This indicator estimates the proportion of people who have a positive perception of the general crime rate in their local area, as measured by the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey.

Source of Data:

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS)

The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) measures crime by interviewing a representative sample of Scotland’s population about their experiences of crime in the past year, perceptions of the criminal justice system and services in Scotland. The survey includes crime reported and not reported to the police (and therefore will not be in the crime statistics recorded by the police), providing a more accurate estimate of the extent of victimisation in Scotland of crimes covered by the survey.

The SCJS uses a pre-selected sample which aims to be representative of households in Scotland. In 2018/19, 5,537 interviews (from a target of 6,000) were conducted face-to-face using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interview) and CASI (Computer-Assisted Self Interview) for sensitive topics.

Survey results are estimates produced using weighted analysis of survey data. All results therefore have associated confidence intervals. Some of these are outlined in the SCJS reports, and others can be calculated using an online tool. Confidence intervals are important for assessing whether apparent changes overtime or differences amongst population sub-groups are statistically significant.

The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey is designated as a National Statistic.

SCJS Main Findings reports, technical notes and data tables are available at the SCJS on the Scottish Government website.


People: respondents to the SCJS, a representative sample of the adult Scottish population (aged 16+)

Local area: within 15 minutes’ walk of the respondent's house

Positive perception: where people believe that crime had ‘stayed the same’ or ‘reduced’ in the past 2 years

General crime: the SCJS question used for measurement asks about ‘crime in general’

Criteria for Change:

The criteria for change will vary every year, as the most recent results are compared against the previous year.

This evaluation is based on the results presented in the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) Main Findings report. The calculation for detecting statistically significant change uses the SCJS estimates and their base sizes. This produces an accurate test statistic to compare against the absolute difference between two estimates.

The evaluation this year (2018/19) is based on:

  • any change within +/-2.1 percentage points on the previous survey’s (2017/18) figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change
  • an increase of 2.1 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving
  • a decrease of 2.1 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening

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