The total number of recorded crimes in Scotland fell again in 2015-16, though there were variations betwen different types of offence, according to the latest official figures released today.

Crimes recorded by the police were down by 4% from 256,350 in 2014-15 to 246,243 in 2015-16, the lowest figure since 1974.

However sexual crimes increased by 7% from 9,557 to 10,273, continuing the upward trend seen since 2008-09. Non-sexual crimes of violence also increased by 7%, from last year's low of 6,357 to 6,775.

Also rising from a low point last year were fireraising, vandalism etc, up 4% from 52,091 to 54,226.

On the other hand crimes of dishonesty were down 9% from 126,857 in 2014-15 to 115,789 in 2015-16, continuing the downward trend seen since they peaked in 1991.

Other recorded crimes, including drugs crimes and crimes against public justice, decreased by 4% between 2014-15 and 2015-16, from 61,488 to 59,180.

The clear-up rate for all recorded crimes increased by 1.2 percentage points, to 51.6%.

The number of offences recorded by the police fell by 11%, from 379,498 to 339,193. Motor vehicle offences were down by 13% and other offences by 8%.

Last week a report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland concluded that current crime recording practice does not capture the scale of cyber-enabled sexual crime and associated victimisation in Scotland. (Click here for report.

Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone commented: “The increase in the report of sexual crime is in part a reflection of the increased level of confidence the public has in reporting this type of crime to the police with the knowledge that every complaint will be handled sensitively and professionally. This equally applies to reports of historical abuse.

“We recognise the increase in crimes of violence and although this remains low in a historical context, we continue to work with partners in communities to tackle violence and address the influence that alcohol plays in many of these crimes."

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