Scottish Crime 'Lowest In Nearly 30 Years'

Crime in Scotland has fallen to its lowest level in almost 30 years, official statistics show.

Just over 8,000 fewer crimes were recorded in Scotland last year, meaning it is 2% lower than 2007-08 - its lowest since 1980.

The clear up rate for all recorded crimes was 49%, the highest for over 20 years and comes after a significant increase in police numbers, with the most recent statistics showing an increase of 1,044 since March 2007.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill welcomed the figures but made clear that everyone has a responsibility to report crime and help the police.

He signalled no let up in the Scottish Government's determination to tackle crime and address the underlying causes of crime - drink, drugs and deprivation.

There was a 2% drop in the total number of crimes with 2% less violent crimes.

Sexual crimes fell by 3% in sexual crimes which includes a 9% reduction in recorded cases of rape and attempted rape.

Crimes of dishonesty such as theft by opening a lockfast place increased by 9% and shoplifting increased by 10%.

There was a 7% decrease in recorded cases of vandalism.

The clear up rate for all recorded crime was 49%.
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All eight police forces showed some decrease in the number of crimes recorded in 2008-09 compared to 2007-08.

This ranged from a marginal fall in Northern and Lothian and Borders to an 11% decrease in Dumfries and Galloway.

Speaking before launching new Crimestoppers material in Edinburgh, Mr MacAskill said: "For the second year in a row, crime in Scotland is down, to the lowest level in nearly 30 years.

"With record numbers of police officers tackling crime and serving our communities, this Government is working to make Scotland safer and stronger.

"We all have a role to play in helping the police and standing up for our communities. If you see or suspect a crime is being carried out, pick up the phone to the police or tell Crimestoppers anonymously - don't ignore it or hope someone else reports it.

"Whether it is someone breaking into a house or car or someone being attacked, we all have a responsibility to tell the police. We make our communities safer by looking after each other."

Mr MacAskill welcomed the reduction in crime and the higher clear up rate but said the police will not become complacent. They are committed to taking the action needed to drive crime down further and for the long term.


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