6 Scottish Crime and Victimisation Survey
6.1 The preceding sections of this bulletin described the volume and types of crime recorded and cleared up by the eight police forces in Scotland during 2006/07. The recorded crime series is generally a useful indicator of trends in recorded crime. However, not all crimes are reported to the police and the propensity of the public to report crime to the police also changes over time. Thus, statistics recorded by the police may not accurately reflect the underlying trend in all crime.
6.2 Crime surveys can be a useful source of information by providing a fuller picture of the extent of and trends in most types of household and personal victimisation. The information provided by such surveys complements the information compiled by the police forces and provides another useful indicator, as well as exploring other issues such as the impact of crime on victims, public anxieties and reactions to crime and attitudes towards the police and other parts of the criminal justice system.
6.3 Findings from the 2006 Scottish Crime and Victimisation Survey ( SCVS), which
asks about crimes and offences experienced between the beginning of April 2005 and the end of March 2006 are available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2007/10/12094216/0
- Estimates derived from the 2006 SCVS suggest that around 1,072,000 crimes were committed against individuals and private households in Scotland between 1 April 2005 and 31 March 2006 1. This is a higher number than estimated in 2003/04, due to an increase in minor assaults. The number of household crimes was similar between the 2 survey sweeps.
- The estimate for 2005/06 represents a 13 per cent increase on the number of crimes estimated to have taken place in a comparable 12 month period in 2003/04, but is lower than the number of crimes estimated to have taken place in the 2002 calendar year. Around one in 5 people (22 per cent) had been the victim of at least one household or personal crime; there has been no statistically significant change in this figure in recent years.
- According to the survey, 56 per cent of crimes experienced in 2005/06 were against property. Motor vehicle and property vandalism accounts for one in four (26 per cent) of all crimes recorded. The remaining 44 per cent of crimes were committed against individuals. Three in ten crimes (30 per cent) involved violence, but most of these involved petty assaults, which are 6 times more prevalent than serious assaults.
- Overall, 38 per cent of crimes captured by the survey came to the attention of the police. According to survey estimates, the proportion of crimes reported to the police reached its peak in 1999 at 43 per cent and has been falling ever since. In 2005/06 it reached the lowest proportion ever recorded by the survey. Where the incident had not been reported to the police, the main reasons given were that the incident was too trivial (27 per cent of unreported incidents), the police would not have been able to do anything (27 per cent), the police would not have been interested (17 per cent), or the victim(s) dealt with the matter themselves (17 per cent).
- The current survey, the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2008/09 is in the field as of April 2008 and results will be available in September 2009. The target sample has increased substantially to 16,000 adults in private households across Scotland. The results will be representative at national level and at the level of the eight police forces in Scotland.