Understanding the statistics on crime for an area you’re considering is absolutely imperative. It better illustrates the safety and security of the region you’re considering, as well as what you can expect should you decide to move to the area, or set up a fledgling business.
At Churchill Support Services, that’s something we understand as well as anyone. We’re one of the leading providers of security services across the UK, and we pride ourselves on understanding crime rates, as well as what you can best do to mitigate the risks of criminal activity in your chosen area.
With this article, we’ll be looking at one of the UK’s constituent countries – Scotland. We’ll break down all the key towns and cities across the northernmost reaches of the UK, and compare how their individual crime rates stack up.
We’ll also look at what the most prevalent types of crime are in each region, and what that might mean for the overall security of your home and business.
In the interests of providing a completely objective and unbiased overview of the crime statistics for Scotland, we’ll be using data from local police forces, stored on the Official Scottish Government Statistics website.
We’ll then display this as a ratio of crimes per 1000 people living in the area. This allows us to account for factors that can fluctuate between different places, such as the size of the area, or the region’s population.
We’ll also use the Scottish Government’s collective terms, so in the interests of clarity, here’s a brief look at that terminology:
As part of our research here, we’ll be looking at the major towns and cities across Scotland, as well as the country as a whole, and what you can expect in terms of the prevalence of crime in that region.
Scotland is far more than just a member country of the UK. From blossoming forests and vast stretches of rippling vales and peaks, to the winding cobbles of historic Edinburgh at the country’s heart, Scotland has earned its title as one the UK’s primary attractions.
A diverse landscape sees bustling metropolises rub shoulders with lochs, high-speed highways give way to serpentine country lanes, and rugged coastlines bleed into pocket-sized islands as the Scottish Highlands metamorphosise into the Orkneys and the Shetlands.
Skies hum with a hint of the Northern Lights, or with the whispers of fireworks on Burns Night, and complete what could be said to be a fairy-tale picture of the British Isles. And, with a somewhat stable crime rate of 52.4 crimes per 1000 people, Scotland completes that storybook scenario with one of the lowest rates of crime UK-wide.
Of course, there are still issues for Scottish security that aren’t to be ignored. Scotland’s chief issue is with crimes of dishonesty (92,873 offences), which encompasses various crimes like theft (36,444 offences), shoplifting (22,913 offences) and fraud (16,536 offences).
Violent crime (69,286 offences) is also a major issue, especially as figures across that type of crime are the highest they’ve been across the last ten years of police reporting. Similar figures across crimes against society (61,059 offences) cause equal concern, with that encompassing drug possession (23,747 offences) and public order crimes (23,099 offences) amongst others.
However, that’s not to say that all areas of Scotland will have a similar rate of crime, especially given that each region is unique in both its draws and its issues. Let’s look at a few of the most populous areas of Scotland, and how their statistics stack up against the country and UK averages.
One of Scotland’s more ancient cities, and simultaneously one its more populous, Aberdeen couples history with modernity, all set against the backdrop of a crashing North Sea coastline. However, as idyllic as that might sound, the city harbours an above average crime rate of 68.9 crimes per 1000 residents.
With a total offence count of 15,781 crimes, the city clearly faces issues. Crimes of dishonesty (5520 incidents) were the most common, with road traffic offences (5453 incidents) and violent crime (3820 incidents) following closely behind.
A bustling town nestled on the Firth of Clyde, Ayr has long been a popular tourist resort in the South West reaches of Scotland thanks to its amber beaches and charming riverbank ambles. Equally attractive is its surprisingly low crime rate of 46.2 crimes per 1000 residents.
Of course, there are still threats to Ayr security. There’s substantial rates across crimes of dishonesty (1902 offences) and road traffic offences (1767 offences), both of which underscore the need to invest in effective safety measures in Ayr.
Coatbridge’s history in coal mining and manufacturing has since faded, leaving behind a reputation for industry, as well as a hard-working populace, and a penchant for unique architecture. Unfortunately, with the recession of that history comes a more modern crime rate with Coatbridge hovering at 54.7 crimes per 1000 residents.
Crimes of dishonesty (5315 offences) are the most pressing issue, with high rates across both theft (1808 offences) and shoplifting (1227 offences), although rising figures in violent crime (4050 offences) also spark concern for security in Coatbridge.
Located just north of the Solway Firth, Dumfries is one of Scotland’s more picturesque towns, with cobblestone streets and remnants of its medieval history melding with a modern economy and thriving market. The crime statistics are similarly modern, however, with a rate of 58 crimes per 1000 residents.
Within that, we find substantial numbers across road traffic offences (6847 incidents), crimes of dishonesty (2283 incidents), and crimes against society (2259 incidents), all of which underscore the need for effective Dumfries security.
