VIOLENT crime has fallen but the number of sexual offences is up 10%, according to new figures.
The total number of all crimes dropped 3% and is now at its lowest since 1975, the Scottish Government data revealed.
Seven of the country’s eight police forces recorded less crime.
Grampian Police recorded a 5.4% drop in crime in the last year.
Serious assault, sexual assault, robbery, housebreaking and handling offensive weapons were all down. And the overall number of offences in Scotland was 314,186 between 2011 and 2012 – 9,061 fewer recorded crimes than the previous year.
The number of non-sexual violent crimes, such as murder, attempted murder and serious assault, fell 17% to 9,533.
Overall sex crimes were up from 6,696 to 7,359, with rape and attempted rape up 13%, while the number of other sexual offences rose by 48%.
Officials said comparisons in this category should be treated with caution because of changes in the way some crimes are classified following the implementation of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act in December 2010.
A drop of 10% in the number of sexual assaults was also recorded.
Clear-up rates for all recorded crimes remain in line with the last three years’ level of 49%, according to Scotland’s Chief Statistician.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill welcomed the 37-year low in overall crime.
He said: “I congratulate every one of the more than 17,000 police officers across Scotland for their excellent work to prevent and detect crime and catch criminals.”