Scotland sees fall in likelihood of being a victim as crime rates decline

Humza Yousaf

Scotland’s chief statistician today released the main findings of the 2018/19 Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS).

The volume of crime in Scotland, including incidents not reported to the police, has fallen by 45 per cent over the last decade and by 20 per cent since 2016/17. Most adults did not experience crime in 2018/19. The proportion of adults experiencing crime decreased from one-in-five to one-in-eight between 2008/09 and 2018/19.

There were an estimated 573,000 crimes in 2018/19, of which 408,000 (71 per cent) were property crimes and 165,000 (29 per cent) were violent crimes. Since 2008/09 property crime has decreased by 44 per cent whilst violent crime almost halved (down 48 per cent) over the same time period.

The 2018/19 SCJS found no statistically significant change in the level of crime (including both violent and property crime) since 2017/18.

Consistent with previous years, the majority of violent incidents were cases of minor assault resulting in no or negligible injury (60 per cent), with instances of serious assault (seven per cent) and robbery (three per cent) remaining relatively uncommon.

Most adults (87.6 per cent) experienced no crime in 2018/19. The SCJS estimates that the proportion of adults experiencing crime has fallen from around one-in-five in 2008/09 (20.4 per cent) to one-in-eight in 2018/19 (12.4 per cent). The 2018/19 SCJS found no statistically significant change in the likelihood of being a victim of crime since 2017/18.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “While it is encouraging that Scotland remains a safer place than a decade ago, with fewer victims of crime, there is no room for complacency.

“Our firm focus on early intervention and prevention, including through widely-recognised anti-violence initiatives such as the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, No Knives Better Lives and Medics Against Violence, have been, and continue to be, critical to our efforts to keep crime down and communities safe.

“We continue to invest in Scotland’s excellent police service and in communities themselves – through education and a range of projects, to help people to stay safe, to steer those at risk of being drawn into crime away from it and to support those with convictions to turn away from offending.

“Where people do fall victim to crime, the Scottish government has been investing millions of pounds and implementing reforms to strengthen how the justice system, wider public services and other organisations can support them.”

Tags: data, crime

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