The National Statistics show that Police Scotland recorded 287,678 crimes in the year ending December 2022 compared to 292,316 crimes in the previous 12 months – and 4% lower than the year to December 2018. The overall number of crimes recorded remains lower than pre-pandemic.
Mr Dey said: “It is our belief that the strong actions taken to combat crime and sexual offending, as well as the emphasis placed on the protection of victims within the criminal justice system, give hope and assurance that, despite the fact that work remains to be done, the country is on the right track towards making Scotland safer.”
Compared to the year-ending 2018 there were notable reductions in damage and reckless behaviour (down 10%) and housebreaking (down 38%).
Justice Secretary Keith Brown said: “These figures show Scotland continues to be a safe place to live with recorded crime at one of the lowest levels seen since 1974.
“Most people do not experience crime and these latest figures show reductions in incidents such as housebreaking and vandalism compared to pre-pandemic levels. This welcome trend reflects separate research showing people in Scotland are significantly less likely to be a victim of crime than those living in England and Wales. People here also feel safe walking in their communities during the evening.
“We recognise that there is still work to be done, which is why we have taken robust action to tackle sexual offending and have invested £93 million over the past five years to ensure that victims' rights and needs are at the centre of Scotland’s criminal justice system. We also know the harm cyber-crime and fraud can inflict on communities and support the efforts of Police Scotland and partners in tackling these kinds of crime.
“Nonetheless, these historically low levels of crime are testimony to the continued efforts across policing, justice and community safety partners to deliver a safer Scotland for everyone.”