Publication - Statistics

Reconviction rates in Scotland: 2016-2017 offender cohort

Published: 24 Jun 2019
Directorate:
Justice Directorate
Part of:
Law and order, Statistics
ISBN:
9781787819252

This publication provides analyses of trends in reconviction statistics up to the latest cohort of 2016 to 2017.

Contents
Reconviction rates in Scotland: 2016-2017 offender cohort
Key points

Key points

Reconviction Rates in Scotland: 2016-2017 Offender Cohort

  • The reconviction rate and average number of reconvictions per offender were unchanged over the past year, with a reconviction rate of 27.2% and an average number of reconvictions of 0.48 in 2016-17 and 2015-16 (Table 1). In addition there was little change in reconvictions over the past year across most of the groupings that are presented in this bulletin.
  • Over the longer term, the reconviction rate and average number of reconvictions per offender have generally decreased. In the past decade between 2007-08 and 2016-17, the reconviction rate decreased by four percentage points from 31.2% to 27.2%, and the average number of reconvictions per offender decreased by 16% from 0.57 to 0.48 (Table 1).
  • Male offenders are reconvicted more often, on average, than female offenders. In 2016-17, the average number of reconvictions per offender for male offenders was 0.49, which was 14% higher than the value of 0.43 for female offenders. Reconviction rates and average number of reconvictions for males were near identical between 2015-16 and 2016-17, but slightly increased for females over the same period (Table 2).
  • Across the age groups there was a mixed picture in changes in the reconviction rate between 2015-16 and 2016-17. There was a decrease for under 21s, an increase for 21 to 25 year olds, and the other age groups were near identical between the two years (Table 3).
  • As in previous years, offenders who commit a crime of dishonesty have the highest average number of reconvictions per offender (0.94 in 2016-17), compared to offenders that committed another type of crime. Offenders who commit a sexual crime have the lowest (0.16 in 2016-17) (Table 6).
  • 9.2% of offenders with an index domestic abuse crime or offence in 2016-17 were reconvicted for a further domestic abuse crime or offence (Table 8a), and 11.2% were convicted for a non-domestic abuse crime or offence.
  • Offenders released from a custodial sentence had an average number of reconvictions per offender of 0.82 in 2016-17, which was 5% lower than 0.86 in 2015-16 (Table 9). Short custodial sentences have higher reconvictions than longer sentences. This is largely because offenders who are given shorter sentences commit relatively less serious crimes such as shoplifting, and tend to commit more of these crimes than those committing more serious crimes, and so they are reconvicted more often. In 2016-17 the average number of reconvictions per offender for custodial sentences under three months was 1.25, compared to 0.13 for those over four years (Table 10a).
  • The reconviction rate for CPOs, the most commonly used community sentence, was 31.2% in 2016-17, which was nearly identical to the figure of 31.1% 2015-16. The average number of reconvictions per offender for CPOs was 0.55 in 2016-17, which was the same as in 2015-16 (Table 9).
  • 18.5% of individuals given a non-court disposal by the police in 2016-17 (such as a warning or fine), and 14.5% of individuals given a non-court disposal by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, received another non-court disposal within a year (Table 19).

Contact

Email: Justice_Analysts@gov.scot