Crime in Scotland has dropped by around 25% since lockdown measures were introduced

However, fraud crime in Scotland has seen a 10 per cent increase

Crime in Scotland has dropped since lockdown started

Police Scotland said that crime across the country has reduced since social distancing measures came into effect.

Serious assaults have fallen by 40 per cent while common assaults were down by 25 per cent. Housebreaking incidents have reduced by around 30 per cent between March 24 and April 19.

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Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: "The significant changes that everyone is having to adjust to are undoubtedly having an effect on the nature and level of demand on policing.

"While decreases in assaults and housebreaking are to be welcomed, this information covers a relatively short period of time and care must be taken to avoid assumptions about trends.

"We are seeing, for example, a slight decrease in domestic abuse incidents but are acutely aware this may not reflect what is happening behind closed doors and we know that people don't always report abuse immediately."

She added: "For some, this period of physical distancing and isolation may expose them to a greater risk of abuse, harm and neglect.

"We have been using our social media channels to highlight our concern and raise awareness in communities. We want people to feel safe and we want to prevent harm by identifying people who may be at risk, and putting in place measures that will help keep them safe."

Breach of the peace has fallen by over 50 per cent while possession of drugs is down by around a fifth.

However, fraud crimes across Scotland have seen a 10 per cent increase, with evidence suggesting that criminals are exploiting the public health crisis.

Ms Taylor said: "It could be months or years before we have a clear picture of the effect that physical distancing requirements have had on some crime categories in Scotland.

"What I want to emphasise is that we remain committed to making sure that every one of Scotland's citizens is looked after.

"Our primary responsibility is to prevent crime. We strive to leave victims of crime feeling safe and we will continue to make sure that those who are living alone, the elderly, the vulnerable are given full protection."

Public nuisance type incidents, generally relating to people reporting those they believe are failing to adhere to physical distancing guidance, have more than doubled and now account for around a fifth of all incidents.

Noise incidents have also increased significantly, anecdotally related to the increased time which people are believed to be spending in their home address.

Ms Taylor said: "These early indications suggest that there are fewer crimes committed on the streets and in our town and city centres because the overwhelming majority of people are stepping forward to do their part to protect the NHS and save lives."