Crime in Scotland down 22%

Reported crime in Scotland is down 22% compared with five years ago, according to latest figures.

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Around 815,000 criminal offences were committed in 2012-13 compared with more than 1.4 million in 2008-9.

An estimated one in six (16.9%) people were the victim of at least one crime last year, according to the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS).

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "This survey confirms what we already know. Crime is falling, the risk of being a victim of crime is falling and more people are feeling safer in their communities.

"The chance of being a victim of crime continues to be in lower in Scotland than in England and Wales, and violent crime in Scotland has fallen by a quarter since 2008-09.

"It is also reassuring to see that confidence in the police and the criminal justice system continues to improve.

"The crime and justice survey considers how people in our communities perceive crime and how safe they feel in their homes.

"These statistical trends are consistent with recorded crime statistics which show crime in Scotland is at its lowest level in almost 40 years with the 1,000 additional police officers that this government has put in communities protecting the public."

Violent offences such as assault and robbery accounted for around 29% of crimes committed.

The biennial report found about two-thirds (66%) of victims of crime were satisfied with the way the police handled their case and 73% expressed confidence in their local police force's ability to investigate incidents after they occur.

Just over half (56%) were confident about the police's ability to prevent crime.

Respondents were more likely to think that they were likely to experience crime than they actually were, with six times as many adults believing they were likely to have their home broken into than actually did.

When it comes to prosecuting offenders, two-thirds (66%) of those surveyed agreed that community sentencing is an effective way of dealing with less serious crime.

Less than half (43%) were confident that the justice system deals with cases promptly and efficiently, however, and 32% believed that courts give punishments that fit the crime.

The report covers the year from April 2012 to March 2013, before Scotland's single police force was established.

The survey questioned 12,000 adults living in Scotland on their experiences and perceptions of crime.

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