McArthur responds to recorded crime figures


Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today demanded new resources to tackle sexual crimes as new figures showed that the number of these crimes recorded by the police continues to spiral.

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today demanded new resources to tackle sexual crimes as new figures showed that the number of these crimes recorded by the police continues to spiral.

Recorded Crime in Scotland, 2017-18, shows:

  • The total number of crimes recorded by the police increased by 1%;
  • The clear up rate was 49.5%;
  • The number of sexual crimes recorded is once again at a record high, with a 13% increase in the past year;
  • A 66% increase in sexual assault recorded by the police since 2011-12;
  • Rape and attempted rape recorded by the police has increased by 99% between 2010-11 and 2017-18;
  • Recordings of other sexual crimes increased by 198% between 2010-11 and 2017-18, including a 14% increase in the last year.

Police Scotland have cited that increased reporting, including that of historical (non-recent) crimes, may in part be responsible for the increase in recorded sexual crime.

Commenting on the figures, Mr McArthur said:

"Despite the best efforts of hard working officers and staff, the clear-up rate is now at its lowest level since Police Scotland was established. The first upturn in recorded crime for years is also cause for concern.

"Officers and staff continue to be let down by a lack of resources, the loss of valuable civilian expertise and the reliance on outdated IT systems."

On the rise in recorded sexual crimes, Mr McArthur added:

"This time last year the then Justice Secretary announced a new group to look at how to prevent sexual offending involving young people. Taking into account today's further overall rise in sexual crime, he should look at whether any early lessons can be learned from this group's work on how they can be better protected."

On the 421 'Revenge Porn' cases reported to police since the law came into force in July 2017, Mr McArthur said:

"Liberal Democrats campaigned for police to have the tools to clamp down on these despicable acts. It’s clear a lot of work still needs to be done to demonstrate to the public how unacceptable this behaviour is."


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