News In Focus
Criminal proceedings down again on latest figures
Criminal cases in the Scottish courts were down by 7% in 2012-13 compared with the previous year, according to official figures released today.
The total number of people proceeded against fell to 116,623, marking the sixth consecutive annual fall and the largest in the past decade. The number of people convicted fell at the same rate, down by 7% from 108,378 to 100,964.
Convictions fell for nearly all crime types, excluding sexual crimes, which saw an 11% jump from 783 to 866, and a 57% hike from 49 to 77 convictions for rape or attempted rape. Convictions for other crimes of violence saw decreases, apart from homicides for which the number of convictions remained around the same at 113.
Convictions of younger people have fallen at much faster rates than for older people over the past decade, with a 21% decline for the under-21 age group, from 15,082 to 11,966.
Regarding disposals, the number of convictions resulting in a custodial sentence also declined by 7%, to 14,758, while community sentences were up 2% to 17,254. The number of short sentences of four to six months was down 11% to 5,470, but there were still over 4,000 sentences of less than four months.
While the average length of custodial sentence was about nine months – around the same as in 2011-12 – the average for handling an offensive weapon increased by 11% around 11 months.
Click here to view the full report.