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.

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2019/20: main findings
Footnotes

Footnotes

1. The framework measures Scotland's progress against the National Outcomes. To do this, it uses 'National Indicators'. The SCJS informs three National Indicators: Crime victimisation, Perceptions of local crime rate and Access to justice.

2. Interviews were suspended on the 17th March 2020 to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. For more information, please see the Technical Report.

3. Please refer to the Technical Report for more information on survey response rate and how this has been impacted by the face-to-face interviewing suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. GSS (2018) Communicating quality, uncertainty and change: Guidance for producers of official statistics

5. The relative standard error is equal to the standard error of a survey estimate divided by the survey estimate, multiplied by 100. For more information, see the Technical Report.

6. Uses the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).

7. As the Police Division level results for 2018/19-2019/20 combine two survey years of data, the national average figure in those outputs has been produced on the same basis for comparative purposes. It is recommended that the single year figures presented in each individual survey years' outputs are used if national level figures are being reported in isolation.

8. Key 2018/19-2019/20 results have also been published in data tables for users who prefer to access findings in this way.

9. Throughout this report the types of violent and property crime are listed in accordance with the priority ladder in the SCJS Offence Coding Manual.

10. Please see the Introduction for definitions of best, upper and lower estimates.

11. The increase in confidence interval shown by the greater difference between the lower and upper estimates from 2016/17 onwards is due to a reduction in the target survey sample size. More information is provided in the Technical Report.

12. Annex table A1.2 provides best estimates of the number of incidents of crime for each SCJS year since 2008/09.

13. Please see the Introduction for definitions of best, upper and lower estimates.

14. Confidence intervals around other survey results can be derived using the data tables and the statistical testing tool available on the SCJS website.

15. Please see Annex table A1.6 for relevant results and the SCJS supporting data tables for additional breakdowns.

16. i.e. the proportion of adults experiencing at least one crime over the year.

17. The British Crime Survey (BCS) was launched in 1982 and covered England, Wales and central and southern Scotland. The BCS ceased to include Scotland in its sample in the late 1980s, when a separate survey for Scotland was introduced. From 2012, the BCS has been known as the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) to better reflect its geographical coverage. For more information on the history of crime surveys in Great Britain refer to the SCJS User Guide.

18. Crime estimates are rounded to the nearest 1,000 crimes.

19. Details on the specific crimes within the violence group are outlined in the 'Overview of crime' chapter.

20. The increase in confidence interval shown by the greater difference between the lower and upper estimates from 2016/17 onwards is due to reduction in the target survey sample size. Please see the Introduction for definitions of best, upper and lower estimates.

21. Annex table A1.2 provides best estimates of the number of incidents of violent crime for each year of the SCJS since 2008/09.

22. For instance, 119 respondents in 2019/20.

23. Whilst the SCJS produces crime estimates which make it possible to examine trends in the volume of crime experienced over time, a particular strength of the survey is its ability to provide findings on the proportion of adults (also known as the victimisation rate) experiencing crime in any one year with a good level of precision.

24. Please see the Introduction for definitions of best, upper and lower estimates.

25. Confidence Intervals around other survey results can be derived using the data tables and user statistical testing tool available on the SCJS website.

26. For example, the relative standard error (RSE) around the 2019/20 serious assault estimate is 36%. For more on the relative standard error, please see the Technical Report.

27. Additional breakdowns are provided in Annex table A1.7 and the SCJS supporting data tables. For example, age within gender, disability status, and tenure.

28. i.e. two or more experiences of violent crime.

29. For the purposes of analysis, 'private space' includes the respondent's home, immediately outside their home (includes gardens, driveways, sheds and the street) and the homes of friends and relatives. The definition of outside the victim's home may mean that some of these crimes could be viewed as taking part in a public setting instead - although it is not possible to separate those cases. 'Public space' refers to incidents taking place elsewhere.

30. i.e. excluding those who said don't know or refused to give a time, which was the case for 9% of violent crime in 2019/20.

31. Weekends were defined as 6 pm on Friday to Sunday midnight.

32. These motivating factors were their ethnic origin/race; religion; sectarianism; gender/gender identity or perception of this; disability/condition they have; sexual orientation; age; and pregnancy/maternity or perception of this.

