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 percent) 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.

Who is affected by crime?

The chances of being a victim of a crime are not the same for every person. People from some groups are more likely to be victims of crime than others.

Young people face a higher risk of being a victim of crime compared to older people. The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2019/2020 shows: -

  • 18% of adults aged 16-24 experienced crime
  • 14% of 25–44-year-olds experienced crime
  • 7% of those aged 60+ experienced crime

The risk of being a victim of violent crime also decreases with age: -

  • 5.4% for 16-24 year olds
  • 0.6 per cent of those aged over 60 years

In 2019/20, there was no difference found between men and women in the likelihood of experiencing crime. However, men were more likely than women to experience violent crime.

When and where crime happens

Violent crime is most likely to happen in or near a victim’s place of work (32%), followed by inside a victim’s home (20%) and immediately outside a victim’s home (13%).

Just over half (53%) of violent crimes take place during the week, compared to 47% at the weekend.