The 2012/2013 Scottish Policing Performance Framework (SPPF) report revealed 809,483 crimes and offences for the final year of the eight regional police forces. According to Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, this is the lowest number recorded in nearly four decades, noting that a particularly encouraging development is the sharp drop in crimes committed by youngsters. On the downside, the number of registered sex offenders within the community stands at its highest in six years, the Herald has reported.
Detected crimes committed by children and teenagers from eight to 17 years old numbered 19,880 in the period under report, or April 2012 through to March 2013. This represents a drop of 52% compared to 2008/2009, when the number of such crimes totalled 41,203. These statistics refer to crimes where sufficient evidence is present to warrant prosecution. MacAskill said that this was great news given the negative impact of youth offending on communities.
As for sex offenders, 3,314 of them were living in the community last year. This figure translates into a 3% rise year-on-year and compares to 2,984 for 2008/2009. According to the report, the largest number was present in the Tayside area, which had 7.9 registered sex offenders per 10,000 people. At the other end of the spectrum was Grampian with 5.1 per 10,000 people.
The report also provides data on crime detection rates, noting that it had gone up by three percentage points between 2007/2008 and 2012/2013. This means that the detection rate climbed from 49% to 51% over that period.