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Publication - Statistics Publication

Recorded crime in Scotland: 2016-2017

Published: 26 Sep 2017
Part of:
Law and order, Public safety and emergencies, Statistics
ISBN:
9781788511971

Statistics on crimes and offences recorded and cleared up by the police in Scotland, split by crime or offence group and by local authority.

108 page PDF

2.5MB

108 page PDF

2.5MB

Contents
Recorded crime in Scotland: 2016-2017
Group 7 – Motor Vehicle Offences

108 page PDF

2.5MB

Group 7 – Motor Vehicle Offences

Group 7 – Motor Vehicle Offences

Number of Motor vehicle offences recorded in 2016-17:

Motor vehicle offences account for nearly half (48%) of all offences recorded in Scotland in 2016-17. Between 2015-16 and 2016-17, the number of Motor vehicle offences recorded by the police decreased by 19% from 170,297 to 138,168. This amounts to an overall decrease of 53% since 2013-14.

Due to a number of anomalies in the data as a result of inconsistencies with legacy data reporting, there is a break in the time series at 2013-14. Further information on the comparability issues can be found in the ' Data Considerations' section below, and detailed information on the comparability of Group 7 are available in Annex 2.

The national rate of recorded Motor vehicle offences decreased from 317 per 10,000 population in 2015-16 to 256 per 10,000 population in 2016-17. This varied by local authority area, with the highest rate in Dumfries & Galloway (599 per 10,000 population), and the lowest in East Lothian (95 per 10,000 population) ( Table 13).

Additional information provided by Police Scotland relating to Motor vehicle offences is available in the ' Data Considerations' section below.

Unlawful use of vehicle:

The Unlawful use of vehicle category includes offences such as Driving while disqualified, Driving without a licence, Driving without insurance, and Driving without a test certificate. Further detail can be found in Chapter 8.

Unlawful use of vehicle is the largest category in this group, accounting for a third (33%) of Motor vehicle offences. This category increased by 11% from 41,470 in 2015-16 to 45,978 in 2016-17. Despite this rise, these offences remain 20% lower than in 2013-14. Three quarters (24) of local authority areas recorded an increase between 2015-16 and 2016-17.

It should be noted that the Unlawful use of vehicle category is not considered comparable for years prior to 2013-14. Further information on quality issues is available in Annex 2.

Speeding:

Speeding accounted for a quarter (25%) of Motor vehicle offences. This category decreased by 37% from 54,419 in 2015-16 to 34,371 in 2016-17. This amounts to an overall decrease of 58% since 2013-14. All but four (28) local authorities recorded a decrease between 2015-16 and 2016-17.

It should be noted that the Speeding category is not considered comparable for years prior to 2013-14. Further information on quality issues is available in Annex 2.

Dangerous and careless driving:

Dangerous and careless driving accounted for 8% of Motor vehicle offences. This category decreased by 3% from 12,057 in 2015-16 to 11,693 in 2016-17. Numbers declined for a few years after 2007-08, but have fluctuated since 2010-11. Despite this, levels remain 10% lower than in 2007-08.

Over half (19) of local authority areas recorded a increase in this category between 2007-08 and 2016-17. Less than half (15) of the 32 local authorities showed an increase between 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Vehicle defect offences:

Vehicle defect offences account for 6% of Motor vehicle offences. This category decreased by 36% from 13,070 in 2015-16 to 8,385 in 2016-17. This amounts to an overall decrease of 60% since 2013-14. All but five of the 32 local authorities recorded a decrease between 2015-16 and 2016-17.

It should be noted that the Vehicle defect offences category is not considered comparable for years prior to 2013-14. Further information on quality issues is available in Annex 2.

Mobile phone offences:

Mobile phone offences account for 5% of Motor vehicle offences. This category decreased by 33% from 10,085 in 2015-16 to 6,709 in 2016-17. Levels of these offences increased each year from 2008-09, peaking in 2013-14, but have decreased each year since. There has been an overall decrease of 72% since 2008-09 and 81% since 2013-14. All but one (31) local authority areas recorded a decrease in this category between 2008-09 and 2016-17. All but five (27) local authority areas showed a decrease between 2015-16 and 2016-17.

It should be noted that the Mobile phone offences category is not considered comparable for years prior to 2008-09. Further information on quality issues is available in Annex 2.

Driving under the influence:

Driving under the influence accounted for 4% of Motor vehicle offences. There was an 8% increase in this category from 5,458 in 2015-16 to 5,917 in 2016-17, in contrast to the downward trend seen since 2007-08. Driving under the influence has decreased by 45% as a whole over this period.

All local authorities recorded a decrease in this category between 2007-08 and 2016-17. Less than half (13) of local authorities showed an increase between 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Seat belt offences:

Seat belt offences account for 3% of Motor vehicle offences. This category has decreased by 44% from 8,059 in 2015-16 to 4,502 in 2016-17. Levels of these offences had previously been on a generally upward trend between 2008-09 and 2013-14, before decreasing by 88%between 2013-14 and 2016-17.

All 32 local authority areas recorded a decrease in this category between 2008-09 and 2016-17. All but three (29) local authority areas showed a decrease between 2015-16 and 2016-17.

It should be noted that the Seat belt offences category is not considered comparable for years prior to 2008-09. Further information on quality issues is available in Annex 2.

Other motor vehicle offences:

The Other motor vehicle offences category includes offences such as Accident offences and Parking offences. Further detail can be found in Chapter 8.

Other motor vehicle offences account for 15% of Motor vehicle offences. This category decreased by 20% from 25,679 in 2015-16 to 20,613 in 2016-17. This amounts to an overall decrease of 51% since 2013-14. Over half (21) of local authority areas recorded a decrease between 2015-16 and 2016-17.

It should be noted that the Other motor vehicle offences category is not considered comparable for years prior to 2013-14. Further information on quality issues is available in Annex 2.

Data Considerations

As outlined in the overall section on police recorded offences – an extensive data quality exercise was carried out to assess the comparability of data extracted from the Scottish Operational and Management Information System ( ScOMIS) with data collected from legacy police forces and published in previous bulletins. This analysis identified that due to the standardisation of reporting practices following the establishment of Police Scotland, there are significant comparability issues for Group 7 Motor Vehicle Offences. There are no issues for two of the categories in Group 7: Dangerous and careless driving and Driving under the influence. Seat belt offences and Mobile phone offences are only comparable back to 2008-09. The other categories in Group 7, and hence the overall figures for Group 7, are only comparable back to 2013-14.

The Scottish Government produced a Technical Report in 2014 which detailed the quality assurance work it carried out in reaching this conclusion: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Crime-Justice/PubRecordedCrime
/TechnicalReport
.

In relation to the overall decrease in Motor vehicle offences, Police Scotland have cited their move towards engagement and education to prevent road offences in addition to enforcement, with raising awareness and high profile media campaigns designed to influence driver behaviour and public attitudes. Further, Police Scotland state that high-risk road traffic offender groups are identified and targeted as part of routine business, and Anti-Social Behaviour legislation is used proactively, through the issue of initial warnings to drivers/vehicles followed by seizure of the vehicle where relevant.


Contact

Email: Jamie Macfarlane, jamie.macfarlane@gov.scot

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG