Scottish Crime Recording Standard: Crime Recording and Counting Rules

Crime recording and counting rules for the Scottish Crime Recording Standard (SCRS). These are overseen, approved, maintained and developed by the Scottish Crime Recording Board (SCRB).

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Section D - Subsuming of Crimes

Subsuming is a term used to record a number of criminal acts as one crime. However, more serious crimes such as Robbery or Rape may take into account a number of other criminal acts which may amount to individual crimes in their own right if committed in isolation.

For example - 'A' approaches 'B', pushes 'B' to the ground, shouts abuse, demands money and removes money from the pocket of 'B'. The various elements (assault, threatening or abusive behaviour, and theft) all amount to a crime of Robbery, a crime in its own right.

The following is intended as general guidance on when subsuming may be appropriate.

Further enquiries should be directed to the Crime Registrar.

Group 1

In general crimes within Group 1 may not be subsumed.

Example 1

‘A’ is abducted and sometime later whilst being held against their will, is stabbed.

- 1 x Abduction

- 1 x Serious Assault or Attempt Murder dependant on the evidence, plus possession of offensive weapon/bladed article used in commission of crime if committed in a public place, school or prison. The injury was not received during the act of abduction. It occurred at a later point in time. It is therefore not subsumed.

Where an incident involves the same complainer and offender, crimes such as serious assault or threats may be subsumed into an attempt murder, murder or robbery.

Example 2

‘A’ threatens ‘B’ with a knife, demanding their wallet. ‘B’ refuses and a scuffle ensues and ‘B’ is stabbed several times to the abdomen resulting in serious injury. ‘A’ removes the wallet from ‘B’s’ jacket and makes off.

- 1 x Robbery with the Attempted Murder subsumed plus possession of offensive weapon/bladed article used in commission of crime if committed in public place, school or prison. If the stabbing occurred after the Robbery this would be recorded as Robbery and Attempted Murder. If the victim had died both Murder and Robbery would be recorded.

Example 3

Person A accidentally sustains a broken arm whilst being abducted.

- 1 x Abduction. The injury has been sustained as part of the abduction and is not a deliberate act.

Group 2

In Group 2, Sexual Crimes, some activities taking place as part of a single incident can automatically be subsumed. For example if a victim suffers sexual assault, a digital penetration and also a rape, by the same offender, as part of one incident, the sexual assault and digital penetration can be subsumed into the charge of rape which is the most serious crime.

Subsuming is restricted to conduct which falls within that outlined in Sections 1, 2 and 3 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act, 2009; Sections 28, 29 and 30 relating to Older Children; and Sections 18, 19 and 20 relating to Younger Children where a single (most serious) crime may be recorded provided that this occurred as part of one incident, otherwise separate crimes must be recorded.

Example 1

‘A’ is held down and punched before being raped by ‘B’. Following the rape ‘B’ assaults ‘A’ again resulting in ‘A’ sustaining a broken arm.

- The charge of common assault in this circumstance is a precursor to the Rape for the first attack and only Rape should be recorded provided that it can be shown the intent of the attack was to Rape. Since the second assault occurred after the Rape a separate crime of Serious Assault must be recorded. If ‘A’ had sustained a broken arm during the Rape this assault would have formed part of the Rape.

Where there is a time delay between crimes occurring, they will not generally be subsumed.

Example 2

‘A’ and ‘B’ were having an argument ‘B’ started hitting ‘A’ following which ‘A’ left the room and went to bed. The following morning ‘B’ hit ‘A’ again before sexually assaulting ‘A’.

- Due to the time delay the common assault the previous evening, would be recorded as a separate crime. The common assault which took place in the morning would form part of the sexual assault provided that it can be shown the assault was a pre-cursor to the sexual assault, otherwise both crimes should be recorded.

Groups 3 & 4

The subsuming of crimes is mainly applicable, but not exclusive, to crimes within crime groups 3 and 4, which have occurred at the same locus on the same occasion with the same complainer.

