Coronavirus (COVID-19): Justice Analytical Services Data Report - March 2021

Monthly data report on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the justice system in Scotland, including information from Police Scotland, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, and Scottish Prison Service.

This document is part of a collection


This pack provides information on the impact of COVID-19 on the Justice system during March 2021.

Data has been gathered from a number of different sources and may be subject to future revision.

Public compliance

This pack includes information on COVID-19 related interventions undertaken by Police Scotland. In addition to this, information on the public's compliance with measures to help restrict the spread of COVID-19 is collected from surveys of the population. Findings from these surveys can be found in the Public attitudes to Coronavirus: March Update.

Three quarters of respondents agreed that the best thing to do is to follow the government's advice. This has remained high and stable through January and February. However, those stating they had engaged in a non-compliant activity has risen from the start of January (23% to 33%).

Police activity

  • Recorded crime was 7% lower over April 2020 to March 2021 compared to the preceding year.
  • The number of incidents has been above 2019-20 levels in recent weeks.
  • Domestic abuse incidents were 3% higher in April 2020 to March 2021 compared to the preceding year.
  • Coronavirus interventions increased by 30% between February and March 2021.

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), Courts & Prisons

  • To reduce footfall in lockdown, the majority of summary business was adjourned on 12th January.
  • Community disposals were returning to 19-20 levels but there remains a backlog of cases (and associated disposals) to conclude.
  • Initiations and disposals in the civil court remain below 19-20 levels.
  • Prison populations initially decreased as court business abated.
  • The number of prisoners on remand subsequently rose to its current, historically high, level.



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