Fourth criminal courts statistics report published

Jun 06, 2019

The fourth Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service statistical bulletin providing quarterly Official Statistics on criminal case activity in Scotland is published today, completing the first year of the publication.

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 4 shows that in the High Court, the number of evidence led trials rose 10% between 2017/18 and 2018/19. This trend regarding volume is anticipated to continue due to increased reporting of sexual offending cases.

The figures also reveal:

  • Sheriff court solemn business shows a 7% increase in the volume of evidence led trials between 2017/18 and 2018/19 and a rise of 4% when the two most recent quarters are compared;
  • Sheriff court summary business has seen a 6% decrease in the volume of evidence led trials between 2017/18 and 2018/19 but an increase of 4% is seen when the two most recent quarters are compared;
  • The volume of evidence led trials in the Justice of the Peace Court dropped by 12% over the period 2017/18 to 2018/19 but an increase of 11% is seen when the two most recent quarters are compared.

 Commenting on the new report David Fraser, Chief Operations Officer, said: “The publication of the fourth report now provides a full year of data. I am delighted that we are providing this information on a regular basis which illustrates the trends in criminal cases over the last four years and represents another advance in the drive for openness and transparency on court activity.”

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 publication 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.



See the Scottish Government’s website for criminal statistics relating to people, offence types and sentencing as well as civil justice:

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