A new study, published today by Public Health Scotland has shown that the introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP) in 2018 in Scotland had minimal impact on alcohol-related crime.

The research, undertaken by Manchester Metropolitan University’s Crime and Well-being Big Data Centre analysed Police Scotland data from January 2015 to January 2020, including 21 months of data after the implementation of MUP. These data show that alcohol-related crime had been going down before the introduction of the policy, and that there was no statistical change in either alcohol-related or drug-related crime after its introduction. 

According to Jon Bannister, Professor of Criminology at Manchester Metropolitan University, this suggests that the reduction in off-trade alcohol sales that occurred after the introduction of MUP may have been below that required to deliver a reduction in alcohol-related crime. Dr Karl Ferguson, Public Health Intelligence Advisor for Public Health Scotland noted that the research also demonstrates that there is limited evidence that MUP led to an increase in theft or illicit substance use.