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Crime falls by more than half since 2008

Flagship survey shows people feel safer in their communities.

Crime levels have dropped by more than half since 2008-09, according to the latest Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS).

The 2021-22 official statistics show that people feel safer in their communities, with the proportion of those experiencing the types of crime covered in the survey at an historic low.

The survey of around 5,600 adults across Scotland estimates that since 2008-09:

  • the volume of crime, including incidents not reported to police, has fallen by 53%
  • the proportion of people experiencing crime has fallen from one in five (20.4%) to around one in 10 (10.0%)
  • violent crime has decreased by nearly three-fifths (58%)
  • property crime is down by 51%
  • the proportion of people who feel safe walking home alone after dark has increased to more than three-quarters (76%) from two-thirds (66%)

Those who took part in the survey were asked about their experiences of violent crime and property crime, including personal theft, other household theft and vandalism.

They were also asked about their perceptions of crime, policing and the justice system. Most adults expressed confidence in the effectiveness of their local police, including their ability to handle incidents and solve crimes. Nearly half (49%) said police in their local area do an excellent or good job, compared with 55% in the last SCJS in 2019-20.

Justice Secretary Angela Constance yesterday said:

“This flagship national survey indicates that crime has fallen by more than half since 2008-09 and that people feel safer in their local communities.

“While the fact that most people will not experience crime is welcome, I know that there can be a significant impact for those who do, particularly in cases of violent and sexual offences.

“These statistics are consistent with other official sources which show that recorded crime is at one of the lowest levels since 1974. This is testimony to the efforts of Scotland’s police, justice and community safety partners and this Government’s investment in the justice system.

“Our police officers work tirelessly to keep us all safe – and their effectiveness in doing so is reflected in the results of this survey. As police operations adapt to meet changes in how crime is committed – for example, with increasing numbers of offences being committed online – we will continue to support Police Scotland as part of efforts to help keep crime down and communities safe.”


Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2021-22

The full statistical publication is available on the Scottish Government website.


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