Rise in violent offences as overall crime level falls

Police have recorded an increase in violent offences such as serious assault and robbery despite an overall fall in crime levels, new figures show.

The number of overall recorded crimes has fallen

Statistics on recorded crime show there were a total of 123,744 crimes recorded between 1 April and 30 September, a fall of around 2.3 per cent on the same period last year.

But the number of serious assaults rose nine per cent to 2,037 and robberies were up 6.8 per cent to 565, while the total number of crimes involving an offensive or bladed weapon rose 7.6 per cent to 1,652.

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The overall detection rate fell to 50.7 per cent from 51.6 per cent last year, although it was 77.5 per cent for violent crimes down 84 per cent.

Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said: “Recorded crime tells an important part of the story about policing, however the significant level of calls for service for non-crime related incidents creates a more complete picture about the demand on the organisation.

“We continue to see significant rises in incidents which relates to missing people, domestic abuse, traffic and motoring issues and anti-social behaviour.

“It is of course welcome that overall crime has fallen during the six months between April and September.

“We maintain a rigorous approach to preventing and detecting all crime. Crimes of violence and sexual crime, including rape, a priority for policing. Detection rates are constantly monitored and reviewed to ensure we take every appropriate and proportionate step to ensure offenders are traced and put before the courts.”

According to the figures, the overall number of sexual assaults rose 11.4 per cent to 3,407, including a six per cent rise in the number of rapes recorded.

Police Scotland has previously attributed the rise in sex offences to a rise in the reporting of historic cases, with an increased willingness on the part of victims to come forward.

Last week the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (ASPS) and the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) warned too much emphasis was being put on recorded crime statistics.

ASPS said reporting about recorded crime being at a 42-year low did not “in any way” represent day-to-day challenges faced by officers, while SPF said the statistics are “dangerously misleading”.