienced property crime. This rate varied across the population.

  • People aged 60 and over were less likely than other age groups to experience property crime
  • People living in the 15% most deprived areas were more likely than those living elsewhere in Scotland to experience property crime
  • People living in urban areas were more likely than those living in rural areas to experience property crime
  • No difference was found between men and women in the likelihood of experiencing property crime

Key findings from the 2019/20 SCJS on: Public perceptions of the police

  • Most adults in Scotland (55%) believed the police in their local area were doing an 'excellent' or 'good' job in 2019/20 (unchanged from 2018/19 but down from 61% in 2012/13)

How confident were people in the ability of the police?

  • Adults were generally confident in the police across a range of different aspects of policing
  • The proportion of adults confident in most of these aspects has increased since 2008/09
    • 47% were confident in the police's ability to prevent crime, unchanged since 2008/09
    • 64% were confident in the police's ability to respond quickly, up 10 percentage points from 2008/09
    • 64% were confident in the police's ability to deal with incidents, up 6 percentage points from 2008/09
    • 69% were confident in the police's ability to investigate incidents, up 5 percentage points from 2008/09
    • 62% were confident in the police's ability to solve crimes, up 5 percentage points from 2008/09
    • 58% were confident in the police's ability to catch criminals, up 3 percentage points from 2008/09

Other views on the police - What proportion of adults agree with the following statements?

  • 89% of adults agreed that 'the police in this area would treat you with respect if you had contact with them for any reason'
  • 65% of adults agreed that 'police in this area can be relied on to be there when you need them'
  • 63% of adults agreed that 'the police in this area treat everyone fairly regardless of who they are'
  • 50% of adults agreed that 'the police in this area listen to the concerns of local people'
  • 42% of adults agreed that 'overall, people have a lot of confidence in the police in this area'
  • 23% of adults agreed that 'community relations with the police in this local area are poor'
  • 22% adults agreed that 'police in this area are not dealing with the things that matter to people in this community'
  • Victims of crime and those living in the 15% most deprived areas were less likely than non-victims and those living in the rest of Scotland to say the police were doing an excellent or good job

Key findings from the 2019/20 SCJS on: Public perceptions of Crime

Local Crime

  • 73% of adults thought the local crime rate had stayed the same or reduced in the two years prior to interview, up 4 percentage points since 2008/09, but unchanged since 2018/19
  • 23% of adults thought that the local crime rate had increased (unchanged since 2018/19)

National Crime

  • 45% thought that the national crime rate stayed the same or reduced, up 5 percentage points since 2009/10, but unchanged since 2018/19
  • 45% of adults thought that the national crime rate had increased (unchanged since 2018/19)

Fear of crime

  • 77% of adults felt safe walking alone after dark in 2019/20, up 11 percentage points since 2008/09, but unchanged since 2018/19
  • This rate varied across the population:
    • 65% of victims of crime felt safe walking alone after dark
    • 63% of people living in the 15% most deprived areas felt safe walking alone after dark
    • Women (65%) were less likely than males (90%) to feel safe walking alone after dark

Of a range of crimes asked about, people were most commonly worried about fraud.

  • 50% of adults were worried that someone would use their credit card or bank details
  • 39% of adults were worried that their identity would be stolen
  • Across a range of crimes, a much larger proportion of people thought they were likely to experience crime (over the next year) than the proportion of adults or households who were actually victims in 2019/20

Key findings from the 2018/20 SCJS on: Illicit drug use

In the 12 months prior to interview

  • 13.5% of adults had taken drugs. This is a 4.0 percentage point increase since 2017/18

Trends over time

In order to have a more comparable measure since 2008/09, the 2018/20 figure below excludes poppers, glues, solvents, gas or aerosol and prescription only painkillers not prescribed to the respondent

  • 9.7% of adults had taken drugs when looking at comparable measures
  • 2.3 percentage point increase since 2017/18 (the most recent comparable year)
  • 2.1 percentage point increase since 2008/09

Cannabis (7.9%) was the most commonly taken drug in the 12 months prior to interview.

  • This was followed by:
    • Prescription only painkillers that were not prescribed to the respondent (5.1%)
    • Cocaine (3.0%)
    • Ecstasy (1.6%)
    • Poppers (1.2%)

Class B (61%) drugs were the most commonly taken amongst those who had taken any drug in the 12 months prior to interview.

  • Class A: 30%
  • Class C: 11%

The proportion of adults taking drugs varied across the population.