33. Additional results are available in the supporting data tables. The analysis presented is based on a relatively small number of incidents (n=133). As such, results have relatively large margins of error around them meaning that they should be interpreted with caution.

34. 1% of respondents answered 'Don't know' to this question.

35. It is important to note that individual incidents may have involved offenders from different age groups. For instance, a proportion of the 34% of cases involving offenders aged 16-24 may have also involved perpetrators from other age groups.

36. An amendment was made to the questionnaire in 2018/19 which meant this question was asked of all respondents who said they knew the offender, whereas previously just those who said they were 'known well' were asked this question.

37. These findings are based only on incidents where the respondent could say something about the offender(s). This follows an updated analytical approach first adopted in 2016/17 to focus only on incidents where victims could provide information about the perpetrator(s) and has been applied to the full time-series.

38. Bladed/pointed articles includes knives, screwdrivers and syringes.

39. 2019/20 data is due to be published shortly after this report, on 23rd March.

40. Other injuries are collected as open text responses to capture injuries like bite marks, sore hands and scraped knuckles which cannot be coded under existing categories.

41. Crime estimates are rounded to the nearest 1,000 crimes.

42. Details on the specific crimes included within the property crime group are outlined in the 'Overview of crime' chapter.

43. The increase in confidence interval shown by the greater difference between the lower and upper estimates from 2016/17 onwards is due to a reduction in the target survey sample size. Please see the Introduction for definitions of best, upper and lower estimates.

44. Annex Table A1.2 provides best estimates of the number of incidents of property crime for each year of the SCJS since 2008/09.

45. Please see the Introduction for definitions of best, upper and lower estimates.

46. Confidence Intervals around other survey results can be derived using the data tables and users statistical testing tool available on the SCJS website.

47. Throughout this chapter the types of property crime are listed in accordance with the priority ladder in the SCJS offence coding manual.

48. Further details on the categories of property crime are provided in the Introduction and the Technical Report.

49. It is worth noting that prevalence rates for sub-categories of property crime (e.g. vandalism) are considered to be 'household crimes' and are presented as proportions of households victimised. The one exception is personal theft which is a 'personal crime' and therefore relates to the proportion of adults affected.

50. Please see the Annex tables for relevant results and the SCJS supporting data tables for additional breakdowns.

51. i.e. two or more experiences of property crime.

52. i.e. the proportion of adults experiencing at least one property crime over the year.

53. Immediately outside the respondent's home includes gardens, sheds, driveways and the street outside the respondents' home.

54. i.e. excluding those who said don't know or refused to give a time.

55. Weekends were defined as 6pm on Friday to Sunday midnight.

56. Where a similarly low proportion of respondents were able to tell us about offenders involved in property crimes. Results from previous years are accessible on the SCJS website.

57. i.e. incidents where someone saw or heard what was happening or had contact with the offender.

58. This sub-set should not be used to assess the overall level of crime in Scotland.

59. Chapters 8 and 12 of the Technical Report provide more information about the crime groups used in this report, including the comparable crime sub-set.

60. Respondents were asked about incidents experienced in the 12 months prior to the month of interview (the 'reference period'). The time period covered by the SCJS in 2019/20 extends over 23 months (from start of April 2018 to end of February 2020) so is not directly comparable with any calendar year. However, results in the 2014 analytical paper showed consistent results using different methods to make comparisons over time.

61. Annex B provides an overview of the main differences to bear in mind when making comparisons between the two sources.

62. Please see the Technical Report for more information on offence codes and crime groups.

63. The change to a smaller SCJS sample of around 6,000 with effect from 2016/17 compared to around 12,000 in 2014/15 means a larger range of uncertainty around the point estimate for all comparable crime from 2016/17 onwards, as shown by the larger divergence between lower and upper estimates in Figure 5.1.

64. Upper and lower estimates are calculated on unrounded figures, then rounded when presented.

65. Comparable acquisitive crime is rarer than vandalism and violent crime (estimates of acquisitive crime are based on 87 victim forms in the 2019/20 SCJS sample, compared to 133 violent crime victim forms and 230 vandalism victim forms). Consequently, there is greater uncertainty around the SCJS estimate of acquisitive crime and less power to identify significant changes over time.

