The number of rape and attempted rapes in Scotland has hit a record high, according to the latest recorded crime figures.

They showed a 5% increase on last year, up from 2,455 to 2,567 crimes. They were also up by 4% from the year ending June 2019.

Glasgow recorded more rapes and attempted rapes than anywhere else in Scotland, though the 326 reported in the city was down 4% on the previous year.

Edinburgh saw a 7% increase, up from 218 to 234.

Dundee jumped from 102 to 126, an increase of 24%, while Aberdeen recorded 99, a fall of 7%.

The largest percentage increase was in Orkney, where numbers jumped from 8 in the year ending June 2022 to 16 last year.

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In total, there were 14,834 sexual crimes recorded, down from 14,880 in the previous year.

While there were falls in the number of sexual assaults and crimes associated with prostitution, there was a significant increase in the number of crimes involving indecent photos of children, up from 683 to 795 crimes, a jump of 16%. That’s an increase of 50% from the year ending June 2019.

Sandy Brindley, the Chief Executive of Rape Crisis, said she was concerned by the "very high numbers of sexual crimes"  being reported.

"These figures aren’t just numbers. They represent the experience of survivors who have made the often very difficult decision to report.

"But it’s important to remember that the majority of survivors of rape and sexual violence never report the incident and their experiences are not reflected in these statistics.

“If and when a survivor is ready to report support throughout the entire process is available from local Rape Crisis centres across Scotland."

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The statistics also showed an increase in murder and culpable homicide, up by 8% compared to the previous year, from 50 to 54 crimes, though this is a significant decrease from the year ending June 2019 when 74 crimes were recorded.

There was also a drop in the number of serious assaults and attempted murders, down by 8% on the last year, and 22% from 2019.

Overall, police in Scotland recorded 292,702 crimes in the year ending June 2023, up by 2% on the previous year, but 4% lower than the 305,300 crimes recorded in the year ending June 2019.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs Angela Constance said the statistics showed that Scotland “continues to be a safe place to live.”

She added: “These continued low levels of crime are due to the efforts across policing, justice and community safety partners to deliver safer communities and our investment in the justice system.

“With recorded crime remaining at one of the lowest levels seen since 1974, the latest figures show reductions in crimes such as violence, sexual crimes and damage and reckless behaviour.

“We will continue to focus on crime prevention, reducing reoffending and supporting victims of crime.

"That is why we are investing £1.45 billion in policing in 2023-24, increasing the resource budget by 6.3%, an additional £80 million, despite difficult financial circumstances due to UK Government austerity and our fixed budget.”

The Herald:


Non-sexual crimes of violence were less than 1% lower compared to the previous year, while crimes of dishonesty were 7% higher.

Death by dangerous driving increased by 18% compared to the previous year, up from 39 to 46 crimes and increased by 7% from the year ending June 2019.

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Shoplifting increased by 21% compared to the previous year (from 24,877 to 30,202 crimes), but decreased by 10% from the year ending June 2019 (from 33,611 to 30,202 crimes).

Fraud increased by 3% compared to the previous year (from 16,461 to 16,956 crimes), and increased by 82% from the year ending June 2019 (from 9,310 to 16,956 crimes). Further explanation on the changes in levels of recorded fraud are available in the Recorded Crime in Scotland annual bulletin.

Urinating etc. decreased by 41% compared to last year, down from 1,590 to 932 offences. Down by 63% from the year ending June 2019, when 2,490 offences were recorded.

The Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Russell Findlay called the rise in the number of rapes "deeply alarming."

He criticised new sentencing guidelines introduced in January last year, which make rehabilitation rather than punishment a primary consideration for under 25s. 

At the time, the Scottish Sentencing Council said the new rules were based on "compelling scientific evidence on the development of cognitive maturity."

However, they came under scrutiny in April when Sean Hogg was given a community sentence for raping a 13-year-old girl.

Mr Findlay said: "The under-25 sentencing guidelines as well as use of diversion from prosecution means that some rapists are not being held to account.

“Shop staff and retailers say they’re under siege from shoplifters who think they can steal with impunity because they’re only likely to get a slap on the wrists.

“This crimewave comes against a backdrop of the SNP presiding over the lowest officer numbers since 2008 and allowing certain crimes in the North East to no longer even be investigated.

“The justice secretary needs to properly fund our police and our hardworking officers otherwise our communities will be put at even greater risk.”

Scottish Labour Justice spokesperson Pauline McNeill said: “Alarm bells should be ringing" over  the figures.

"But to anyone who has been following the SNP’s chaotic approach to policing they come as no surprise.

“For years the SNP has allowed our police force to become under-resourced, understaffed, and overworked – and it is our communities who pay the price.

“This is the worst police budget since devolution. Victims of crime are being let down by a government that sticks its head in the sand and has left Scotland’s criminal justice system in tatters.

“The SNP must get serious about tackling crime. They can start by investing in our police force and ensuring criminals once again actually face the letter of the law.”