Annex D - Definitions, Classifications and Notation
D.1 The measures available to a court in sentencing a convicted person depend on a number of matters including what Parliament has legislated for in terms of appropriate penalties and the age of the person.
D.2 In some cases, if the court obtains evidence that the accused is suffering from a mental disorder, they can be assessed as unfit for trial, or acquitted because they were not criminally responsible at the time of the offence with a mental health disposal being issued by the court.
D.3 In 2017-18 the custodial sentence measures available to courts, that we have statistics for, included the options to:
a. Imprison the convicted person (if aged 21 or over); sentence to a Young Offenders’ Institution (YOI) (if aged 16 to 21 and not a child subject to compulsory supervision).
b. Issue an Order for Lifelong Restriction (OLR). The OLR provides for the lifelong supervision of high-risk violent and sexual offenders and allows for a greater degree of intensive supervision than is the current norm. The OLR is designed to ensure that offenders, after having served an adequate period in prison to meet the requirements of punishment, do not present an unacceptable risk to public safety once they are released into the community. The period spent in the community will be an integral part of the sentence, which lasts for the remaining period of the offender's life.
c. Impose an Extended Sentence. These sentences give additional post-release supervision on licence where it is considered that any existing supervision after the offender’s release from custody would be a risk to the public. Extended sentences are imposed on sex offenders or on violent offenders who receive a custodial sentence of four years or more.
d. Impose a Supervised Release Order. These can be used for people sentenced to less than 4 years in custody for offences other than sexual crimes. They mean that the person is compulsorily supervised by a criminal justice social worker for up to one year following release. These orders should only be imposed where the Court believes it would help prevent serious harm. The offender must comply with the reasonable instructions of the supervising officer.
e. Sentence a person under the age of 18 convicted of murder to be detained without limit of time in such place, and under such conditions, as Scottish Ministers may direct (the effect of this is normally detention in a young offenders institution or secure unit). Where the person is aged 18 or over but under 21 he or she should be detained initially in a young offenders institution.
f. Where a child (as defined in section 199 of the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011) is convicted on indictment and the court is of the view that no other method of dealing with the child is appropriate, the court may sentence the child to be detained for a period specified in the sentence and shall during that period be liable to be detained in such place, and on such conditions, as Scottish Ministers may direct.
D.4 Community sentence is a collective term for the ways that courts can punish someone convicted of committing an offence other than by serving a custodial sentence. The following list includes the commmunity sentence options to:
a. Impose a community payback order (CPO). These were introduced by the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 and can only be imposed in respect of offence(s) committed on or after 1 February 2011. The CPO replaced provisions for community service orders, probation orders, supervised attendance orders, and the community reparation order.
A CPO can consist of one or more of nine requirements including offender supervision, compensation, unpaid work or other activity, mental health treatment, drug treatment and alcohol treatment. Every order must contain either an unpaid work or other activity requirement, or an offender supervision requirement (or both). If an offender fails to comply with a requirement in the order, the court can impose a number of sanctions, including a restricted movement requirement.
b. Impose a restriction of liberty order: a community sentence introduced by section 5 of the Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Act 1997 and available to courts nationally from 1 May 2002. This requires a person to remain within a location, usually their home, at times specified by the court. A person's compliance with the order is monitored electronically.
c. Impose a drug treatment and testing order (DTTO): a measure introduced by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and rolled out in phases from 1999 onwards. These are designed to reduce or stop offending by addressing problem drug use through the provision or access to a closely monitored treatment programme.
d. Impose a probation order, of which some had conditions such as unpaid work or alcohol treatment attached (for offences committed prior to 1 February 2011).
e. Impose a community service order requiring the offender to undertake unpaid work (for offences committed prior to 1 February 2011).
f. Impose a supervised attendance order which the court can impose as an alternative to custody for people who have defaulted on fines imposed for minor criminal offences (for offences committed prior to 1 February 2011).
D.5 The list below includes the financial penalty sentence options that allow the courts to :
a. Fine the offender.
b. Impose a compensation order requiring the offender to compensate the victim for any resulting injury, loss, damage, alarm or distress.
D.6 The list below includes the “other” sentence options that allow the courts to :
a. Admonish the offender or make an order to find caution (the overwhelming majority of these are admonishments).
b. Order an absolute discharge (with no conviction recorded in summary procedure) or, following a deferral of sentence, make no order.
c. Remit a child offender to a children's hearing (if the accused is a child, under 16 years of age or aged 16 or 17 and subject to a supervision requirement).
d. Make a guardianship order if the accused is suffering from a mental disorder (with no conviction recorded in summary procedure).
e. Make a compulsion order if the accused is suffering from a mental disorder (with a conviction recorded), for a period of six months with regular reviews.
