Criminal proceedings in Scotland: 2020-2021

Statistics on criminal proceedings concluded in Scottish courts and alternative measures to prosecution issued by the police and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service are presented for the ten years from 2011-12 to 2020-21. The latest year’s data is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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7. People convicted by offence group

There were 23,785 “offence” convictions in 2020-21, a decrease of 50% over the year (from 47,427). As a proportion of all offences, common assault and breach of the peace together made up 50%, while unlawful use of a vehicle and speeding accounted for 23%.

Miscellaneous offences

Ninety-two per cent of “miscellaneous offences” are breach of the peace and common assault offences. Both groups showed decreases in convictions between 2019-20 and 2020-21, with the breach of the peace category down 38% from 11,495 to 7,107 convictions, and common assault, down 42% from 8,388 to 4,876 convictions.

Motor vehicle offences

Motor vehicle offence convictions decreased by 58% from 25,745 convictions in 2019-20 to 10,777 in 2020-21.

All types of motor vehicle offences saw a decrease over the past year, with the largest decreases between 2019-20 and 2020-21 for:

  • Seat belt offences decreased by 80% from 174 to 35.
  • speeding, down 76% from 9,175 convictions to 2,197.
  • mobile phone offences, down 70% from 466 convictions to 138.

There were 2,185 convictions in 2020-21 for driving under the influence, which is 36% lower than the figure of 3,402 in 2019-20.



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