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Crime continues to fall

Published: 15 Mar 2016 09:30
Part of:
Law and order

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Most adults experienced no crime in 2014/15 and both the overall number of crimes and the risk of being a victim of crime have continued the decreasing trend seen in recent years.

Scotland's Chief Statistician today released the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) 2014-15: Main Findings. The figures show that:

The Extent & Risk of Crime

The estimated number of crimes in 2014/15 (688,000) has fallen by around a sixth (16 per cent) since the 815,000 crimes estimated in 2012/13, and, by around a third (34 per cent) since the 1,045,000 crimes estimated in 2008/09.

Almost three-quarters of crime (73 per cent) was property crime, comprising vandalism (26 per cent), other household theft (incl bicycle theft) (23 per cent), personal theft (excluding robbery (15 per cent)), motor vehicle theft related incidents (6 per cent) and housebreaking (3 per cent). Just over a quarter of crime was violent crime (27 per cent), comprising minor assault with no / negligible injury (17 per cent), minor assault with injury (4 per cent), attempted assault (4 per cent), serious assault (1 per cent) and robbery (1 per cent).

Most adults (85.5 per cent) experienced no crime in 2014/15. The SCJS estimates that around one in seven adults were the victim of crime in 2014/15 (14.5 per cent), compared to around one in six adults in 2012/13 (16.9 per cent), and one in five adults in 2008/09 (20.4 per cent). In 2014/15, 13.0 per cent of adults were estimated to have been a victim of property crime and 2.6 per cent of adults a victim of violent crime.

Around one-in-ten adults experienced one crime in 2014/15, while 4.4 per cent of adults were the victim of multiple crimes, experiencing almost three fifths of all SCJS crime (58 per cent). 3.5 per cent of adults were repeat victims of property crime, while 0.8 per cent of adults were repeat victims of violent crime. Of those who were repeat victims of violent crime, most were repeat victims of minor assault (79 per cent).

The risk of being a victim of any crime was higher for adults living in the 15 per cent most deprived areas (21.2 per cent), compared to elsewhere in Scotland (13.4 per cent). Between 2008/09 and 2014/15, the risk of crime fell in the most deprived areas from 26.0 per cent to 21.2 per cent, while elsewhere the risk fell from 19.4 per cent to 13.4 per cent. Between 2012/13 and 2014/15, the risk of crime was unchanged in the most deprived areas while elsewhere the risk fell from 16.1 per cent to 13.4 per cent.

Public Perceptions of Crime and the Police

Three quarters of respondents thought that the local crime rate had stayed the same or reduced (75 per cent), unchanged from 2012/13, but up from 65 per cent in 2006. Almost three-quarters also said they felt very or fairly safe walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark (74 per cent), up from 66 per cent in 2008/09.

The majority of adults said that the police were doing a good or excellent job in their local area, however this had decreased from 61 per cent in 2012/13 to 58 per cent in 2014/15.

The majority of adults were also very or fairly confident in their local police force across the six measures of confidence asked about in this survey, and since 2008/09, there have been increases in confidence across all six measures. Since 2012/13, there has been no change in confidence in the police to prevent crime or catch criminals, and small, but statistically significant, decreases in confidence in the police to investigate incidents, deal with incidents, respond quickly and solve crimes.

Those who did not experience crime and those living in less deprived areas were more confident in the police, and more likely to say the police were doing a good or excellent job, than victims and those living in the most deprived areas. Views on policing also varied across police divisions.

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes to editors

The full statistical publication is available at

This report covers the year from April 2014 to May 2015.

The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey is one of the Scottish Government's flagship national surveys delivering robust evidence for the "Safer and Stronger" Strategic Objective. The survey allows the people of Scotland to independently report their experiences and perceptions of crime, and thus influence the continued development and improvement of the Scottish Justice system.

The publication presents statistics on the level of crime in Scotland, importantly including crime that is not reported to the police, but is limited to crimes against adults resident in households, and also does not cover all crime types. Police recorded crime is a measure of those crimes reported to the police and recorded by them as a crime or offence.

The SCJS also provides a range of additional information, including details of adults' perception of crime, the characteristics of crime, on victims, offenders, policing and the justice system.

The SCJS is the data source for two National Indicators for Scotland's National Performance Framework - crime victimisation rate and public perception of general crime rate in local area.

Further information on Crime and Justice statistics within Scotland can be accessed at:

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: