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People feel safer on the streets than they did a decade ago, survey finds

Most adults surveyed expressed confidence in the effectiveness of their local police (PA)
Most adults surveyed expressed confidence in the effectiveness of their local police (PA)

The Scottish public considered themselves safer on the streets from criminals last year than they did over a decade ago, according to a national survey.

The latest Scottish Crime and Justice Survey also showed the proportion of people experiencing specific types of crime covered by the analysis was at an historic low.

Members of the public who took part in the survey were asked about their experiences of violent crime and property crime, including personal theft, other household theft and vandalism.

They were also quizzed about their perceptions of crime, policing and the justice system.

Most adults expressed confidence in the effectiveness of their local police, including their ability to handle incidents and solve crimes.

The survey of about 5,600 adults across Scotland estimated that since 2008-09 the volume of crime has fallen by 53%, the proportion of people experiencing crime has fallen from one in five to about one in 10 and that violent crime has decreased by 58%.

The analysis also estimated property crime was down by 51% and the proportion of people who feel safe walking home alone after dark has increased from 66% to 76%.

Justice Secretary Angela Constance said: “This flagship national survey indicates that crime has fallen by more than half since 2008-09 and that people feel safer in their local communities.

“While the fact that most people will not experience crime is welcome, I know that there can be a significant impact for those who do, particularly in cases of violent and sexual offences.

“These statistics are consistent with other official sources which show that recorded crime is at one of the lowest levels since 1974.

“This is testimony to the efforts of Scotland’s police, justice and community safety partners and this Government’s investment in the justice system.

“Our police officers work tirelessly to keep us all safe – and their effectiveness in doing so is reflected in the results of this survey.

“As police operations adapt to meet changes in how crime is committed – for example, with increasing numbers of offences being committed online – we will continue to support Police Scotland as part of efforts to help keep crime down and communities safe.”