CRIME is at the lowest level recorded in Scotland by police in a 12-month period since 1974, according to statistics released on Tuesday.
The latest figures show there has been a 5% drop in police-recorded crime for the year ending June 2022 compared to the same period last year.
This was mainly due to a reduction in crimes related to coronavirus restrictions.
However, the statistics – which cover the period of the year ending in June 2022 and the four years prior – show that recorded crime is 5% lower than before the pandemic in the year ending in June 2018, with a total decline of 43% since 2006-07.
Justice Secretary Keith Brown said: “We know that Scotland continues to be a safe place to live, where the vast majority of people are free from crime.
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“Every year there are thousands fewer victims in Scotland than 15 years ago.
“But there’s still a lot to do. Continuing to reduce crime and the harm it causes both to individuals and to our society as a whole is central to our ambitious vision to reform our justice system.
The overall reduction in recorded crime is reflected in the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2019-20, released in March 2021, which shows one in eight adults (11.9%) have been a victim of crime in 2019-2020.
This is considerably less than the case of one person in five who was the victim of a crime for the period 2008-09 (20.4%).
Brown continued: “Where the crime is happening, we have made £48 million available to organizations that support victims over the next three years, a decision which underlines our absolute commitment to placing victims very firmly at the center of the justice system.
“We have invested over £24m to specifically target violence reduction since 2008 and will highlight our priorities for tackling violence when we publish the first-ever National Violence Prevention Framework later this year.”
Statistics also showed that people living in Scotland are less likely to be victims of crime than in England and Wales, where 13.3% of adults were victims of crime in 2019-20 .
Over the same period, from 2008-09 to 2019-20, the proportion of adults in Scotland who felt safe walking alone after dark in their area rose from 66% to 77% .
Brown added: “While police cleared up more sex crimes in 2021-22 than ever before, like many other countries, Scotland continues to see growth in reported cases.
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“Several factors are driving this increase, including greater willingness of victims to come forward, more historical reporting, more online crime and the impact of new legislation.
“We also remain absolutely committed to supporting our hard-working police officers as recruitment rebounds from the Covid period and the necessary closure of the Tulliallan training school to ensure safe policing at the summit on the climate COP 26.”