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This is an archived section of the Scottish Government website. External links, forms and search may not work on archived pages and content/contact details are likely to be out of date.

This page relates to the 2007 version of the National Performance Framework. Information about the current version of the NPF is available on the Scotland Performs Home Page.

SP Two columns

Current Status

74% of criminal cases were dealt with within 26 weeks in 2010-11, which is a decrease of 3 percentage points since last year but an increase of 8 percentage points since 2006-07.

More on criminal case handling

National Indicator


Increase the percentage of criminal cases dealt with within 26 weeks by 3 percentage points by 2011

Increase the percentage of criminal cases dealt with within 26 weeks by 3 percentage points by 2011

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Why is the National Indicator important?

Nine out of ten criminal court cases in Scotland are dealt with in the summary (non-jury) courts. We need to ensure that justice in those courts is efficient and effective. This will save time and expense, avoid wasted effort and reduce the demands made on victims and witnesses. Swift action in our summary courts will help make a clear link between the offence and punishment - something which may reduce the likelihood of that offender going on to commit further crimes.

What will influence this National Indicator?

A wide variety of factors influence this, including:

  • Timely and well formed reporting of cases by the police to Procurators Fiscal.
  • Timely decision taking in cases by Procurators Fiscal.
  • Sufficient capacity in courts to deal with the volume of cases.
  • Well-prepared prosecution and defence.
  • Accused persons and witnesses attending court when required.
  • Crime patterns, crime levels and detection rates.
  • The nature of crimes reported: the target does not include crimes dealt with before a jury or those crimes that are not the subject of court proceedings.

What is the Government's role?

We will work with all criminal justice organisations to ensure that recent summary justice reforms are implemented - we will monitor their progress regularly and respond to any issues that arise. We need to make full use of non-court based measures, for example fixed penalty notices and fiscal fines to ensure that only those cases that need to go to court do so. For those cases that do need to go to court, we will ensure they are better prepared and progress more speedily. And, of course, we need to make sure that those accused of committing crimes have access to legal representation and adequate information about their case.

How are we performing?

The percentage of criminal cases in Summary Courts completed within 26 weeks in 2010/11 was 74%. This is a decrease from 77% in 2009/10, but still in line with the target to increase this figure by 3 percentage points above the 2006/07 baseline of 66%.

Percentage of Summary Court cases dealt with within 26 weeks

View data on criminal case handling

Source: Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service


This evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 1 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 1 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 1 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening.

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Further Information

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Statistics Topic Page

Who are our partners?

Related Strategic Objective(s)

Wealthier and Fairer

Safer and Stronger

View National Indicator data

Downloadable document:

National Indicator 31 - data and chartNational Indicator 31 - data and chart [XLS, 25.0 kb: 14 Jun 2011]
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Performance Improving


Performance Maintaining


Performance Worsening

no info

Performance data currently being collected