SCOTLAND

Feeling unsafe out at night

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • People on below-average incomes are twice as likely to feel very unsafe walking alone in their area at night as those on above-average incomes.
  • Similarly, those in social housing are almost twice as likely to feel unsafe than owner occupiers.  There is, however, less difference by social class.
  • People in urban areas are more than twice as likely to feel unsafe walking alone in their area at night as those in rural areas.
  • Similarly, those living in the most deprived areas are twice as likely to feel unsafe walking alone in their area at night as those living in areas with below-average deprivation
  • Note that, in all cases, the proportion feeling very unsafe is very low (a tenth or less).
  • Data from the Scottish Crime Survey suggests that feeling very unsafe walking alone at night is far more of a problem for women than men, and for those aged over 60 more than those under 60.

Definitions and data sources

All five graphs show the proportion of people who feel unsafe walking alone in their area at night.

In the first graph, the data is broken down by the type of area using a six category urban-rural hierarchy stretching from the four cities at one end to remote rural areas at the other.  The definitions are: ‘the four cities’: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen; ‘other urban’: population between 10,000 and 125,000; ‘small accessible’: population between 3,000 to 10,000 and within 30 minutes drive of a settlement of more than 10,000; ‘small remote’: population between 3,000 to 10,000 and more than 30 minutes drive of a settlement of more than 10,000; ‘accessible rural’: population less than 3,000 and within 30 minutes drive of a settlement of more than 10,000; and ‘remote rural’: population less than 3,000 and more than 30 minutes drive of a settlement of more than 10,000.

In the second graph, the data is broken down by the level of deprivation of the area, using the 2006 Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.

In the third graph, the data is broken down by net income quintile.  Note that these incomes are the net income of the highest income earner in the household and partner (if applicable).  As such, they are not directly comparable with other surveys and single person households will be disproportionately represented in the poorest quintile.

In the fourth graph, the data is broken down by housing tenure.

In the fifth graph, the data is broken down by social class (omitting those whose social class is not known, which is around a third of them).

The data source for all the graphs is the Scottish Household Survey (SHS).  To improve its statistical reliability, the data is the average for the latest three years.

All the graphs include all those who answered either ‘very unsafe’ or ‘a bit unsafe” when asked ‘how safe do you feel walking alone in your neighbourhood after dark?’

Overall adequacy of the indicator: high.  The SHS is a large survey designed to be representative of private households and of the adult population in private households in Scotland.