Information pertaining to cases of Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA): FOI release

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

Information requested

I) A full count only of false cases of Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA).
II) A full count only of cases of SRA presently being looked at.
III) A full count only of true cases of SRA.

Between 22/11/2016 - 22/11/2021

*False is to mean cases which have not been allocated a verdict of guilty by a court of Scottish criminal law but have been allocated a verdict of not-proven or not-guilty or have not been tried at all.
*True is to mean cases which have been allocated a verdict of guilty by a court of Scottish criminal law and have been tried.


While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

Our Criminal Proceedings in Scotland bulletin publishes data on cases that have proceeded through Scottish criminal courts.

You can view this bulletin here:

The bulletin contains data on the main charges that were proceeded against people, and the outcome of those proceedings, and presents this data in categories that group together similar crimes e.g. sexual crimes, rape, serious assault etc. The bulletin only contains data on cases that have concluded.

We do not hold information on cases that are currently proceeding.

The outcomes of proceedings are categorised in the bulletin as:

(i)'Plea of Not Guilty Accepted (PNGA)' or 'Deserted' which includes cases where proceedings are dropped after a person has been called to court, e.g. if witnesses fail to attend. It also includes cases classed as ' Deserted simpliciter' i.e. trial is permanently abandoned by the Procurator Fiscal.
(ii) Acquitted Not Guilty
(iii) Acquitted Not Proven
(iv) Charge Proved (i.e. Guilty)

The data excludes people against whom proceedings are started but which are dropped before they reach court. It is therefore not possible to provide data on cases that have not been tried at all as this information is not held.

It is also not possible to distinguish cases involving Satanic Ritual Abuse from other sexual or violent crimes as detail involving the circumstances of each crime is not recorded on the Criminal History System, which is the underlying source of our data. The Criminal History System is maintained by Police
Scotland and they are responsible for managing its operation and own the majority of the data.

Some crimes are recorded with an 'aggravator' code which allows for a little more information. For example a case that has been recorded as 'serious assault' being the main charge can also have an 'aggravator' code to record that the crime had an element such as 'racial' and/or 'religious' aggravation.

Each proceeding may have one or more aggravator codes associated with it. A proceeding will be counted under each aggravator code associated with it. e.g. A serious assault with a 'racial' and 'religious' aggravator will appear once in the racial aggravator column and once under the religious aggravator column.

Tables 12 and 13 in the bulletin provide the full range of aggravators recorded and associated data.

About FOI

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


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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