Example 1

‘A’ comes across a van sitting stationary in a wooded area. ‘A’ finds the keys to the van in a box to the rear of the vehicle and drives it around, damaging the van before running off.

- The damage to the van would be subsumed into the Theft of Motor Vehicle as this is the more serious crime.

Example 2

‘A’ breaks into a house, steals articles from within including car keys and steals the householder’s car from the driveway

- The property is owned by one complainer and occurred at the same date and time. The theft of the car is subsumed into the more serious crime of housebreaking and is considered a continuous course of conduct.

Example 3

‘A’ drives a moped over a golf course, churning up turf on 8 greens causing extensive damage costing thousands of pounds, thereafter writes a slogan on the green keeper’s hut with white paint.

- The property is owned by one complainer (the Golf Club), sits within the confines of private property and the acts occurred at the same date and time, therefore, one crime of Malicious Mischief should be recorded due to the malicious destruction of property and the high value of damage caused.

Example 4

‘A’ breaks into a house, steals money lying in the bedroom, forces open a locked box and steals jewellery from within.

- The Theft by OLP to the box will be subsumed within the Theft by Housebreaking. They are the same crime type (theft) and this is considered to be a continuity of action.

Example 5

Vehicle is broken into. An attempt is made to steal the vehicle but fails, property to the value of £25 is stolen from within the vehicle.

- The attempted theft of the vehicle is subsumed into the theft of property from the vehicle, even though the value of the vehicle is greater than that of the property stolen. The theft of the property is a completed crime while the attempted theft of the vehicle is incomplete.

Example 6

Persons unknown damage a water pipe feeding a large pond, so that the water level drops and they can gain access to steal valuable fish from the pond.

- The vandalism to the water pipe (Group 4) is subsumed into the theft (Group 3) as the theft is the more serious crime and this is a continuous course of conduct.

Example 7

Person unknown breaks into a first floor flat and steals a TV. On exiting the flat they turn on the taps and the water floods through the floor to the ground floor flat below.

- The flooding to the flat below (vandalism) is subsumed into the housebreaking.

Example 8

‘A’ steals a credit card and hands it to ‘B’. ‘B’ later uses the card twice to remove funds at an ATM and then passes the card to ‘C’ who makes three withdrawals from an ATM.

- 1 x Theft for the theft of the card and 1 x Theft by OLP (ATM) for the withdrawal of funds, with two suspects thereon. The theft of funds is counted per account and as only one account has been affected the withdrawal by ‘C’ is subsumed within that of ‘B’ and both are named as suspects.

Example 9

Persons break into a cottage, remove property and thereafter break into 2 unoccupied holiday homes and a lockup garage within the same grounds owned by the same complainer.

Note: If holiday homes are occupied, rules per hotel rooms apply.

- Only 1 crime report is required for Theft by Housebreaking (dwelling) as the buildings are within the same curtilage and owned by the same complainer.

Group 6

Example 1

‘A’ shouts and swears at ‘B’ in their home before assaulting ‘B’ causing slight redness to their face.

- 1 x Common Assault. There are no witnesses experiencing fear or alarm to merit a Section 38 offence being recorded.

Example 2

In a public place ‘A’ shouts and swears at ‘B’ before punching ‘B’ in the face.

- 1 x Common Assault. There is no requirement to record a Section 38 offence or Breach of the Peace in addition to the assault.

When subsuming is not appropriate

Offences committed where there is no victim and the Procurator Fiscal is the complainer (e.g. Road Traffic Offences) will be counted per offence in addition to any victim based crimes (unless otherwise specified in the counting rules).

Where the incident involves crimes against the person and also crimes against property, the property crimes will be counted in addition to the victim based crimes.

Where there are two victims of the same crime type within the incident, the crime perpetrated against each individual victim will not automatically be subsumed and be counted as one crime. The specific counting rule for that crime type will apply.



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