10 facts about crime and policing under the SNP

Since 2007, SNP Scottish Governments have taken real action to make Scotland a safer place.

We’re working hard to tackle crime, reduce inequality, invest in our police and reform our justice system.

Here’s the facts.

1. Over 880 more police officers under the SNP

Scotland now has 883 more police officers since the SNP came into office.

On 31 December 2021, Scotland had 17,117 police officers, which is an over 5% increase in police numbers from March 2007.

2. More police officers per head of population than anywhere else in the UK

Scotland has significantly more police numbers than elsewhere in the UK, protecting our communities.

Per 10,000 of population, Scotland has around 32 police officers – compared to around 23 in England and Wales.

3. Proper pay rise for Scotland’s police officers

We recognise the hard work being done by police officers to make our communities safer.

That’s why we’ve delivered a £700 pay rise in 2021/22, and a one-off payment of £250, despite the continuing cuts from Westminster.

This contrasts with England and Wales, where most officers received no pay increase.

4. Protecting our police budget

Despite constraints on Scotland’s public services through a decade of UK Tory austerity, the Scottish Government has increased the policing budget for by £40.5million in the 2022/23 Budget.

This protects the police budget in real terms, and delivers a sustainable budget position – meaning our police services can be fit for the future. The annual budget for policing in 2022/23 is almost £1.4billion.

5. Recorded crime at one of the lowest levels in 50 years

Recorded crime in Scotland remains at low levels, according to latest figures.

The number of crimes recorded by Police Scotland in 2020-21 was 246,511 – one of the lowest levels since 1974.

By all main measures crime, including violent crime, is now considerably lower than it was a decade ago, with fewer victims.

6. Investing to tackle violence against women and girls

We want to build a Scotland where all individuals are equally safe and respected, and where women and girls live free from all forms of violence and abuse, as well as the toxic attitudes that cause it.

Our funding to tackle violence against women and girls is at record high levels.

Through our £20 million investment, we’re improving support for victims of violence and sexual assault, and supporting vital frontline services.

7. Reconviction rate at one of the lowest levels in 22 years

We have ended automatic early release, meaning that long-term prisoners who pose an unacceptable risk to public safety will serve their sentence in full.

The reconviction rate in Scotland, which is the percentage of offenders who are re-convicted in a year, is now at one of its lowest levels in 22 years.

8. Investing in community projects through proceeds of crime

We have introduced Cashback for Communities, a youth programme unique to Scotland that has helped transform the lives of 106,000 young people in the past three years.

Since 2008, £110 million from the proceeds of crime has been committed to community projects – reinvests seized criminal assets into benefitting young people and helping to tackle anti-social behaviour.

9. World-leading Domestic Abuse Act

We’ve passed legislation to give more powers to police and courts to protect people at risk of domestic abuse.

Our world-leading Act enables police and courts to ban suspected abusers from re-entering the home, and from approaching or contacting the person at risk for a period of time.

It also allows social landlords to end or transfer the tenancy of a perpetrator of domestic abuse to its victim.

10. New justice strategy for safer, more resilient Scotland

We have published a 10-year vision for a more just, safe resilient Scotland – free from inequality and hate.

Here’s what it seeks to achieve:

  • A reduction in crime and unintentional harm in our communities, improving all of our life chances by tackling societal issues like poverty, mental ill health and addiction.
  • Fair access to justice where the rule of law is respected, citizens are empowered to exercise their rights, and justice services can be accessed with no financial barriers.
  • Ensuring that victims’ voices will be heard first and foremost, and that they’re supported to recover from the trauma they have experienced.
  • Supporting rehabilitation by the most effective means, primarily remaining in our communities – with support and opportunities for fair work, employment and housing.