Number of sexual offences in Scotland 2019 - 2021: FOI release

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

Information requested

The exact figure of how many people have been placed on the sex offenders register within the last 3 years within all the regions of Scotland; and
A break down on the number and type of sexual offences recorded for the last 3 years.


While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested relative to the first element of your request. This is because the information you have requested relates to matters which would fall within the operational responsibilities of Police Scotland, rather than within the responsibilities of the Scottish Government.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

Police Scotland is committed to demonstrating openness and transparency in respect of the information it holds. Indeed Police Scotland publishes the attached data (on a monthly basis) regarding the number of Registered Sex Offenders in our communities, broken down by policing division and postcode area. Data will not be published for a small number of postcode areas where the population of the area in question is particularly low and it is assessed that publication would lead to individuals being identified.

Any enquiries for data not covered by these publications should be directed to the Police Scotland's FOI team, by writing to FOI Central Processing Unit, Information Management Unit, Police Scotland, Clyde Gateway, 2 French Street, Glasgow, G40 4EH, Email: More information about how to access information held by Police Scotland is available on their website: at

In terms of the second part of your request, I enclose a set of tables which is an extract from the Recorded Crime in Scotland 2019-20 bulletin. As you will see this sets down the number of sexual crimes recorded by Police Scotland from 2010-11 to 2019-20. I have also provided tables showing the number of people convicted of sexual offences in Scottish courts, from 2017- 18 to 2019-20, as well as the number of people who received non-court disposals over that period.

Whilst accepting that we can never completely eliminate risk, it is of note that the reconviction rate for sex offenders is substantially lower than that of the general criminal population, indicating that Scotland's Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) is working in respect of reducing the risk to the community. You may also wish to be aware of the Keeping Children Safe – Community Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme which is being run by Police Scotland.

The following link describes the aims and objectives of the scheme. As you will see from this link, Police Scotland has created an online application form to improve accessibility for an initial application to be made under the Scheme:
Sex Offender Community Disclosure Scheme Form | Police Scotland

Anyone wanting to raise a concern regarding a child in their care can also do so directly by visiting their local police station or by calling Police Scotland on 101 and state that your call is in relation to Keeping Children Safe/The Sex Offender Community Disclosure Scheme. If anyone considers that the matter is an emergency, they should of course dial 999.

Resources supporting early recognition and prevention of child sexual abuse have also been developed for individuals, families and practitioners by ‘Stop It Now’ (Scotland) at: and

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI -202100235197 - Information released 1
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FOI -202100235197 - Information released 3


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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