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Statistics in more details

Image of police talking to members of the publicSummary: Age and Crime and Justice

Risk of Crime

  • The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey estimates that 13.4% of adults were victims of at least one crime in 2016/17, down from 20.4% in 2008/09 (but no change since 2014/15).

  • The likelihood of being a victim of any crime decreased with age. Just under one fifth (19.5%) of 16 to 24 year olds were a victim of crime in 2016/17, compared with 7.2% of those 60 or over.

  • The likelihood of being a victim of violent crime decreased with age. 5.3% of those aged 16-24 were victims of at least one violent crime in 2016/17, compared to 0.4% of those aged 60+. The proportion of 16-24 year olds experiencing violent crime has more than halved since 2008/09, falling from 12.0% to 5.3%. In contrast, the prevalence rates for all other age groups have shown no significant change over this period.

Source: Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2016-17 (Last updated: March 2018)

 

civil lawLegal System - Civil Law
  • 21% of adults had experienced at least one civil law problem in the last three years. Including:
    • 14% of adults had experienced problems with home, family or living arrangements;
    • 7% had experienced problems with money, finance or things they had paid for.
  • The most common civil law problem was with neighbours, which 9% had experienced, followed by problems to do with money & debt (3%) and problems to do with faulty goods or services (3%).
  • People aged over 60 are less likely to have experienced civil legal problems in the last three years than those in other age brackets (11% of those aged over 60, compared to 18% of those aged 16-24, 29% of those aged 25-44, and 24% of those aged 45-59).
  • In addition those aged over 60 tend to suffer from a fewer number of problem and dispute types: an average 1.37 types compared to 1.72 for those aged 16-24, 1.61 for those aged 25-44, and 1.49 for those aged 45-59[1]

Source: Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2014/15 (Last updated: March 2016)

 

scales of justiceLegal System - Criminal Law
  • The most common ages for criminal legal aid were 17 to 21 years. The age pattern for those applying for solemn legal aid is similar. 

Source: Scottish Legal Aid Board, Single Equality Scheme: annual report 2011

This research has been carried out independently of the Scottish Government, the results are hosted on an external website and the findings do not necessarily represent the views of the Scottish Government or Scottish Ministers.

  • In 2007-08 the age with the highest conviction rate was for those aged 18-20 at 97 convictions per 1,000 population. Since 2007-08, the age with the highest conviction rate has shifted upwards. The highest conviction rate was for those aged 21-30 in 2016-17 and stood at 41 convictions per 1,000 population. Conviction rates by age follow similar trends for both males and females.

Source: Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, 2016-17 (Last updated: February 2018)

 

criminal justice social workCriminal Justice Social Work
  • Among the population aged 16 to 70 as a whole, there were 70 Criminal Justice Social Work Reports (CJSWRs) per 10,000 population in 2016-17. Reflecting the general age distribution of offenders, CJSWRs were most commonly submitted for young adults, particularly those aged 18 to 20 (148 per 10,000 population).
  • The incidence was also relatively high amongst 21 to 25 year olds (128 per 10,000 population) and 26 to 30 year olds (122 per 10,000 population).

Source: Criminal Justice Social Work Statistics 2016-17 (Last updated: February 2018)

 

Prison Population 

Age distribution of prisoners by gender: 30 June 2013

EEF - prison

  • The age profile of women prisoners tends to be somewhat older than that for men, as shown in the chart above.

Source: Prison statistics and population projections Scotland 2013/14 (Published: December 2015)

 

Reconviction Rates

There has been a marked fall in the average number of reconvictions for offenders aged under 25 over the past decade. In 2005-06 the average number of reconvictions per offenders in the under 21 age group was 0.80 and it has decreased 20 per cent to 0.64 in 2013-14. In the same period the average number of reconvictions per offender for the 21 to 25 age group decreased by 26 per cent from 0.68 to 0.50.

More recently however, the reconviction rate for the under 21 age group has increased for the second time in a row, rising by nearly 2 percentage points from 33.4% in 2012-13 to 35.3% in 2014-15.

In contrast to the younger age groups, average numbers of reconvictions per offender for the older age groups have generally increased over the past decade. Between 2005-06 and 2014-15 the average number of reconvictions per offender for the 31 to 40 age group increased by 14 per cent from 0.49 to 0.56, and increased by 13 per cent for the over 40 age group from 0.31 to 0.35.

Average number of reconvictions per offender by age: 2005-06 and 2014-15 cohorts

rwc1

Source: Reconviction Rates in Scotland: 2014-15 Offender Cohort (Last updated: May 2017)

 

Recorded Crime

Sexual crimes known to involve children recorded by the police, 2016-17

Sexual crimes

Number of

crimes recorded

Rape or attempted rape of a child aged 13-15 196
Rape or attempted rape of a child aged under 13 153

Sexual assault against a child aged 13-15 years

423

Sexual assault against a child under 13 years

538

Lewd and libidinous practices 1,327

Other sexually coercive conduct against a child aged 13-15 years

408

Other sexually coercive conduct against a child under 13 years

552

Other sexual offences involving 13-15 year old children

452

Taking, distribution, possession etc. of indecent photos of children

649

Other sexual offences against children 64

Total

4,762

  • Whilst the specific age of the victim cannot generally be determined from the data supplied by Police Scotland, many of the sexual offence crime codes used by the Police to record crime make it clear when the victim was aged under 18 (for example, Sexual assault of older male child (13-15 years)). By adding up all those crime codes, we know that at least 44% of the 10,822 sexual offences recorded in 2016-17 by the police related to a victim under the age of 18.

