Home | Types of Inequality | The Changing Profile of Crime Victims In Scotland Has The Crime Drop Resulted In

The changing profile of crime victims in Scotland: Has the crime drop resulted in greater concentration of inequalities?

McVie, Norris, Pillinger and Skott.

Building on previous work (McVie, Norris and Pillinger, 2019) this analysis aims to explore the factors that have influenced growing inequality in the experience of victimisation over the period of the crime drop in Scotland.  Key research questions are:

·         To what extent has the crime drop resulted in a widening gap in risk of exposure to victimisation (based on frequency and type of crime)?

·         What factors explain this widening gap in the risk of exposure to victimisation?

·         To what extent could any widening inequality be a result of economic stress (potentially as a result of the financial crash) as opposed to other social characteristics of the Scottish population?

Type(s) of inequality and how inequality is defined

We focus principally on the issue of inequality in exposure to crime victimisation.  In doing so, we take account of differences according to age, sex, socio-economic status, economic stress, educational level and health conditions.

Approach or method used

Using the SCJS spine, we use latent growth curve analysis to identify typical victim classes that existed over the period from 2008/09 and 2017/18 and how they changed over a ten year period when crime was falling.  We then explore which individual and household characteristics are associated with a greater probability of belonging to a particular latent class.  The analysis will use a range of variables that are available within the SCJS to characterise victim profiles (including gender, age, ethnicity, marital status, social class, household composition, tenure, and accommodation type, length of residence, income, economic stress, and number of vehicles).  We are particularly interested in the economic variables as this period in time coincides with the ten years following the financial crash of 2008.

Key findings/results:

The findings are not yet available. 

Implication of findings/relevance to policy:

In policy terms, this paper speaks to fundamental issues of social justice and distributive fairness.  It has the potential to impact on Scottish Government policies around the Justice in Scotland programme and investment in services for victims of crime.  It could help to identify whether economic stress, as a result of the financial crash, could have impacted on widening inequality between victims and non-victims, and could help to direct more resource towards specific groups within the population who are less immune from crime even during a period of significant crime reduction.

Research Team

Dr Paul Norris