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Scottish Prison Population Statistics, 2020-21

The latest longitudinal statistics on prison populations and flows into and out of prison. Includes information about the demographics of people in prison, the time they spend there, their sentences and offences.

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3 Remand Population – Offence Profile

The overall remand population comprises individuals who are untried and those who are convicted awaiting sentence (CAS)[19]. The offence profile of the remand population changed considerably between 2019-20 and 2020-21.

3.1 Index offence groups

[Supplementary tables M2]

While the overall (average daily) remand population rose 7% from 2019-20 to 2020-21, this rise is not observed across all of the index offence[20] groups within the remand population (see Figure 14).

Figure 14: Remand offence groups – average daily populations, 2009-10 to 2020-21
Annual average daily population on remand from 2009-10 to 2020-21 by index offence group. The trend is described in the body of the report

There were large increases in the remand population accused of index group 1 non-sexual crimes of violence between 2019-20 and 2020-21. This population increased by 28% from around 593 to 761. The remand population accused of index group 2 sexual offences also increased, rising 11% from around 140 in 2019-20 to 156 in 2020-21.

The remand populations accused of index offences in group 4 fireraising, vandalism etc, group 6 miscellaneous offences and group 7 motor vehicle offences remained broadly stable between 2019-20 and 2020-21.

However, the remand populations accused of index offences in group 3 Dishonesty and group 5 Other crimes decreased between 2019-20 and 2020-21. The population of those accused of index dishonesty offences fell by 24%, from 157 in 2019-20 to 119 in 2020-21, and the population of those accused of index other crimes fell by 11% from 363 to 323 over the same time period.

3.2 Index offence categories

[Supplementary tables M2]

This section provides a breakdown of the remand population into the subcategories of index offence[21].

3.2.1 Group 1 – Non-sexual crimes of violence

The (average daily) remand population increased across all of the offence categories within group 1 between 2019-20 and 2020-21. The population accused of an index ‘Robbery’ offence increased by 18% from 98 to 117, while the population accused of an index ‘Attempted murder and serious assault’ offence increased by 26% from 407 to 513. The population accused of ‘Homicide etc.’ rose by almost two thirds, from 31 in 2019-20 to around 50 in 2020-21, while the population accused of ‘Other non-sexual crimes of violence’ rose from 56 to 83.

3.2.2 Group 2 – Sexual offences

The (average daily) remand population accused of an index ‘Rape and attempted rape’ offence rose by around one fifth between 2019-20 and 2020-21, from 89 to 108. Across all other offence categories in group 2 the population of accused persons remained broadly stable from 2019-20 to 2020-21.

3.2.3 Group 3 – Dishonesty

The (average daily) remand population accused of group 3 offences is comparatively small. The absolute populations in any given category are low, and change over time is difficult to interpret. Between 2019-20 and 2020-21, there were reductions in the remand populations accused of index ‘Housebreaking’ (89 to 72) and ‘Shoplifting’ (17 to 6) offences. The populations across the remaining offence categories were broadly stable between 2019-20 and 2020-21.

3.2.4 Group 5 – Other crimes

The (average daily) remand population remained broadly stable across the different offence categories under group 5 between 2019-20 and 2020-21 - with the exception of ‘Drugs’ offences. The population accused of an index ‘Drugs’ offence fell by 22% from 149 in 2019-20 to 115 in 2020-21.

3.2.5 Group 6 – Miscellaneous offences

The (average daily) remand population accused of an index ‘Common assault’ offence rose by around 31% between 2019-20 and 2020-21, from 83 to 109. On the other hand, the remand population accused of an index ‘Breach of the peace’ offence fell by around 22% over the same time period, from around 103 to 80.

3.2.6 Other offence categories

The remaining offence categories (those in groups 4 and 7) accounted for very small numbers of the average daily remand population in 2020-21. Further information on these categories is contained in the supplementary table (M2).

Contact

Email: jamie.robertson@gov.scot

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