Criminal Courts figures published

Mar 07, 2019

The third Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service statistical bulletin providing quarterly Official Statistics on criminal case activity in Scotland is published today.

The statistical bulletin provides quarterly figures on activity in all High, Sheriff and Justice of the Peace courts giving national trends as well as detailed figures for local courts in solemn and summary criminal business.

QCC Report 3 shows that in High Court business, the volume of indictments registered in recent quarters continues to be above 200 per quarter while evidence led trials during the same period remain high. This volume trend is anticipated to continue due to increased reporting of sexual offending cases. The percentage of High Court trials adjourned due to lack of court time has fallen – down from 2.2% in 2014/15 to 0.9% for the first three quarters of 2018/19 – a drop of 1.3 percentage points.

The figures also reveal:

  • In Sheriff Courts solemn business, an increase of 8% in the volume of petitions registered in Q3 2018/19 when compared to Q2 2018/19;
  • The volume of Sheriff Court summary trials scheduled has risen by 2% over the last two quarters;
  • Justice of the Peace Court cases registered between Q3 2018/19 and Q2 2018/19 are down 6%.

Commenting on the new report David Fraser, Chief Operations Officer, said: “I am delighted to provide this information which shows the trends in criminal cases over the last four years and represents another advance in the drive for openness and transparency on court activity.

“Overall the data in this report show the system is performing well. The number of adjournments for lack of court time is down across all sectors which is a good indicator of overall performance.”

The QCC bulletin gives a comprehensive picture of activity in the criminal courts and includes such figures as the national total of trials called; the total of trials where evidence was led; and the total of trials concluded. Information on summary and solemn business is available for each court individually with access to useful graphs and tables in addition to the figures themselves.

This initiative is intended to be of use to anyone with an interest in the flow of activity through Scotland’s courts and is expected to be of particular interest to legal practitioners and researchers.  It marks a further move in promoting availability of court statistics following the introduction of the Quarterly Fines Report.




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