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Criminal Proceedings in Scottish Courts, 2005/06

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6 Commentary: Sex and Age of Persons with a charge proved (Tables 5, 6(a) and 6(b))

6.1 Between 2004/05 and 2005/06, the overall number of convictions per 1,000 population decreased from 56 to 53 for males and from 10 to 9 for females. The number of convictions per 1,000 population in 2005/06 was generally lower than it was ten years previously for younger offenders but was similar for older offenders.

6.2 Males accounted for 84 per cent of all convictions in 2005/06; more males than females were convicted in almost all crime and offence categories. The main exception to this pattern was "other" crimes of indecency, where females accounted for 74 per cent of what are mainly offences related to prostitution. The other categories where females formed a higher than average proportion of those convicted included fraud (35 per cent), shoplifting (28 per cent), "other theft" (20 per cent), the offence of non-payment of a television licence (71 per cent) (this offence category being included within "other miscellaneous offences"), and "other" non-sexual crimes of violence" (35 per cent).

6.3 For males and females aged under 21, 13 per cent and 19 per cent respectively of convictions in 2005/06 were for crimes of dishonesty. Thirteen per cent and 23 per cent respectively were for common assault. Over half (57 per cent) of convictions for theft of a motor vehicle involved males aged under 21. Convictions for motor vehicle offences accounted for a much higher proportion of total convictions for those aged over 30 (45 per cent for males and 39 per cent for females) than they did for the under 21 age group (21 per cent for males and 15 per cent for females).

(An individual may be proceeded against on more than one occasion over the course of the year, with several charges involved on each occasion. Persons aged under 21 are more likely than older offenders to be convicted on a number of occasions, and hence to be counted more than once. Section 8 provides information on the characteristics of individuals in each age group who were convicted in 2005/06.)