One of Scotland’s largest cities, and one of its more dense in terms of population, the reasons behind Dundee’s popularity are obvious . A shimmering city grounded in heritage and culture, thoroughly modernised in its retail and architectural offerings, Dundee’s appeal is sadly sullied by its soaring crime rate of 80.7 crimes per 1000 residents.
Road traffic crimes (4928 offences) and crimes of dishonesty (4410 offences) are the city’s most prominent issues, with a startling number of incidents of unlawful vehicle usage (1826 offences) and shoplifting (1071 offences) dominating the headlines.
Formerly a royal burgh, the city of Dunfermline holds fast to its majestic past, with a skyline that’s reminiscent of its heritage, and streets that wind and encompass greenery and monuments in equal measure. Plus, with a comparatively calm crime rate of just 51.2 crimes per 1000 residents, it’s understandable why Dunfermline has become a hub for Fife.
However, the city still faces an uphill struggle with some types of crime. High rates across both road traffic offences (7001 incidents) and crimes of dishonesty (6206 incidents) are the largest threats for Dunfermline security.
One of Scotland’s newest towns, and arguably one of its more verdant, East Kilbride couples lush stretches of riverbanks and grasslands with the leisure and culture attractions that make it Scotland’s sixth-largest town. Plus a stable crime rate of 48.4 crimes per 1000 people ensures there’s an additional reason to choose the town.
Of course, that’s not to say there’s no threats to East Kilbride security. There’s substantial risk posed by the town’s high figures across road traffic offences (4859 incidents) and crimes of dishonesty (4610 incidents), as well as the rising numbers in crimes against society (4069 incidents).
Scotland’s capital is also one of its largest draws. A landscape that’s centred around its eponymous castle, Edinburgh is what many picture when they imagine Scotland. History, heritage and tourism combine to create an undeniably appealing prospect for those considering the area. Underscoring that unequivocal charm, though, is a crime rate of 60.7 crimes per 1000 residents.
Digging deeper into Edinburgh’s crime statistics, there’s soaring numbers across crimes of dishonesty (13,377 offences) and road traffic crimes (13,501 offences), with the most prevalent issue among the two being theft, at 5006 offences over the last year.
Falkirk’s extensive and storied history encompasses everything from pivotal battles to Scotland’s largest hub for the Industrial Revolution, but more recently it’s taken up a mantle as one of the country’s leading centres for the retail and service industry. Plus, with a lower than average crime rate of 49.6 crimes per 1000 residents, Falkirk’s appeal goes beyond its shops.
That rate does, however, encompass high figures across road traffic offences (2984 incidents), violent crime (2285 incidents) and crimes of dishonesty (2218 incidents), all of which highlight the need for effective security in Falkirk.
A beacon of sport and culture across of Scotland, Glasgow is not only its largest city, it’s also the 5th largest in the whole of the UK. A thriving economy that’s growing at a rate that’s only bested by London, the city presents a clear choice for the budding businessperson. However, a crime rate of 76.8 crimes per 1000 residents should also factor into that decision.
Glasgow’s main crime-related issues lie in the high figures across road traffic crimes (15,594 offences) and crimes of dishonesty (15,165 offences), with a slightly lower number of violent crimes (11,603 offences) underpinning the need for effective and robust security.
The quaint town of Greenock perches on the cusp of the River Clyde as it flows into the Firth, and harbours a flourishing sense of history and heritage thanks to its place as a prominent fishing port dating back to the 12th century. That link to the past ensures the town’s lower rate of crimes, which sits at just 50.2 crimes per 1000 residents.
That’s not to say the town is crime-free, however. Crimes against society (1220 offences) and crimes of dishonesty (1180 offences) are the town’s more pressing issues, and especially so given the substantial numbers across crimes against public justice (515 offences).
With a similar aesthetic and structure to its nearby neighbour in East Kilbride, Hamilton holds much of the same appeal, drawing in those looking for a more sedate pace of life that still retains the modern convenience we’d expect. With that similarity in mind, it’s no surprise the town has a similar rate of crime to its counterpart, hovering at 48.4 crimes per 1000 residents.
While statistics remain hazy, there’s substantial rates across road traffic offences, crimes of dishonesty and crimes against society, all of which reinforce the need for effective security across the Hamilton area.
Located at the yawning maw of the infamous Loch Ness, Inverness is the largest settlement across the entirety of the Highlands. A gateway to the Orkneys, Shetlands and onwards, the city is a true bastion of Scottish culture, with many of the last remnants of the Gaelic language found there. Plus, a crime rate of just 39.4 crimes per 1000 residents makes it all the more attractive a prospect.
There are still problems plaguing Inverness, however. Significant figures across road traffic offences (6438 incidents), crimes of dishonesty (2458 incidents) and crimes against society (2417 incidents) all present a focus for both police forces and security in Inverness.
With one of the more storied histories of Scotland’s small towns, Irvine’s extensive past means its often considered to be one of the more important regions for medieval history. While its since faded to a less influential role, Irvine still holds a place as an exceptionally beautiful area of Northern Ayrshire, as well as a relatively stable crime rate of 52.2 crimes per 1000 residents.
