User Guide to Recorded Crime Statistics in Scotland

Provides detailed information on the Recorded Crime in Scotland statistical bulletin series. It is designed to be a useful reference guide with explanatory notes regarding issues and classifications which are crucial to the production and presentation of crime statistics in Scotland.

27. Potential future considerations

27.1 Individual level data

Currently the Scottish Government collects aggregated numbers of crimes and offences from Police Scotland, meaning that no information about victims, perpetrators or the individual crimes or offences and incidents are available.

We note that some of our users have an interest in more analysis of individual level crime data, which would allow, for example, new information on the age and gender of victims and perpetrators. Police Scotland are currently in the process of introducing a new system to record crime. The introduction of the new system may provide opportunities to provide details on individual crimes (rather than aggregate information). While this will be several years into the future, it could potentially allow us to produce further information on the characteristics of crime, such as demographic details of the victims/accused, etc.

It should be noted that the Scottish Government does publish companion Official Statistics bulletins that are based on individual level crime and offence data on a number of topics:

27.2 Cyber-crime

Where reported to the police, Cyber-Enabled crime will be recorded under the specific offence code for the registered crime (for example fraud, including online banking fraud and mass marketing fraud, and thefts such as using technology to steal personal data).

The Recorded Crime in Scotland bulletin’s (from 2020/21 onwards) contains a chapter relating to cyber crime. This topical section presents findings of a study into police recorded cyber crime in Scotland, based on a random sample of police recorded crimes. This includes an estimate of the impact of a recent procedural change to the recording of international crime and details on the characteristics of cyber crime.

With the development of the single crime recording system referred to above, provision has been made for the inclusion of a ‘cyber-crime’ marker that will be able to provide a more accurate understanding of where there has been a Cyber element to a crime. As data becomes available from the new IT system, we will keep under review how we can best collect data on cyber-enabled crime.

HMICS is acutely aware of the increase in cyber-enabled crime and anticipates this trend will only continue. Understanding the true nature and extent of cyber-enabled crime through use of cyber-crime markers is an area HMICS will continue to scrutinise in any relevant inspection work, as this is necessary to assess the scope of such activity to meet demand.



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