News

Reconviction Statistics 2018-19

Published: 04 Oct 2021 09:47

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

The latest reconviction statistics for the 2018-19 offender cohort have been published today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. The figures show that reconvictions have increased in the past year, going against the general downwards trend over the past decade. Increases in reconvictions over the past year have also been seen across most of the groupings presented in the statistical bulletin.

The reconviction rate, which is the percentage of offenders who are reconvicted in a year, was 28.3% in 2018-19, which is a 1.9 percentage point increase from 26.4% in 2017-18. The average number of reconvictions, a measure of how often offenders are reconvicted, also increased over the same period from 0.47 to 0.50, an increase of 6%.

Over the longer term, in the decade between 2009-10 and 2018-19, the reconviction rate has decreased by 2.3 percentage points from 30.6% to 28.3%. In the same period, the average number of reconvictions per offender decreased by 11% from 0.56 to 0.50.

As in previous years, males are reconvicted more often, on average, than females. In 2018-19, the average number of reconvictions per offender for males was 0.51, which was 6% higher than the value of 0.48 for females. Both measures of reconvictions for males and females were higher than last year.

Offenders who committed a crime of dishonesty had the highest reconviction rate (45.6% in 2018-19), compared to offenders that committed another type of crime. Offenders who committed a sexual crime had the lowest (10.4% in 2018-19).  The type of crime committed is one of a range of factors associated with the likelihood of being reconvicted, including the sentence received, offending history, and characteristics of individual offenders.

In 2018-19, 6.9% of offenders with an index domestic abuse crime or offence were reconvicted for a further domestic abuse crime or offence, and 17.7% were reconvicted for any type of crime or offence.

The reconviction rate for custodial sentences was 43.8% in 2018-19, which is an increase of 2.8 percentage points from 41.0% in 2017-18. The average number of reconvictions for custodial sentences increased by 3% from 0.79 to 0.81 in the same period.

Unlike most other disposals, where reconvictions have increased in the past year, there has been little change for Community Payback Orders (the most commonly used community sentence). The reconviction rate was 29.2% in 2018-19, which was the same as in 2017-18. The average number of reconvictions per offender for CPOs was 0.51 in 2018-19, which was slightly lower than 0.52 in 2017-18.

18% of individuals given a non-court disposal by the police in 2018-19 (such as a warning or fine), and 15% of individuals given a non-court disposal by COPFS, received another non-court disposal within a year.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About

Background

The full statistical publication is available at: Reconviction Rates in Scotland: 2018-19 Offender Cohort - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

This publication contains detailed analyses of reconviction rates and the average number of reconvictions per offender by: offender characteristics, sentence type, crime type, and local authority.

  • The reconviction rate, is defined as the proportion of offenders who are reconvicted within a year after being released from a custodial sentence or given a non-custodial sentence.
  • The average number of reconvictions per offender, is the number of times, on average, that offenders in a cohort are reconvicted within a year after being released from a custodial sentence or given a non-custodial sentence.

Users of these data on reconviction rates for planning and targeting of resources include: the Scottish Government, Local Authorities, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, Police Scotland, and Community Justice Scotland.