Scotland's crime level last year was similar to the year before, but has fallen by 45% over the past decade, official figures show.

The 2018-19 Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, released by the Chief Statistician, shows an estimated 573,000 crimes in 2018-19, of which 408,000 (71%) were property crimes and 165,000 (29%) violent crimes. The survey is a large-scale social survey which asks people about their experiences and perceptions of crime.

Since 2008-09, property crime has decreased by 44% whilst violent crime is down by 48%. The 2018-19 survey found no statistically significant change in the level of either type of crime since 2017-18. However with the number of incidents experienced in 2018-19 down by an estimated 20% compared to 2016-17, it is suggested that there is no clear evidence yet that the decreasing trend in overall crime has ended.

 

Consistent with previous years, the majority of violent incidents were cases of minor assault resulting in no or negligible injury (60%), with instances of serious assault (7%) and robbery (3%) remaining relatively uncommon.

Most adults (87.6%) experienced no crime in 2018-19. The survey estimates that the proportion of adults experiencing crime has fallen from around one in five in 2008-09 to one in eight in 2018-19.

In 2018/19, 10.9% of adults were estimated to have been a victim of property crime and 2.2% of adults a victim of violent crime, down from 18.0% and 4.1% in 2008/09 respectively. Victims of two or more incidents (3.5% of adults) accounted for over half (55%) of all crime in 2018-19; and repeat victims of violence (0.7% of adults) are estimated to have experienced 60% of all violent crime in 2018-19. 

The likelihood of being a victim of any crime was higher for those living in the most deprived areas of Scotland, and urban locations; and the 16 to 24 age group has re-emerged as those most likely to be victims of violence. Those aged 60 and over were least likely to be victims of crime.

The survey estimates that the police became aware of 36% of crime in 2018-19, a similar proportion to previous years. Initial results from new questions about cybercrime suggest that cyber fraud and computer misuse were issues encountered by a sizeable minority of the population in 2018-19, and that most people did not bring such experiences to the attention of the police.

 

Generally the public were fairly confident about the operation of the justice system in Scotland. Three quarters of adults were confident that it allows those accused of crimes to get a fair trial regardless of who they are and that it makes sure everyone has access to the justice system if they need it (both 76%). However, adults were less confident on other related measures: for example, 37% were confident that it gives sentences which fit the crime, with 58% saying they were not confident.

Click here to access the survey findings.