Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, 2010-11


Scotland's Chief Statistician today published Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, 2010-11.

This publication presents statistics on court proceedings and sentencing, as well as statistics on bail orders and undertakings.

The key findings of the statistics are:

  • A total of 115,398 people were convicted in 2010-11, a decrease of five per cent on the previous year.
  • 89 per cent of people proceeded against in Scottish courts in 2010-11 were convicted, up from 88 per cent in 2009-10.
  • The number of people with a charge proved fell for most crime groups including serious assault and attempted murder which fell by 7 per cent (from 1,507 in 2009-10 to 1,406 in 2010-11), crimes of dishonesty and handling offensive weapons, which fell by 14 per cent (from 2,866 to 2,473). Numbers increased for a handful of crime groups, including sexual assault, which increased by 8 per cent (from 260 in 2009-10 to 280 in 2010-11) and 'other' non-sexual crimes of violence, which increased by 56 per cent (from 305 in 2009-10 to 476 in 2010-11).
  • 53 per cent of people were convicted in sheriff summary courts, down from 54 per cent in 2009-10, while the proportion of people convicted in District/Justice of the Peace (JP) courts rose from 42 per cent in 2009-10 to 43 per cent in 2010-11.
  • The number of custodial sentences imposed by courts was 15,268, three per cent down on 2009-10, although as a proportion of all main penalties, the use of custody remained at 13 per cent.
  • The average length of custodial sentences in 2010-11 was just over nine months (277 days).
  • The use of financial penalties declined by seven per cent between 2009-10 and 2010-11 to 67,525.
  • Anti-Social Behaviour Fixed Penalty Notices (ASBFPNs) were issued to 54,243 people as a main penalty in 2010-11, down 11 per cent from 61,208 in 2009-10; the vast majority were issued for three of the ten offences for which they are available; 46 per cent for consuming alcohol in a public place, 25 per cent for breach of the peace and 23 per cent for urinating etc.
  • Police Formal Adult Warnings (FAWs) were given as a main penalty to 7,381 people in 2010-11, down 11 per cent from 8,340 in 2009-10.
  • In 2010-11, 35,446 people were issued with a fiscal fine as a main penalty (down 1 per cent from 35,700 in 2009-10). Crimes and offences for which fiscal fines were commonly issued include Communications Act offences, i.e. mainly TV licensing (25 per cent), consuming alcohol in a public place (9 per cent) and breach of the peace (7 per cent).