A consultation on how Official Statistics present information on recorded crime and related topics

Closes 8 Oct 2019

Opened 8 Jul 2019


The Scottish Crime Recording Board would like to consult users on how the National Statistics on police recorded crime are presented.

Scottish Government statisticians produce a National Statistics bulletin once a year on crimes and offences recorded by the police in Scotland.

Police recorded crime in Scotland has fallen over the past decade, with the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey showing a similar trend for comparable crimes. Over this time there have been larger than average falls in some types of crime, such as vandalism or theft from a motor vehicle – whilst in contrast, the number of sexual crimes recorded by the police continues to grow.

The recording of crime by the police has also seen changes to reflect the passing of new legislation – and will continue to do so into the future. Examples include the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 and more recently the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018.

Why We Are Consulting

It is within the context of this evolving nature of crime, and the legislation that underpins how it is categorised, that the Scottish Crime Recording Board would like to consult users on how these National Statistics are presented. This includes their views on some potential changes in approach.

The purpose of this engagement is to ensure recorded crime statistics remain 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). This process is guided by the Code of Practice for Official Statistics, which underpins the production of high quality and trustworthy statistics, that support society’s need for information.

The Crime Board will consider responses to this consultation, alongside other planned engagement with stakeholders. Assuming they are deliverable, some of the changes which could result from this exercise may be implemented from the 2019-20 reporting year onwards. The 2018-19 Recorded Crime National Statistics (due in September 2019) will continue to be presented using the existing approach.

Read the Consultation Paper here.

Upcoming events

Statisticians will host a user event during the consultation period 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).

If you would be interested in attending this event, you can email crimeconsultation@gov.scot and we will keep you informed once arrangements have been finalised (including through the SCOTSTAT network).

Give us your views


  • People of Scotland


  • Law and Order
  • Statistics