Who commits crime?

Statistics show that some groups of people are more likely to commit crime than others. People are more likely to commit crime if they are:

  • younger – the peak age for criminal convictions is 21-25 for males and 26-30 for females. For offences (minor crimes, eg breach of the peace) the peak age is lower for both males and females
  • male - the majority of crime (around 70%) is committed by men. Almost all violent crime is committed by men
  • living in an urban area – the majority of crime happens in cities, particularly in city centres at weekends or in areas with poorer quality housing

In Scotland in 2019/20, 85,726 people were taken to court. This is a decrease of 4% from the previous years. Of this, 75,251 people were convicted. This is also a fall of 4%. Both of these are a continuation of a downward trend.