Recorded crime in Scotland
Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published Recorded Crime in Scotland, 2011-12. The publication presents statistics on crimes and offences recorded and cleared up by the eight Scottish police forces in 2011-12.
The figures show that the total number of crimes recorded by the police decreased by 3% between 2010-11 and 2011-12. In 2011-12, the Scottish police recorded 314,186 crimes, 9,061 fewer crimes than in 2010-11.
The main findings are:
- The number of Violent crimes (Non-sexual crimes of violence) recorded by the police decreased by 17% between 2010-11 and 2011-12, to a total of 9,533.
- The number of Sexual offences increased by 10%, from 6,696 in 2010-11 to 7,359, in 2011-12.
- The number of Crimes of dishonesty decreased by 1% to stand at 154,337 crimes, in 2011-12.
- Recorded crimes of Vandalism (including Fire-raising and Malicious mischief) decreased by 8% to total 75,201, in 2011-12.
- Other recorded crimes (including Drug crimes and Crimes against public justice) increased by 1% to total 67,756, in 2011-12.
- The number of crimes of Handling and offensive weapon decreased from 6,283 in 2010-11 to 5,631 in 2011-12, a reduction of 10%.
- The clear-up rate for all recorded crimes in 2011-12 was 49%, which is the same as in the previous three years.
- The clear-up rate in 2011-12 for Non-sexual crimes of violence was higher than in 2010-11, increasing from 72% to 75%. The clear up rate for Sexual offences increased by 1 percentage point. The rates for Crimes of dishonesty, Vandalism (including Fire-raising and Malicious mischief) and Other crimes remained unchanged from those in 2010-11.
- In 2011-12 the police recorded 544,033 offences, an increase of 3% from the number in 2010-11.
- The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 came into force on 1 December 2010. The Act updated previous law in Scotland surrounding rape and other sexual offences, particularly the gender specific nature of the common law offence of rape. The resulting changes have affected the Recorded Crime statistics in terms of classification of offences and the number of offences recorded.
- The Act created a number of new ‘protective’ offences, which criminalise sexual activity with children and mentally disordered persons. There are separate offences concerning young children (under 13 years) and older children (13-15 years).
- The new legislation applies to offences committed from 1 December 2010. Any offences committed prior to this date are recorded using the previous legislation. Any Sexual offence which occurred prior to 1 December 2010 is recorded in line with the appropriate legislation in place at that time. If the conduct occurred both prior to and after 1 December 2010 the appropriate offences under the old and new legislation are recorded. Caution should therefore be taken when comparing Sexual offences with previous years.
- The new legislation resulted in some increases in Sexual offences. However, it is likely that the effect will be to change the distribution of these crimes among the subcategories. For example, some crimes previously categorised as Lewd and libidinous practices will now be classified as Sexual assault.
- The introduction of the new legislation resulted in some crimes that would previously have been classified as either Breach of the peace etc. or Other miscellaneous offences being classified as Sexual offences. Most of these are now classed as Other sexual offences. However, it is not possible to quantify the number of crimes that this change affects.