66. The crime of 'minor assault' discussed in this report is referred to as 'common assault' within the Recorded Crime in Scotland National Statistics.

67. Further information on SCJS violent crime is provided in the 'Focus on violent crime' chapter.

68. Violent crime estimates are based on a relatively small number of respondents (119) who disclosed experiences of violent crimes in 2019/20.

69. A comparison of the two methods highlights a lag effect, suggesting that when using the second method, the difference between recorded crime and SCJS crime estimated to be reported to the police is likely to be less than that derived from using the first method presented in this section.

70. Annex tables A1.15 to A1.22 present key results on policing from each SCJS since 2008/09.

71. These surveys are: The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, The Scottish Household Survey and The Scottish Health Survey.

72. This question (QRATPOL) was first included in the 2012/13 SCJS.

73. The results presented above relate only to adults who are not in the police themselves, and who are not married to or living with a serving police officer.

74. In 2019, the Scottish Government's Justice Analytical Services, in collaboration with stakeholders, conducted a review of the public confidence in the police module. This review identified two measures in this grouping which spoke to public perceptions of the police generally, rather than being explicitly linked to confidence in the police's ability to engage with communities. These measures were: overall, people have a lot of confidence in the police in this area and community relations with the police in this local area are poor.

75. These results are also available for further breakdowns, such as tenure, for each SCJS year since 2008/09 in supplementary data tables, along with the results on perceptions of community engagement and fairness.

76. The only measure not to show improvement was the proportion agreeing that the police listen to the concerns of local people, which showed no change.

77. The survey within which these questions were first introduced.

78. The results presented below relate only to adults who are not in the police themselves, and who are not married to or living with a serving police officer.

79. Either by foot, bike or car.

80. This question is asked of all respondents with any contact with the police in the last year.

81. Relatedly, Section 8.3 also presents data on the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).

82. Four of the current measures were first asked in 2008/09, the rest have only been asked in their current form since 2012/13, with one further amendment in 2017/18. These changes are visible within Annex table A1.23.

83. Results from each year of the SCJS are available in data tables, whilst questionnaire documentation available online also outlines the specific questions asked. This section has not provided results by comparator groups, full breakdowns are also available within these data tables.

84. Full results and additional breakdowns by group are presented in more detail within the online data tables.

85. The 'reduced' category combines those saying there has been a 'little less' or a 'lot less' crime, whilst the 'increased' group contains those who thought there was a 'little more' or a 'lot more' crime.

86. The question is only asked of adults who have lived in their local area for two or more years at the time of interview (n=4,920).

87. The question on the national crime rate was first included in 2009/10.

88. Only those who have lived at their current address at least two years are asked for their views on the local crime rate. Analysis of the national crime rate data for only those resident at their address for at least two years indicates a fairly small impact on the comparison between local and national crime perceptions, compared to using the full sample for such figures, therefore the full sample is used. For example, looking at only those living in the local area for the last two years, 49% thought crime had increased nationally compared to 45% using the full sample.

89. Office for National Statistics: Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) 2019/20. The CSEW typically excludes don't know and refusal responses from analysis, whereas the SCJS does not. However, it is worth noting that only 1% of respondents said don't know or refused in the 2019/20 SCJS, so the impact on the comparison highlighted would be minimal.

90. Annex table A1.24 outlines the full time series of results.

91. Findings in relation to perceptions but also experiences of fraud are also discussed in the 'Cyber Crime in Scotland' section of the report.

92. The 'not applicable' response option to the worry questions, previously included as a possible response, was removed with effect from 2016/17, with the questions now only asked of respondents from households with access to a vehicle. As such, results up to 2014/15 and from 2016/17 onwards are not directly comparable. See Annex table A1.25 for more information.

93. The remaining proportion is accounted for by the small number of respondents who refused to answer or said they did not know.

94. This figure only relates to respondents living in vehicle-owning households.

95. Technology relating to computers, computer networks such as the Internet and/or other forms of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

96. Office for National Statistics: Overview of fraud statistics: year ending March 2016 (latest release at time of publishing)

97. The CSEW estimated that around half of fraud crimes in the year ending March 2020 were cyber-related.

98. 0.2% of respondents said 'Don't know' in answer to this question.

99. Respondents were asked about what types, but not how many individual incidents of cyber fraud and computer misuse they had experienced. Up to three types of cyber fraud and computer misuse were recorded per individual and it is possible that certain crimes might relate to the same experience: for example, a specific incident could involve both a scam email and a virus.

100. Crime Survey England and Wales property crime tables

101. Computer misuse includes virus and ransomware; all other categories are types of online fraud.

102. Due to the nature of the way the cyber fraud and computer misuse questions are asked, and the fact that follow up questions are only asked for a maximum of three types of cyber fraud and computer misuse experienced, it is not meaningful to create an overall figure for cyber fraud and computer misuse experiences for the follow up questions in the survey. Personal details stolen online, ransomware, and online dating fraud are not included due to small sample sizes.

103. By choosing the "none of these" option from the list of potential impacts.

104. Apart from the police, respondents were given the following options: bank/building society/credit card company; Crimestoppers; Action Fraud; The National Crime Agency; internet service provider; email provider; software provider website/App administrator (e.g. the retailer, social media platform etc.); Get Safe Online; Other (specify). Respondents were given the opportunity to choose more than one option, therefore the final percentages may not add up to 100%.

105. Note that the responses of victims of online dating fraud, online theft of personal details and ransomware are not shown in this section, as the samples are too small to allow further breakdowns.

106. With the "other authority" being the Bank, Action Fraud, the website administrator, the software provider, the Internet service provider, or "other".

107. Valid crimes are incidents which occurred in Scotland, during the reference period and concern crimes that are within the scope of the SCJS. Any incident that does not meet all of these criteria is invalid. More details on this are available in the Technical Report.

108. Variable names: CARDVIC2 and IDTHEF3. Base: 2019/20 (5,570), 2018/19 (5,540), 2008/09 (3,980). These questions have changed slightly since 2008/09 but results are still broadly comparable.

109. Crime in England and Wales: Appendix tables, Year ending March 2020.

110. Variable name: QWORR. Base: 2019/20 (5,570), 2018/19 (5,540), 2008/09 (16,000).

111. Where criminals obtain personal information e.g. name, date of birth, address without consent in order to steal a person's identity, they often use these details to take out bank accounts, credit cards, loans etc.

112. For detailed breakdowns and figures for other age groups see the data tables.

113. Variable name: QHAPP. Base: 2019/20 (5,570), 2018/19 (5,540), 2008/09 (16,000).

114. For detailed breakdowns and figures for other age groups see the data tables.

115. The following 'cyber flag' question was added to the victim form section of the questionnaire: 'As far as you are aware, was the internet, any type of online activity or any internet-enabled device related to any specific aspect of the offence?'

116. A similar approach is used by the CSEW, which found that 3.6% of robberies, 0.2% of theft offences and 0.1% of criminal damage incidents were flagged as being cyber-related in the year ending March 2018. Proportion of incidents of crime, by type, which were flagged as cyber and non-cyber crimes, year ending March 2018, Crime Survey for England and Wales.

117. Variable name: QFOREC. Base: 2019/20 (150), 2018/19 (120).

118. Due to the sensitive nature of questions in the self-completion module, participation is voluntary.

119. Having intimate pictures of them shared without consent does not have to have happened more than once to be included.

120. Variable name: QAINSUL2. Base: 2019/20 (1,340), 2018/19 (1,370).

121. Respondents were given the opportunity to choose more than one option, therefore the final percentages may not add up to 100%.

122. Variable name: QATHME2. Base: 2019/20 (160), 2018/19 (150).

123. The latest stalking/harassment figures featured in this report combine data collected from the two years 2018/19 and 2019/20. This is referred to throughout the report as 2018/20. For more information, see the Technical Report.

124. 2016/17 and 2017/18 data combined.

