Annex A - Data Sources
Court proceedings, Police disposals and COPFS disposals
A.1 Statistical information on the Scottish Government Criminal Proceedings database is derived from data held on the Criminal History System (CHS), a central hub used for the electronic recording of information on persons accused and/or convicted of perpetrating a criminal act. The CHS is maintained by Police Scotland and they are responsible for managing its operation and own the majority of the data.
A.2 Chart 2 in the main body of the bulletin depicts how those accused move through the criminal justice system. People can be "disposed" from the system in a variety of ways, including being dealt with directly by the police, being fined by Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) or being proceeded against in court. At each of these stages information is logged on the CHS regarding the status of the accused. When an offender's case reaches its final conclusion or "disposal" this information is captured on the CHS and the case is considered completed. COPFS and the Scottish Court Service (SCS) make updates on their own systems which are fed back electronically to Police Scotland's CHS.
A.3 The Scottish Government receives individual level returns from the CHS on a monthly basis. These are electronically submitted by Police Scotland for cases that are completed. Information on criminal trials that are on going or have not been dealt with through police or COPFS disposals are not collected. As the process is an existing automated process, there was no cost to the data provider in 2013-14.
Bail and undertakings
A.4 The source of the statistical data on bail orders and undertakings is also the CHS. Police Scotland create a statistical extract each day, which picks up records of any bail orders or undertakings granted three days before, which are associated with live pending cases on the database. For example, the extract run at the start of a Thursday will pick up any bail orders or undertakings granted on the Monday of that week which (a) have been recorded on the database by the start of Thursday, and (b) which are associated with pending cases still live at the start of Thursday.
A.5 Chart 2 uses a range of summary data collected from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Scottish Government Recorded Crime and information on police conditional offers made for motor vehicle offences, based on figures provided by police force traffic departments, and information derived from CHS.
Email: Gillian Diggins