Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

the numbers of reported cases and outcomes for Disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress under section 33 of Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 for the year 2019 where the victim is 18 or over. You would also like this to include threats to share, as well as:
Cases of the crimes and subsequent outcomes:
1. Arrests
2. Cautions given
3. Offenders charged and number of charges
4. Community resolution
5. Cases marked No Further Action


The aforementioned act does not apply in Scotland, however, the non-consensual sharing of intimate images is legislated by Section 2 of the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 ("the 2016 Act"). Section 2 of the 2016 Act makes it a criminal offence for a person to disclose, or threaten to disclose, an intimate photograph or film. Outcomes in Scotland differ slightly from those in England & Wales and further explanation is available online at https://www.mygov.scot/justice-law/.

I enclose an excel workbook with tables by financial year for Police Recorded Crime data and numbers of people prosecuted and convicted in Scottish courts as well as those receiving a non-court disposal. Our Criminal proceedings database does not contain information on victims of crime and data for 2018-19 has not yet been published.
The data we receive from Police Scotland for the production of the National Statistics on Recorded Crime, is a simple count of the number of crimes and offences, for each local authority, which the police have recorded. This means that the age of victims cannot generally be determined from the data supplied by Police Scotland.

The statistics dealing with crimes recorded by the police and court proceedings are not directly comparable as a person may be proceeded against for more than one crime involving more than one victim and there is a possibility that the crime recorded by the police may be altered in the course of judicial proceedings. Also a crime may be recorded by the police in one year and court proceedings concluded in a subsequent year.
Whilst differences in counting methods mean the recorded crime and criminal proceedings publications are not directly comparable, a crime or offence only comes to the attention of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service for consideration for prosecution once it has been recorded as such by the police, so police recorded crime figures will have some influence on the number of prosecutions and convictions in court.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. 
However, you may wish to contact Police Scotland (PS) at foi@scotland.pnn.police.uk who may be able to help you with information concerning arrests and cautions. Information relating to charges and cases marked no further action should be requested from the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) at foi@copfs.gov.uk.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

FOI-202000018319 - Information released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top