HC Deb 23 March 1984 vol 56 cc604-5W
Mr. Dewar

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the clear-up rate for housebreaking offences in Scotland in 1963, 1973 and for the last year for which figures are available.

Mr. Younger

The requested rates for 1973 and 1983 are given in the following table. Because a comparable figure for 1963 is not available, clear-up rates for housebreaking and theft by opening lockfast places for 1963, 1973 and 1983 are also given.

Crimes cleared up by the police as a percentage of those recorded, Scotland
1963 1973 1983*
Housebreaking 27 18
Housebreaking and theft by opening lockfast places 27 27 17
* Provisional.
Not available.


The recorded clear-up rates for many crimes fell sharply in 1975. In May of that year, the 20 Scottish police forces were reorganised into eight based on the new local government areas. Standardised recording practices for crime were introduced in the new forces and in some areas some minor, largely undetected, incidents which had not previously been recorded, were brought into the system for the first time. This resulted in a large increase in crimes recorded but no corresponding rise in cases cleared up and hence a fall in the clear-up rate. Since 1976, the clear-up rate for housebreaking has been fairly stable at around 20 per cent., with that for theft by opening lockfast places at about 14 per cent.

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