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Scottish Victimisation Telephone Survey

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Researchers: Leon Page, Joe Rose
Published: February 2021

The aim of the SVTS 2020 was to collect data on the Scottish population’s experiences and perceptions of crime, safety, and policing, including any changes in crime or perceptions between the pre-COVID-19 lockdown period (23rd March 2020) and the period following this up to the end of September 2020.

Findings

  • There were an estimated 445,000 incidents of crime experienced by adults in Scotland between September 2019 and September 2020.
  • Around one in eleven (9%) adults in Scotland experienced crime over this time period.
  • The likelihood of experiencing crime was higher for those living in urban areas, and lower for those aged 60 and over.
  • Around 3% of the adult population of Scotland experienced two or more incidents of any crime. This group experienced 61% of all crime recorded by the SVTS.
  • 41% of crimes reported in the survey came to the attention of the police in some way.
  • Crime fell significantly (by around 35%) after the start of the UK’s first national lockdown
  • Just over half of people (54%) felt that crime in their local area had stayed about the same since the start of the UK’s first national lockdown
  • Around three in four (75%) adults felt safe when walking alone in their local area after dark and most people (87%) reported no change in how safe they felt walking alone in their local area after dark since the virus outbreak.
  • More than nine in ten (91%) adults said that the COVID-19 pandemic had not changed how worried they felt about being a victim of crime.
  • Three in five (60%) people believed the police in their local area were doing an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ job.

Methodology

The SVTS 2020 was a social survey which asked people about their experiences and perceptions of crime, safety, and policing during the COVID-19 pandemic.The results are based on a sample of around 2,700 telephone interviews conducted in September and October 2020. The survey is designed to be nationally representative of all private residential households in Scotland.