  • Men were more likely than women to have taken drugs
  • People aged 16-24 were more likely than other age groups to have taken drugs
  • People living in the 15% most deprived areas were more likely to have taken drugs than those living in the rest of Scotland
  • People living in urban areas were more likely than those living in rural areas to have taken drugs

Key findings from the 2018/20 SCJS on: Stalking & harassment

  • In the 12 months prior to interview 11.8% of adults experienced at least one type of stalking & harassment, with 6.1% of adults experiencing more than one type

The most common type of stalking & harassment was having received unwanted messages by text, email, messenger, or posts on social media sites

  • Of those who experienced stalking & harassment in the 12 months prior to interview:
    • 70% received unwanted messages by text/email/social media
    • 58% received unwanted phone calls
    • 21% received unwanted letters or cards
    • 10% experienced someone loitering outside their home or workplace
    • 6% were followed
    • 5% had intimate pictures of them shared
  • In relation to the most recent incident experienced:
    • Just under one-in-ten respondents informed the police about the most recent incident experienced
    • 44% of victims said they knew the offender in some way
    • 42% of victims said the offender was someone they had never met

Experiences of stalking & harassment were highest amongst people aged 16 to 24, especially women of this age.

  • 26% of women aged 16 to 24 experienced stalking & harassment compared to 16% of men aged 16 to 24

Key findings from the 2018/20 SCJS on: Partner abuse

Since the age of 16

  • 16.5% of adults experienced at least one incident of partner abuse since the age of 16 (unchanged since 2016/18 and down since 2008/09)
  • More women (21.2%) experienced partner abuse than men (11.2%)
  • 62% of respondents who reported experiencing partner abuse reported having had one abusive partner only; 11% reported having had two abusive partners; and 12% reported having had three or more

The most common type of psychological abuse was a partner behaving in a jealous or controlling way.

  • 9.5% had experienced a partner behaving in a jealous or controlling way
  • 8.4% had experienced being put down repeatedly so they felt worthless
  • 5.4% said a partner had stopped them from seeing friends and relatives

The most commonly reported types of physical abuse were being kicked, beaten, or hit, being pushed or held down, and having something thrown at them with the intention of causing harm

  • 5.9% said they have been kicked, bitten, or hit
  • 5.5% have been pushed or held down
  • 5.3% have had something thrown at them with the intention of causing harm

In the 12 months prior to interview

  • 3.2% of adults experienced at least one incident of partner abuse in the 12 months prior to interview (unchanged since 2016/18 and down since 2008/09)
  • More women (3.7%) than men (2.6%) experienced partner abuse in the 12 months prior to interview
  • Of those experiencing at least one incident of partner abuse, 74% experienced at least one psychological effect and 34% experienced at least one physical effect

Latest (or only) incident in the 12 months prior to interview

  • 41% were living with the partner at the time of the incident
  • 32% had children living in the household
  • 68% told at least one person or organisation
  • 16% said the police came to know about the incident

Key findings from the 2018/20 SCJS on: Sexual victimisation

Serious sexual assault since the age of 16

  • Serious sexual assault includes:
    • forced sexual intercourse
    • attempted forced sexual intercourse
    • forced other sexual activity
    • attempted forced other sexual activity
  • 3.6% of adults have experienced at least one type of serious sexual assault
  • 1.6% of adults have experienced more than one type
  • More women (6.1%) have experienced serious sexual assault than men (0.8%)
  • Over half experienced the first (or only) incident when aged between 16 and 20 years

Forced sexual intercourse

  • Of those who had experienced forced sexual intercourse since the age of 16:
    • 62% experienced more than one incident, while 28% experiencing too many to count.
    • 51% said the offender was their partner
    • 22% said the police were informed about the most recent (or only) incident.

Less serious sexual assault since the age of 16

  • 10.1% of adults experienced at least one of the three types of less serious sexual assault asked about (unwanted sexual touching, sexual threats and indecent exposure)
  • 3.1% of adults experienced more than one type
  • More women (11.7%) than men (2.9%) experienced unwanted sexual touching
  • More women (4.7%) than men (0.4%) experienced sexual threats
  • More women (6.5%) than men (1.2%) experienced indecent exposure
  • The offender varied by type of less serious assault:
    • 40% of victims of unwanted sexual touching said the offender was a stranger
    • 42% of victims of sexual threats said the offender was their partner
    • 73% of victims of indecent exposure said the offender was a stranger

Contact

Email: scjs@gov.scot