Crime in Scotland fell by 38% after the start of the first lockdown last year, a report suggests.
The UK was placed in lockdown on March 23 as coronavirus began to take hold, with schools and shops closed and a stay at home order put in place.
A survey by the Scottish Government involving 2,654 Scots asked if they had been the victim of crime between September 2019 and September 2020.
According to a report published alongside the survey, an estimated 61% (269,000) of recorded crimes occurred before lockdown, compared to 39% (176,000) after – with both periods being relatively the same length.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “The report suggests that the number of crimes experienced by adults in Scotland fell by around 35% following the start of the first UK lockdown, providing another indication of the profound impact the pandemic and actions taken to stop the virus’s spread has had on Scotland’s population and society.”
Just 9% of those asked said they had been the victim of a crime over the year from September 2019, with 6% saying it happened once and 3% being targeted twice or more.
However, those who were the victims of two or more crimes also accounted for 61% of all crimes, the study said.
The survey also asked for views on policing during the period, with 60% saying they believe officers were doing a “good” or “excellent” job and 74% are satisfied with how the police have done during the pandemic.
Mr Yousaf added: “The findings in relation to public support for policing during the pandemic underlines how well-served Scotland is by its police service.
“The police are carrying out a difficult job in challenging times, keeping people safe, and it is important that they have the support of the communities they serve.”
Two-thirds (67%) of the crimes committed against those asked in the survey were property offences, while 33% were violent crimes.