There is no evidence of a significant rise in sexual and violent crime

At First Minister’s Questions today, Scottish Labour’s Pauline McNeill will ask:

To ask the First Minister what action the Scottish Government plans to take in light of reported figures showing that sexual and violent crime in Scotland has risen significantly over the last five years.

Scottish Labour may well know the truth but that won’t stop them asking in the hope of a cheap inaccurate headline.

Re Sexual Crimes:

The First Minister cannot, for obvious political reasons, just dismiss the question but I can:

1. The implementation of the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 has had an impact on any comparisons with data prior to 2017-18. As such, part of the increase in Other sexual crimes since 2016-17 (last five years) is due to this legislative change.

2. In each of the last 5 years, around 25% of all sexual crimes were recorded at least one year after they occurred.

3. A BBC report in 2016 suggested that more than a third of sexual offences that year were committed before December 2010 when the above act came into force.

4. So, the apparent increase is likely to be at least non-significant if not illusory.

Re violent crimes:

“Overall reported violent crime was up 12.8% year on year (13,951 to 15,743), but down 2.1% on the five-year average.” 

Note a one-year variation is not statistically meaningful. Trends can only reliably be detected over periods of at least 5 years. The trend is down!


7 thoughts on “There is no evidence of a significant rise in sexual and violent crime

  1. The Domestic Abuse Act that cannot be dropped or appeal. The Police are acting as judge and jury. More public monies wasted. Injustice. Abused women cannot get legal aid. It has to be paid back in many cases, Abused women have to stay in unhealthy unsafe places to keep a roof over their heads. Women who co habit, the majority, do not have equal rights.

    Women cannot get legal aid so can lose their house, their home. Estate agencies illegally charge women six months up front rent and deposit. Even with funds and good credit reference. Women can have to fight for years, with expense, to get what they are entitled.

    The Law has been changed, in England, so women can get legal aid without losing their house, their home.


  2. Pauline McNeill’s framing of “sexual and violent crime in Scotland has risen” implies instances have increased, rather than numbers making formal complaint have increased.
    Legislative change will have had an effect for sure, but successful investigation and prosecutions will also have given greater comfort to victims something can be done, ergo higher reporting rates.

    Policing has come a long way from the days of “domestics” being avoided like the plague because they are of necessity intrusive.
    Psychological analysis and forensics have made huge strides in not only assisting investigations but bringing successful prosecutions.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not sure if this is a self imposed break as a mark of some misplaced respect for Royalty if so sorry to interject but having just watched snippets of the lastest charade today in Edinburgh I am wondering whether St Giles, Holyroodhouse and now Balmoral could be better served as refuges for displaced Ukrainians and other homeless people. Sorry but as a life long critic of the Monarchy and Religion I am quite frankly appalled at this hypocrisy just witnessed in the name of Scotland. I can only endure this for so long.


  4. As there is ”no news” ( other than the obligatory massed headlines of the passing of a Queen ) there has been little or no need for the media to misrepresent Scotland/SNP/SG – except in constantly referring to Elizabeth II when in Scotland there is no such personage !
    So John can have a wee break !


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