Breakdown of crime statistics: FOI release

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

Information requested

Statistics for domestic abuse and sexual crimes for 2021 and 2022 - the total number of incidents recorded by the police, the gender breakdown/statistics, the total number of charges reported by the police, the breakdown of how these charges were dealt with (i.e. court proceedings, direct measure, no action) and finally of the cases which made it to court the outcomes (i.e. the total numbers of those found not guilty, guilty and dismissed).


Most of the information you have requested is available online:

The number of crimes recorded by the police, including gender breakdown, can be found here: Table A2 for crimes recorded under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 and table A4 for sexual offences.

The number of crimes and offences recorded by the police as part of incidents of domestic abuse, where a crime or offence has been recorded, can be accessed at:

The number of domestic abuse charges reported by the Police to the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) and decision on how to proceed can be found here: domestic-abusepublication-2022-23-final-1.pdf (

The latest available information on the number of people prosecuted in court and subsequent result can be found here in Table 2: Tables 12 and 13 contain domestic abuse aggravation data.

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested:

Tables 1 and 2 show the number of crimes cleared up by the police for Crimes recorded under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 and Sexual crimes split by gender of victim. Table 3 shows the number of crimes and offences recorded by the police as part of incidents of domestic abuse where a crime or offence has been recorded by gender of victim.

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 the COPFS at who may be able to help you with the number of sexual crime charges reported to them. The reasons why we don’t have the information are explained below.

Please note the following information:

A crime or offence is regarded as cleared up where there exists a sufficiency of evidence under Scots law to justify consideration of criminal proceedings notwithstanding that a report is not submitted to the procurator fiscal because either:

  • by standing agreement with the procurator fiscal, the police warn the accused due to the minornature of the offence, or
  • reporting is inappropriate due to the non-age of the accused, death of the accused or other similar circumstances.

Crimes or offences may be cleared up in a different year than they were recorded.

The criminal proceedings data for 2020-21 are affected by the pandemic and subsequent court closures and may not be reflective of long term trend.

Care should be taken when comparing different data sources relating to the criminal justice system. A crime can only be recorded if it is reported to the police and can only then be prosecuted in court if the crime is reported to the procurator fiscal and a decision taken that court proceedings are the most appropriate course of action.

In addition, recorded crime statistics count crimes and offences at the time that they came to the attention of Police Scotland, while criminal proceedings statistics report on cases once they have concluded in court. This means that a crime may be recorded by the police in one year and court proceedings concluded in a subsequent year. In addition, a person may be proceeded against for more than one crime, or a set of crimes with more than one victim, in a proceeding, but only a single conviction for the ‘main charge’ (the one receiving the most severe sentence) would be counted in the court proceedings statistics.

There is also the possibility that the crime recorded by the police may be altered in the course of judicial proceedings.

The Scottish Government does not have the information

The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because we do not hold data on the number of charges reported by Police to the COPFS. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

An exemption applies
An exemption under section 27(1) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. Information relating to 'Criminal Proceedings in Scotland - 2021-22' is scheduled for publication on 24 October 2023 and will be available online here: Criminal proceedings in Scotland statistics -

The Scottish Government Criminal Proceedings database is not a live system and the latest available information is for the financial year 2020-21. Criminal proceedings data are published for financial years, i.e. from 1 April to 31 March. Therefore data for later years will not be available until the relevant publications are published.

This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

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 202300379082 - Information Released - Annex


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top