Crime reported in Scotland during 2018-19 remains at one of the lowest levels seen since 1974 

Scotland’s Chief Statistician has released the 2018-19 Recorded Crime in Scotland statistics.

The main findings include:

  • between 2017-18 and 2018-19, the number of crimes recorded by the police in Scotland increased by 1% from 244,504 to 246,480. The recording of crime remains at one of the lowest levels seen since 1974
  • the number of non-sexual crimes of violence increased by 10%, from 7,251 to 8,008. Despite this recent increase, the recording of these crimes remains at a lower level than all years between 1980 and 2011-12
  • sexual crimes increased by 8% from 12,487 to 13,547. The recording of these crimes is at the highest level seen since 1971, the first year for which comparable groups are available
  • crimes of dishonesty remained almost unchanged, increasing by less than 1% from 114,474 to 114,506.
  • fire-raising, vandalism etc. decreased by 6% from 51,322 to 47,997. The recording of these crimes is at the lowest level seen since 1976
  • other crimes increased by 6% from 58,970 to 62,422. Most of these crimes relate to drug possession, crimes against public justice or handling offensive weapons

In addition to the National Statistics on police recorded crimes and offences, this bulletin also presents Official Statistics on crimes and offences cleared up by the police in 2018-19. Between 2017-18 and 2018-19 the clear up rate increased by 1.5 percentage points, from 49.5% to 51.0%.

Other crimes (89.0%), non-sexual crimes of violence (73.3%) and sexual crime (58.1%) had higher clear up rates in 2018-19 than crimes of dishonesty (38.3%) and fire-raising, vandalism etc. (25.9%).

This bulletin also includes a topical analysis of police recorded fraud. Key points from this analysis were the following:

  • police recorded crimes of fraud cover a wide range of actions by the perpetrator. The most common types include fraudulent use of a bank card, failure to pay for products or services, fraudulent selling and phishing-type frauds. An estimated 28% of cases were cyber enabled (i.e. the internet was used as a means to commit the crime)
  • the average amount defrauded for each crime of fraud was £150. This was higher for cyber enabled frauds (£490) than for those that weren’t (£80)
  • victims were more likely to be male (56%), and had an average of age of 48 years old. victims of phishing-type frauds tended to be older, with an average age of 60 years old


  • The full statistical publication can be accessed online
  • contraventions of Scottish criminal law are divided for statistical purposes into crimes and offences. ‘Crime’ is generally used for the more serious criminal acts; the less serious termed ‘offences’, although the term ‘offence’ may also be used in relation to serious breaches of criminal law. The distinction is made only for working purposes and the ‘seriousness’ of the offence is generally related to the maximum sentence that can be imposed.
  • further information on Crime and Justice statistics within Scotland can be accessed online
  • National and Official Statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of Official Statistics in Scotland can be accessed online
  • the Scottish Crime Recording Board is currently running a consultation on how the Recorded Crime National Statistics are presented. The consultation closes on the 8th October 2019. Further information on this consultation can be found online
  • the Scottish Government has also today published a report on ‘Non-sexual violence in Scotland’, which includes some of the latest 2018-19 Recorded Crime Statistics. This report brings together official data from a range of Scottish sources – both Criminal Justice and Health – to better understand the current profile and problem of non-sexual violence in Scotland. The publication can be accessed online

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