Types of crime

Different types of crimes, vandalism, theft and violence to property and people

Property crime includes the following exclusive groups:

  • vandalism, including motor vehicle and property vandalism
  • motor vehicle theft related incidents
  • housebreaking
  • other household thefts including bicycle theft
  • personal theft excluding robbery

Violent crime includes:

  • assault
  • robbery

How much crime is there?

Recorded crime is at its lowest level since 1974. The level of crime in Scotland has fallen in recent years, with 270,397 crimes recorded by the police in 2013/14. This figure excludes minor offences such as traffic offences, eg speeding.

In 2013/14, around 17 per cent of people in Scotland were victims of crime. This is the lowest number of recorded crimes in the country for over 40 years.

Crimes of dishonesty, eg theft, are the most common and accounted for approximately 49 per cent of the total figure. The next most common type of crime was vandalism/fire-raising which accounted for around 20 per cent of the total.

There were 59 homicides and 6,357 non-sexual violent crimes in Scotland in 2014/15, which is the lowest figure for many years. This suggests the view that violence in Scotland is common is incorrect, as only around 6 per cent of all crime involved violence or sexual offences.

In 2012/13, there was a ‘clear up’ rate of 51.5 per cent of crimes within Scotland.This fell to 50.4 per cent in 2014/15.

All statistics in this section are from the Scottish government unless otherwise stated.

Care must always be taken when drawing conclusions from crime statistics. Only crimes which are reported are recorded, not crimes which have been committed. An increase in crime may reflect the fact that the police are catching more criminals and not that more crime is taking place. The opposite is also true.