Recorded crime in Scotland has fallen to its lowest level in 35 years, but figures released today also show that violent crime has increased over the last year.
The statistics indicate there was a drop of 4 per cent in the overall number of crimes recorded across Scotland in 2010-11 compared to the previous year, down from 338,028 to 323,060.
But while the 35 year low figure has been welcomed, the statistics also highlight that violent crime and sexual crime have risen over the past year. Official statistics show there was an increase of 2 per cent in non-sexual crimes of violence.
Violent crime, which includes murders, attempted murders and serious assaults, rose from 11,201 recorded incidents last year to 11,438 this year, the Scottish Government data revealed.
Sex crimes, including rape, attempted rape and indecent assault, are also on the rise by 1 per cent, increasing from 6,458 to 6,509.
However, officials said any year-on-year comparisons in this category should be treated with caution as a result of changes to the way rape is defined following the implementation of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act in December last year.
Welcoming the 35 year low, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, said: “These figures are further good news for Scotland, the sixth year in a row where recorded crime has fallen – to a 35 year low – and with police numbers remaining well above our pledge to put 1,000 extra officers on our streets.”
John Lamont, justice spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives, said: “It would be churlish not to point out the positives in these figures, although before the SNP pat themselves on the back we note that grave offences like non-sexual crimes of violence, rape and attempted rape and crimes of dishonesty such as housebreaking have all increased.”