The Applied Quantitative Methods Network Director Susan McVie has responded to the latest figures from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey.
While she argues that we should be celebrating the fact that Scots are experiencing less crime, it is important to recognise that crime is not the same for everybody, with young people aged 16-24, men and people living in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland at a higher risk of being victims than others.
McVie also suggests that the gap in the risk of victimisation among those living in Scotland’s 15% most deprived communities and the rest of Scotland has widened. Between 2008-09 and 2012-13, the risk of victimisation fell by 18% for those living in the most deprived communities and very similar 17% for the rest of Scotland. However between 2012-13 and 2014-15, there was no reduction in risk of victimisation for the most deprived Scotland and yet risk fell by a further 17% for Scots living in other parts of the country.
McVie comments that people living in the most challenging and disadvantaged Scottish communities are at greater risk of experiencing crime than others in the first place, but the dividend of greater safety and security being enjoyed by other as crime falls does not apply to them. She adds that the fact Scots are experiencing less crime is to be celebrated. But, as long as we can identify a large and widening gap in equality between those for whom crime is a daily lived reality and those who have little risk of being victimised, the prospect of declaring Scotland an ‘inclusive and respectful society where all people live in safety and security’ is a bleak one.