Recorded crime at a 42 year low

Michael Matheson

Recorded crime in Scotland is at its lowest level since 1974 according to figures released today.

In total, 246,243 crimes were recorded in 2015-16, compared to 256,350 in the previous year.

Crimes of dishonesty including theft, housebreaking and shoplifting fell from 126,857 to 115,789. Non-sexual crimes of violence are at their second lowest level since 1974 despite a slight rise over the twelve months from 6,357 to 6,775. Fire-raising, vandalism etc. increased from 52,091 to 54,226, though this remains 58 per cent lower than in 2006-07.

Other crimes (mostly drug related or crimes against public justice) fell from 61,488 to 59,180. Crimes of handling offensive weapons have fallen to their lowest level since 1984, down to 3,111. The number of offences recorded by the police in Scotland fell from 379,498 to 339,193. These include motor vehicle offences and breach of the peace. The overall police clear-up rate increased by 1.2 percentage points to 51.6 per cent.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “Since 2006-07 we have invested more than £10.5 million in a range of violence reduction programmes during which time violent crime has more than halved (down 52 per cent) and is at its second lowest level since 1974.

“Today’s report also indicates that female victims of common assault were far more likely than men to be assaulted by a partner or ex-partner – underlining why the Scottish government has committed an additional £20 million over three years to tackle violence against women, alongside our plan to strengthen legislation against all forms of domestic abuse.”

Deputy chief constable Iain Livingstone said: “The overall recorded crime picture remains largely positive with a four per cent fall in overall recorded crime across our communities.

“This coupled with an increase in the detection rate of 1.2 per cent reflects the hard work carried out by police officers and police staff throughout the country. The report also highlights the large demand on Police Scotland with 246,243 crimes recorded during 2015-16.”