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Criminal Proceedings in Scottish Courts, 2005/06

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8 Commentary: Characteristics of Individual Offenders (Tables 13 and 14, Chart 5)

8.1 The preceding sections of the bulletin generally present information in terms of persons convicted in court for all crimes and offences. In those statistics, each occasion on which a person is convicted is counted once, so that one individual offender may be counted on a number of occasions throughout the year. It is possible to analyse convictions for crimes and certain offences (common assault, breach of the peace, racially aggravated conduct and harassment, firearms offences and social security offences) by individual offender. This next section presents information on the 48,900 individual offenders who were convicted for these crimes and offences on at least one occasion in 2005/06.

8.2 Around half of the 72,900 convictions acquired by the 48,900 individual offenders in 2005/06 were accounted for by the 25 per cent of individuals who were convicted on more than one occasion.

8.3 In 2005/06, the peak age for convictions was 18. The proportion of 18 year olds in the Scottish population who were convicted on at least one occasion for a crime or relevant offence was much higher for males (7.1 per cent) than females (1.2 per cent).

8.4 Of the 48,900 individuals convicted at least once in 2005/06 for a crime or relevant offence, 65 per cent had accumulated at least one previous conviction for these crimes and offences in the period 1996/97 to 2005/06, including 12 per cent with over 10 such previous convictions. This latter proportion was higher for males (13 per cent) than for females (9 per cent), and was highest for the 21-30 year old age group (20 per cent).

8.5 Sixty-nine per cent of the 6,100 individuals sentenced to custody (on their last sentencing occasion) in 2005/06 for a crime or relevant offence had at least one previous custodial conviction for these crimes and offences in 1996/97 to 2005/06. Sixty-two per cent of this group of offenders had previously received a community sentence; and 37 per cent had previously been convicted in solemn proceedings.

Chart 5: Individual offenders per 10,000 population with one or more charges proved in court in 2005/06 for a crime or relevant offences

Chart 5: Individual offenders per 10,000 population with one or more charges proved in court in 2005/06 for a crime or relevant offences