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Stakeholder Consultation - Criminal Proceedings

Criminal Proceedings Statistical Bulletin

The “Criminal Proceedings in Scotland” publication presents statistics on criminal proceedings concluded in Scottish courts and on a range of measures available as alternatives to prosecution, which are issued by Police Scotland and by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS). 

Consultation on local authority level information, 2015

The most recent consultation run for Criminal Proceedings statistics was a short survey in July 2015 to gauge views on local authority level statistics.  Up till the 2014-15 publication Criminal Proceeding statistics were only available at local authority level, based on the location of the court in which the case is heard. Although informative, these breakdowns were not always the most useful as they were not necessarily representative of where the accused individuals lived and therefore where they were dependent on support services.  

From January 2014, Police Scotland, who provide the data that the statistics are derived from, began to supply postcode information for where accused individuals live. After considering responses from the consultation a set of local authority tables for 2014-15 and 2015-16, based on the home location of the offender, were published here alongside the 2015-16 Criminal Proceedings publication.

With respect to reconviction statistics we are currently investigating whether it is possible to derive reconviction rates for offenders based on local authority of residence. It may take some time to build up enough postcode information to report on offenders who are released from long custodial sentences however, as we will need to build up a number of years’ worth of data to reflect the delay between sentencing and release. 

Other recent developments

Prior to the local authority consultation, the last major consultation of users views for Criminal Proceedings statistics was carried out in 2009.  A large number improvements have been taken on board since this including inclusion of statistics on non-court disposals, offence aggravations, new court disposals such as Community Payback Orders as well as developing more topic based reporting in the bulletin.  Enhancements to the explanatory notes have also been made to help user understanding of the statistics.

In particular improvements to the 2015-16 publication included:

•           Conviction rates by crime type for the last ten years;

•           Extended sentences and supervised release order disposal information;

•           Further breakdowns by custodial sentence length;                              

•           Further breakdowns by age;

•           New statistics on Recorded Police Warnings, the new police disposal introduced in 2016 to replace Formal Adult              Warnings.