Source: Recorded Crime in Scotland, 2016-17 (Last updated: September 2017)

 

Domestic abuse
  • In 2016-17, the 26-30 year old age group had the highest rate per 10,000 population for both victims (274 incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police per 10,000 population) and perpetrators (265 incidents recorded per 10,000 population).

  • In 2016-17, female victims aged 22-25 and 26-30 had the highest rate (445) of incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police per 10,000 population. Among male victims, the highest rate of incidents of domestic abuse recorded per 10,000 population in 2016-17, was for those aged, 31 to 35 years, where the rate was 105 incidents recorded per 10,000 population.

  • For perpetrators in 2016-17, the highest rate of incidents of domestic abuse per 10,000 population was amongst males aged 26-30 (438 incidents recorded per 10,000 population). Among female perpetrators, the highest rate of incidents of domestic abuse per 10,000 population in 2016-17 was by those aged 19-21, 22-25, and 31-35 years old (96 incidents recorded per 10,000 population).

Source: Domestic abuse recorded by the police in Scotland, 2016-17 (Last updated: October 2017)

 

National Performance Framework

National Performance Framework

Fifty National Indicators enable progress towards the achievement of the National Outcomes and ultimately the delivery of the Purpose to be tracked.

Indicators are chosen to show how the Scottish Government are progressing on the range of Outcomes. Equality breakdowns illustrate how protected groups are progressing towards achievement of the National Outcomes, particularly ‘we have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society’.

National Indicator number 29: Improve people's perceptions about the crime rate in their area, data tables

National Indicator number 30: Reduce reconviction rates, data tables

National Indicator number 31: Reduce crime victimisation rates, data tables

- progress against these National Indicators, broken down by Age, can be found under the 'What more do we know about the National indicator?' heading.

Publications and Outputs

Publications and Outputs

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2016-17 (March 2018) A large-scale social survey which asks people about their experiences and perceptions of crime. Includes statistics by age, disability, ethnicity, gender, religion, and sexual orientation

Criminal Justice Social Work Statistics 2016-17 (February 2018) National level information on criminal justice social work activity in Scotland, including CJSW reports and social work orders. Includes breakdowns by age, ethnicity and gender

Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, 2016-17 (February 2018) Statistics are presented on criminal proceedings concluded in Scottish courts and on a range of measures available as alternatives to prosecution. Covers convictions by age and gender, as well as crimes with disability, racial, religious, sexual orientation, transgender aggravators.

Domestic abuse recorded by the police in Scotland, 2016-17 (October 2017) Characteristics of victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse incidents recorded by the police in Scotland. Includes analysis by age and gender

Religiously aggravated offending in Scotland 2016-17 (June 2017) Analysis about the nature of the religiously aggravated offending charges, the accused and the victims of incidents. Includes age and gender of the accused

Reconviction Rates in Scotland: 2014-15 Offender Cohort (May 2017) This publication provides analyses of trends in reconviction statistics up to the latest cohort of 2014-15. Breakdowns are available by age and gender

Prison statistics and population projections Scotland 2013/14 (December 2015) This publication shows data on Scottish prison population levels and characteristics, receptions to/liberations from Scottish prisons, and international comparisons

Fire and Rescue Statistics Scotland - Statistical reports produced by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Services. Includes number of staff by age, ethnicity and gender

Scottish Government Equality Outcomes: Age Evidence Review (2013) A comprehensive review of available evidence in relation to age equality.

Data

Data

Scottish Government Survey Data

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey - Scottish Crime and Justice Survey microdata is available (through a ‘special licence’ scheme) from the UK Data Archive

Official Statistics

statistics.gov.scot - Explore, visualise and download over 200 datasets from a range of producers. Start browsing by theme, organisation, or geography. Or access programmatically using our APIs. A range of datasets are available that can be broken down by age group

 

External Links

External Links

Please note that you will leave the Scottish Government web site by clicking on any of the following links, and that the Scottish Government and its staff are not responsible for content external to this web site. The research below has been carried out independently of the Scottish Government and the findings do not necessarily represent the views of the Scottish Government or Scottish Ministers

External Publications and Outputs

How Fair is Britain?: Report of EHRC first triennial review (EHRC, 2011) This Equality and Human Rights review aims to provide an authoritative compilation of the available evidence about equalities in England, Scotland and Wales against 40 indicators agreed by the Commission, the government and other key agencies. It brings together the facts about the experiences and outcomes in life of different individuals and groups. It draws on a range of sources including censuses, government surveys, academic work, and secondary analysis carried out especially for this Review.

Fire and Rescue Statistics Scotland (Fire Scotland) Statistical reports produced by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Services. Includes number of staff by age, ethnicity and gender

Contacts

Contacts

Crime and Justice
justiceanalysts@gov.scot

Telephone
0131 244 2927