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Fewer robberies happen in public spaces, a new study finds

A new report carried out by the Scottish Government looked at data on robbery in the past decade.

“Robbery” is a category used by Police Scotland to describe crimes that are perpetrated in order to gain property. The study compares crime statistics from 2008-9 and 2017-18. The study found that the number of robberies almost halved in Scotland in within this period.

Furthermore, the “classic” scenario - where the victim does not know the perpetrator and the robbery happens in a public space - seems to be less frequent.

Here are some of the key findings of the study:

  • Fewer robberies happen in public spaces: 73 per cent of robberies occurred in public spaces, compared to 88 per cent a decade earlier. This shows that the majority still happen in public, however, this type of crime is much less common.
  • Fewer robberies are committed by strangers: Robberies in private spaces or committed by somebody known by the victim became more common, although strangers still commit the majority of robberies (63%).
  • The percentage of male victims dropped, and female victims increased: The majority (60%) of victims are still males, but the percentage of female victims increased by more than 10% (from 27% to 38%).
  • Perpetrators are less likely to be teenagers: The average age of perpetrators was 28 in 2017-8 while it was much lower, 23 in 2008-9. This shows a reduction in the number of young offenders.
  • Fewer assaults involve knives: Robberies in 2017-8 were less likely to involve knives or other bladed/pointed objects than in 2008-9 (dropping from 43% to 35%.)

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