D.7 The range of options available to the police for minor offences (Police non- court disposals) includes:
a. Anti-social behaviour fixed penalty notices (ASBFPNs) of £40, can be issued for eleven crime/offence types, including drunken-related behaviours and playing loud music, to people aged 16 or over. Payment of the penalty involves no admission of guilt.
b. Recorded Police Warnings were introduced on the 11th January 2016 to deal with low level offences and replace Formal Adult Warnings. Police recorded warnings can be issued to any person over the age of 16. It is not a finding of guilt but is an alternative to prosecution and can be taken into account within a period of two years should the offender come to the further notice of the police.
c. Disposals for young people who offend such as Early and Effective Interventions (EEI) and Restorative Justice Warnings.
d. It should be noted that Formal Adult Warnings (FAWs) (issued for minor offences) were withdrawn on the 11th January 2016 and effectively replaced by recorded police warnings.
D.8 When a report is submitted by the police to the COPFS, prosecution in court is only one of a range of possible options for dealing with people who have been charged. COPFS can decide to use a non-court direct measure (COPFS non-court disposal) which cover:
a. Fiscal fines of up to £300 for summary offences. Available to fiscals before Summary Justice Reform, but cannot be separately identified in CHS until after SJR in 2008;
b. Fiscal fixed penalties are generally issued for motor vehicle offences. Available to fiscals before SJR, but cannot be separately identified in CHS until after SJR in 2008;
c. Fiscal warnings provide a method of dealing with a case without recourse to prosecution – they mean that the person receiving that warning cannot be prosecuted for that offence.
d. Fiscal compensation orders of up to £5,000 payable to the victim. Only available after SJR, for personal injury, loss, damage, alarm or distress;
e. Combined fiscal fine and fiscal compensation order; and
f. Fiscal Work Orders (FWOs) were introduced across Scotland in April 2015 and provide the COPFS with the option of offering an alleged offender a period of unpaid work of between 10 and 50 hours, as an alternative to prosecution. Successful completion of the order discharges the right to prosecute. Work is ongoing with COPFS and Police Scotland to ensure that these disposals are recorded correctly, and we intend to publish FWO statistics when we are satisfied that they are accurate.
Classification of crimes and offences
D.9 Violations of criminal law are divided, for statistical purposes only, into crimes and offences. There are around 5,300 charge codes, which are the operational codes used within the Criminal Justice System to identify crimes and offences. These charge codes are mapped to around 400 crime codes, which in turn are grouped into 35 broader categories, and further into 7 crime and offence groups. This classification enables consistent and comparable reporting between criminal justice organisations and is presented in the table below.
|Group 1: Non-sexual crimes of violence (Also referred to as Crimes of violence)|
|Homicide etc.||Includes: |
|Attempted murder and serious assault||Includes: |
|Group 2: Sexual crimes|
|Rape and attempted rape||Includes: |
|Sexual assault||Includes: |
|Crimes associated with prostitution||Includes: |
|Group 3: Crimes of dishonesty (Also referred to as Dishonesty)|
|Theft by opening a lockfast place (OLP)||Includes: |
|Theft from a motor vehicle by OLP||Includes : |
|Theft of motor vehicle||Includes : |
|Shoplifting||Includes : |
|Other theft||Includes : |
|Other crimes of dishonesty||Includes: |
|Group 4: Fire-raising, vandalism etc.|
|Vandalism, etc.||Includes: |
|Group 5: Other crimes|
|Crimes against public justice||Includes: |
|Handling offensive weapons||Includes: |
|Group 6: Miscellaneous offences|
|Common assault||Includes: |
|Breach of the peace etc.||Includes: |
|Drunkenness and other disorderly conduct||Includes: |
|Urinating etc.||Includes: |
|Group 7: Motor vehicle offences|
|Dangerous and careless driving||Includes: |
|Driving under the influence||Includes: |
|Unlawful use of motor vehicle||Includes: |
|Vehicle defect offences||Includes: |
|Seat belt offences||Includes: |
|Mobile phone offences||Includes: |
|Other motor vehicle offences||Includes: |
Email: Ian Volante