Scotland politics

Most crime in Scotland is property related, 11,500 people survey reveals

Houses generic Image copyright PA
Image caption Housebreaking accounted for 3% of property related crime in Scotland for 2014/15

Almost three quarters of the 688,000 crimes committed in Scotland last year were related to property.

Vandalism accounted for 26%; vehicle theft 6%; personal theft not including robbery 15% and housebreaking represented 3%.

The findings appeared in the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) for 2014-15.

The report also showed that 85.5% of adults had experienced no crime within the 12-month period.

Other highlights included;

  • people's perception that they could be a victim of crime continues to be higher than the actual risk - for example nearly 4% of people fear their vehicle being stolen while the risk is 0.1%
  • 3.5% of adults were repeat victims of property crime and 0.8% of adults were repeat victims of violent crime
  • 58% said the police were doing a good or excellent job in their local area, down from 61% in 2012/13
  • 74% of adults felt very safe or fairly safe walking alone after dark

Property crime in Scotland

Survey of householders 2014/15

688,000

Overall crime

502,000

Crime linked to property

  • 26% Vandalism

  • 15% Personal theft (not robbery)

  • 6% Vehicle theft related

  • 3% Housebreaking

PA

Violent crime in Scotland

Survey of householders 2014/15

186,000

Incidents of violent crime

  • 17% Minor assault no injury

  • 4% Minor assault with injury

  • 4% Attempted assault

  • 2% Serious assault & robbery

Getty
Vehicle crime in Scotland
Year Number
2008/09 70,000
2009/10 64,000
2010/11 58,000
2012/13 50,000
2014/15 40,000

What's the reaction to the report?

Scotland's Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said he was "extremely encouraged" to see that the risk of becoming a victim of crime in Scotland had continued to fall.

He added: "The country is becoming a safer place thanks to the continued efforts of our communities and law enforcement agencies and I am glad this message seems to be getting through to the public, with those surveyed claiming to feel safer in their neighbourhoods than in previous years.

"There is still more work to do though, as we know in most cases the public still think they are at least two to three times more at risk of experiencing a crime than is actually likely."

The SCJS findings are based on a face-to-face survey of 11,500 adults living in private households in Scotland. The interviews were conducted between April 2014 and May 2015.

Police Scotland's Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick said it was goofd to see that public confidence in policing "remains strong"

He added: "We are constantly working to improve our service to the public and we will look carefully at the detailed results and local variations of today's survey to make sure we are doing everything we can to continue to address local priorities and issues for every community in Scotland."


ANALYSIS

By BBC Scotland's home affairs correspondent Reevel Alderson

Image copyright PA
Image caption Of those questioned, 4% said they feared their vehicle being stolen, the actual risk is 0.1%

The annual crime and justice survey offers an unusual snapshot of how people feel.

Despite how cynics may view statistics, the yearly crime figures do give a more or less accurate picture of what is happening in our streets.

And almost consistently for more than two decades these have shown a reducing number of crimes committed in Scotland.

This means that, according to the crime and justice survey, only one in seven of adults had experienced any sort of offence in the past year. That is down from one in five in 2008/09.

Despite that, the survey in which more than 11,000 people were questioned face-to-face, shows people's fear of crime remains high.

For example, while 4% of those questioned said they feared their vehicle being stolen, the actual risk is 0.1%.

So why is this? Do people not believe the official statistics, or does it simply take time for public confidence to be restored?

It seems that, while the survey results do lag behind the reality of life on the streets, they are following the actual trends.

Lurid tabloid headlines can distort our view of what is really happening.

But those who live in less deprived areas, where crime levels are lower, report greater confidence in the ability of the police to tackle crime, than victims and those living in more deprived districts where crime is more likely.