125. Recorded crime in Scotland: 'Other sexual crimes', 2013-2014 and 2016-2017.

126. Crime in England and Wales: Appendix tables, Year ending March 2020.

127. Some other means includes writing and electronic communications.

128. In 2019/20, 1,342 respondents answered the harassment and discrimination module of the survey. For more information on the questionnaire content and structure, please see the Technical Report.

129. Respondents were given the opportunity to choose more than one option, therefore the final percentages may not add up to 100%.

130. This question (QHDISCRIM1) was first asked in 2012/13. However, the option 'pregnancy/maternity or perception of this' was first included in 2016/17. Therefore it is not possible to comment on changes since 2012/13 for this option and for the option 'none of these'. Since 2016/17, the proportions citing 'pregnancy/maternity' and 'none of these' have remained stable.

131. In 2019/20, 1,364 respondents answered the COPFS module of the survey. For more information on the questionnaire content and structure, please see the Technical Report.

132. Detailed description of COPFS's values and objectives available on the COPFS website.

133. 'Investigating allegations of criminal conduct against police officers' was not included in the list of options in the 2018/19 or 2019/20 questionnaire. As a result the impact on the proportion of adults correctly identifying the roles of COPFS which may have been caused by including this role in the list of possible answers cannot be assessed.

134. 'Another professional capacity' refers to someone who was involved in a professional capacity but not as a criminal justice partner.

135. In 2019/20, 1,363 respondents answered the civil law module of the survey. For more information on the questionnaire content and structure, please see the Technical Report.

136. There have been some question updates and additional answer options in the questionnaires since 2008/09, however the results are still broadly comparable.

137. Problems with neighbours include for example noise, boundary or parking disagreements.

138. The majority of drugs covered in this section are illicit, however some drugs which are not illegal to use are also included.

139. 2016/17 and 2017/18 data combined. Note, however the last illicit drug use data is for 2017/18 only (more information is available in the 2017/18 Technical Report).

140. The drugs section of the questionnaire was reduced in 2018/19 and so no longer asks respondents about drug use in the month prior to interview and since the age of 16. The number of follow up questions about respondents' drug use was also reduced. For a full list of the questions asked in 2018/19 and 2019/20, see the questionnaire documentation.

141. A full list of the drugs included in the survey can be found in Annex D.

142. The Drugs Wheel was developed in tandem with UK Drugwatch, an informal association of charities, organisations and individuals who share an interest in establishing a robust early warning system in the UK for all types of drugs.

143. Note that not all drugs listed in the survey are illicit. For a list of the drugs in the survey, including their categorisations, see Annex D.

144. It is important to note that some drugs included in the 'prescription only painkillers that were not prescribed to you' category may include variants which are of such low strength they are exempt from almost all controlled drug requirements.

145. The Drugs Wheel was developed in tandem with UK Drugwatch, an informal association of charities, organisations and individuals who share an interest in estab­lishing a robust early warning system in the UK for all types of drugs.

146. These are a range of substances which were previously described by some as 'legal highs', 'designer drugs', or 'new drugs' that have the same effects as drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy, or cocaine. They are herbal or synthetic substances that people take to get 'high'. In May 2016, the Psychoactive Substances Act came into force, which intends to restrict the production, sale, and supply of novel psychoactive substances.

147. A victim is defined as a respondent who reported crimes or offences in the main questionnaire (excluding sexual offences and threats) that are within the scope of the survey, took place in Scotland, and occurred within the reference period. For more information please refer to the Technical Report.

148. In 2018/19 'revenge porn' was made a separate question (SH_03) so that it no longer needs to be experienced 'more than once' to be considered a type of stalking and harassment.

149. In Scotland, the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 legislates for the offence of stalking. Under the Act, an offence occurs when a person engages in a course of conduct on at least two separate occasions, which causes another person to feel fear or alarm, where the accused person intended, or knew or ought to have known, that their conduct would cause fear and alarm.

Unlike more clear-cut types of crime (for example, house-breaking or assault), the classification of stalking is more subjective, insofar as the offence is dependent on whether or not the victim felt afraid.

150. 2016/17 and 2017/18 data combined.