Crimes of dishonesty (2258 incidents) are the town’s primary issue, with significant figures across theft (806 incidents) and shoplifting (705 incidents) prompting a focus on sourcing effective security in Irvine.
The largest town in its county of East Ayrshire, Kilmarnock has undergone a much needed regeneration over recent years, seeing it become a much more attractive prospect to young professionals and families alike. An above average crime rate – 52.9 crimes per 1000 residents – however, does undercut that slightly.
The main issues for Kilmarnock security and safety stem from high figures in both road traffic offences (2030 incidents) and crimes of dishonesty (2013 incidents), although a worrying number of crimes against society (1484 incidents), and in particular drug possession and supply (695 incidents), are equally concerning.
The Kirkcaldy Bay area offers some of the more sweeping views of the stunning Firth of Forth, as well as a central hub for its region Fife, attracting both residents and tourists in even numbers. However, with a crime rate that’s consistently stayed around the Scottish average at 51.2 crimes per 1000 residents, crime is still a pressing issue.
While exact figures are uncertain, the town faces substantial issues with its rates in road traffic offences, crimes of dishonesty, and violent crime, all of which require increased focus on security services in Kirkcaldy.
One of the key feeder towns for the Scottish capital, Livingston couples exceptional public transport links with the trademark greenery and foliage we’d expect of Scotland’s rural regions. However, in spite of that tranquillity, we find a concerning crime rate of 50.1 crimes per 1000 residents.
Crimes of dishonesty are the town’s largest issue (3053 offences), with theft (1160 offences) and shoplifting (762 offences) showing worrying trends, but of equal concern for the security of Livingston businesses and residents is the high numbers in violent crime (2503 offences).
A formal royal burgh and now thriving market town in North Lanarkshire, Motherwell offers a potent blend of sites of outstanding natural beauty, and a burgeoning urban sprawl that hosts retail and cultural hotspots in equal measure. But with a crime rate that’s above the countrywide average at 54.7 crimes per 1000 residents, it’s sadly not all positive.
There’s significant numbers across road traffic offences (6166 incidents) and crimes of dishonesty (5315 incidents), all of which underscore the need for effective security in Motherwell and its surrounding areas.
One of the largest towns across the whole of Renfrewshire, Paisley lies in the Lowlands of Scotland, meaning it boasts some of the more lush greenery of anywhere in its county. Bisected by the River Cart, the town has undeniable appeal that extends to include its impressively low crime rate, which currently sits at 22.7 crimes per 1000 residents.
Of course, there are still reasons why Paisley security services are an absolute necessity. There’s high figures across road traffic crimes (855 offences) and crimes of dishonesty (854 offences), with unlawful vehicle use (315 offences) being one of the more prevalent issues for the town and its county.
A blossoming town on the banks of the River Tay, Perth is one of the flatter and more fertile areas of central Scotland. Flanked to its North and South by towering hills and cliffsides, the town’s geography isn’t its only draw – a low crime rate of just 38.7 crimes per 1000 residents seals the metaphorical deal.
Of course, that’s not to say the area is free of crime – no area truly is. Perth’s main issue stems from a soaring rate of road traffic offences (5848 incidents), which is one of the highest we’ve seen. As part of that, we see worrying figures across both speeding (1968 incidents) and the unlawful use of a vehicle (1636 incidents).
Perhaps most known as one of the closest towns to Glasgow, Rutherglen is a former royal burgh, and encompasses a range of different boroughs and residential areas, making it an ideal choice for both businesses and homeowners. Unfortunately not as ideal, however, is the town’s substantial crime rate – 48.4 crimes per 1000 residents.
Although exact statistics aren’t fully disclosed, Rutherglen’s key security concerns come from significant figures across three different types of criminal activity – road traffic offences, crimes of dishonesty and crimes against society.
One of the largest and most influential cities across central Scotland, Stirling has long since been an important centre. A market town that held sway across the surrounding farmlands has now transformed into a quintessential slice of Scotland, with bespoke architecture and luscious greenery. Plus, with a below average crime rate of 43.6 crimes per 1000 residents, it’s got undisputable appeal.
However, there are still sore points for Stirling’s security industry. The high figures in both road traffic offences (1806 incidents) and crimes of dishonesty (1200 incidents) are areas that clearly still need to be addressed, as well as a surprisingly high rate of crimes against society.
Balanced on the edge of the Clyde Valley, the town of Wishaw offers both a bustling, small-town economy, alongside swooping views of the Scottish countryside. However, that exquisite exterior masks a notable crime rate of 54.7 crimes per 1000 residents.
Although the Scottish Government doesn’t reveal their full statistics, it’s clear that Wishaw is substantially affected by the countywide rates of road traffic offences, crimes of dishonesty, and crimes against society.