The future of Recorded Crime and Police Activity Statistics

Closed 10 Dec 2021

Opened 22 Oct 2021

Feedback updated 24 Mar 2022

We asked

In October 2021, The Scottish Crime Recording Board sought your views on the future of Recorded Crime and Police Activity Statistics. This included inviting views on the production and dissemination of Scotland’s recorded crime statistics, and on the possible development of new statistical products covering other types of policing activity. The consultation ran from 22 October 2021 to 10 December 2021.

You said

You provided us with 17 responses to our consultation questions. These included responses from 14 organisations and three individuals.

In summary, there was consensus among the respondents on:

  • support for greater disaggregation of recorded crime statistics compared to the current approach
  • continued support that common assault should be reclassified as a crime, and split into with and without injury;
  • broadly content with the proposed definition of Common Assault with and without injury, with a few minor amendments suggested
  • support for having commentary to contextualise the findings and in favour of Excel format tables to present the data within the National Statistics Annual bulletin
  • support for comparisons being provided between findings from recorded crime and the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, as well as information on cyber-crime within the National Statistics Annual bulletin
  • support for reducing the frequency of the monthly statistics publications, suggesting quarterly releases would best suit their needs
  • support for of the User Guide as a complementary document to the statistical bulletins
  • generally supportive of the potential addition of demographic characteristics for those involved in crime
  • support for the level of geographical disaggregation currently offered
  • generally not supportive of the potential development of a Crime Severity Score
  • support for the potential production of new statistics on non-criminal incidents recorded by Police Scotland
  • interested in the potential value of these statistics to widen the understanding of police activity and inform policy and decision making


A report detailing a summary of all responses received was published on 24 March 2022 and is available at A consultation on the future of recorded crime and police activity statistics - Summary of responses and discussion of next steps

We did

Responses to the consultation have now been published where permission has been obtained to do so and a report detailing a summary of all responses received has been published (see above).

The Scottish Crime Recording Board has considered the responses to this consultation, alongside feedback from both the previous consultation and other events run during the consultation period. Taking all this into account, the Scottish Crime Recording Board have approved a number of changes to the recorded crime statistics, including:

  • the current set of crime and offence groups will be replaced with a new set based on Option A (as described in the consultation); the 2021-22 annual Recorded Crime in Scotland National Statistics will be the first to reflect this change
  • common assault will be reclassified as a crime rather than an offence
  • stalking will be reclassified as a crime rather than an offence
  • common assault will be split into common assault with injury and common assault without injury, with the timing to be confirmed for the introduction of this change
  • the annual Recorded Crime in Scotland National Statistics bulletin will be published in June, brought forward from September
  • the annual Recorded Crime in Scotland National Statistics bulletin will be redesigned to ensure it meets accessibility requirements and statistical best practice
  • the Recorded Crime Monthly Official Statistics will be discontinued following publication of the March 2022 bulletin in April 2022
  • the Monthly Official Statistics will then be replaced with a quarterly release of National Statistics, which will present the latest rolling 12-month period


The 2021 consultation also asked for feedback on potential future developments for statistics on recorded crime and police activity. This evidence will be used to inform longer term planning of these statistics, and we will keep users informed of any developments via ScotStat.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The Scottish Crime Recording Board would like to consult users on the production and dissemination of Scotland’s recorded crime statistics. Questions are also asked on the possible development of new statistical products covering other types of policing activity.

Scottish Government statisticians currently publish two bulletins on crimes and offences recorded by the police in Scotland. This includes an annual release of National Statistics, and a much shorter monthly release of Official Statistics.

The responses we receive will help inform our long term strategy for the delivery of crime and policing statistics.

Read the consultation paper

Why your views matter

Regular consultation with users is a key requirement of the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. It helps ensure Scotland’s recorded crime statistics are of high value, through their relevance to those who use them, and their capacity to support understanding of the important issues relating to crime in Scotland (alongside other complementary sources of Official Statistics and research).

Following the closing date of this consultation, responses will be reviewed along with any other available evidence, to help develop plans for the production of these statistics. In addition to this, the Crime Board will consider a finalised set of groups for the presentation of crime statistics. Once changes to the crime groups have been implemented, a revised set of times series data will also be published.

Upcoming events

Statisticians will host a user event between 13:00 and 15:00 on Tuesday 9 November 2021 to talk through the questions contained in the main document and give stakeholders an opportunity to provide any feedback (which would be in addition to their response through the consultation hub).

For further information and to sign up please visit the event page.

We will keep you informed of consultation developments through the SCOTSTAT network.

What happens next

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public at If you use the consultation hub to respond, you will receive a copy of your response via email.

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so. An analysis report will also be made available.


  • Recorded Crime and Police Activity Statistics - Consultation Event

    From 9 Nov 2021 at 13:00 to 9 Nov 2021 at 14:30

    This event is open to all organisations and individuals who have an interest in this topic. Statisticians will give a presentation on the areas covered in the consultation, and attendees will have the opportunity to discuss further, provide feedback and ask questions. Any feedback collected will be in addition to responses received through the Citizen Space consultation hub.


  • Law and Order