151. Not all types of stalking and harassment asked about in the survey would be classified as a crime and therefore would not necessarily be expected to be reported to the police. The survey does not ask which type of stalking and harassment the most recent incident was and so it is not possible to access what types of stalking and harassment are being reported to the police and hence, whether or not the criminal forms asked about in the survey are being reported more commonly.

152. A victim is defined as a respondent who reported crimes or offences in the main questionnaire (excluding sexual offences and threats) that are within the scope of the survey, took place in Scotland, and occurred within the reference period. For more information please refer to the Technical Report.

153. Note that having intimate pictures of themselves shared online without their consent is not included in this due to the small number of respondents reporting this.

154. In the SCJS, a 'partner' is defined as any husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, or civil partner.

155. Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) have a shared definition of domestic abuse available on the Police Scotland website.

156. Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018.

157. Note that in the SCJS respondents are only asked the questions relating to partner abuse if they have had at least one partner since the age of 16, hence the base size for respondents in this section is 8,845.

158. The SCJS asks respondents if they have experienced a range of abusive physical behaviour. In 2012/13, the wording 'thrown something at you' was changed to 'thrown something at you with the intention of causing harm'. This change may have contributed to a fall in the proportion of respondents reporting experience of this type of physical abuse.

159. The SCJS asks respondents if they have experienced a range of abusive physical behaviour. In 2012/13, the wording 'thrown something at you' was changed to 'thrown something at you with the intention of causing harm'. This change may have contributed to a fall in the proportion of respondents reporting experience of this type of physical abuse.

160. A victim is defined as a respondent who reported crimes or offences in the main questionnaire (excluding sexual offences and threats) that are within the scope of the survey, took place in Scotland, and occurred within the reference period. For more information please refer to the Technical Report.

161. A victim is defined as a respondent who reported crimes or offences in the main questionnaire (excluding sexual offences and threats) that are within the scope of the survey, took place in Scotland, and occurred within the reference period.

162. In the 2016/18 and 2018/20 survey years.

163. These terms are used for ease of reference and do not relate to the seriousness of the impact on the individual.

164. Only 25 respondents said they experienced serious sexual assault in the 12 months prior to interview.

165. Ex-partner was included as a separate option in the questionnaire for the first time in 2018/19 therefore it is advised that results should not be compared to previous years.

166. A victim is defined as a respondent who reported crimes or offences in the main questionnaire (excluding sexual offences and threats) that are within the scope of the survey, took place in Scotland, and occurred within the reference period. For more information please refer to the Technical Report.

167. Ex-partner was included as a separate option in the questionnaire for the first time in 2018/19 therefore it is advised that results should not be compared to previous years.

168. A victim is defined as a respondent who reported crimes or offences in the main questionnaire (excluding sexual offences and threats) that are within the scope of the survey, took place in Scotland, and occurred within the reference period. For more information please refer to the Technical Report.

169. See the Technical Report for more information on the groupings of crime.

170. Categories based on The Drugs Wheel Version 2.0.8.

171. A full list of drugs currently classified under the Misuse of Drugs Act can be found in this Guidance.

172. Amphetamines are a class B drug but move up to a Class A status if prepared for injection. The SCJS does not collect details of whether amphetamine was prepared for injection or in powdered form. All self-reported amphetamine use is included in Class B in the analysis that follows Methamphetamine (Crystal Meth) is a Class A drug and grouped separately on this list.

173. Steroids are not included in the drugs wheel but should be categorised as a separate category.

174. Poppers are not classified under the misuse of drugs act. However there are some controls on the sale of these items.

175. Solvents are not classified under the misuse of drugs act. However there are some controls on the sale of these items.

176. Prescription only painkillers can include a range of drug types including opioids (e.g. Morphine, Codeine, co-codamol, tramadol) and depressants (e.g. Gabapentinoids), therefore they are reported separately here.

177. Prescription only painkillers can include a range of drug which have different classifications.; including Class A (e.g. morphine and Oxycodone), Class B (some codine based drugs), Class C (e.g. Tramadol) and currently unclassified (e.g. Gabapentinoids). Some of the drugs which may be recorded in this category are exempt from virtually all Controlled Drug requirements because of their low strength.

178. i.e. this is generally how many people were asked the question for the results being discussed.


Contact

Email: scjs@gov.scot