Latest quarterly criminal court figures continue to show strong progress

Sep 01, 2022

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service quarterly statistical bulletin is published today providing quarterly Official Statistics on criminal case activity in Scotland. This bulletin covers the period Quarter 1 2022/23 (April - June).

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

The 17th QCC Bulletin shows the sustained impact of the 16 additional trial courts introduced in September 2021 with a total of 24,511 cases concluded in Q1 2022/23 – an increase of 12% from Q4 2021/22.

For the first time the bulletin also contains data on whether the accused appeared from police custody for their first appearance,  and whether they were subsequently, remanded in custody, bailed or ordained.

Other highlights include:

  • There were 22,543 first instance criminal cases registered in Scottish courts in Q1 2022/23, which is 7% higher than in Q4 2021/22.  
  • The number of trials scheduled has fallen by 9% to 37,174 when scheduled trials at the end of June 2022 are compared to those still to call as at the end of March 2022.
  • Evidence led trials rose by 5% to 2,217 in Q1 2022/23 compared to Q4 2021/22.
  • In Q1 2022/23 domestic abuse cases accounted for 24% of Sheriff Summary registrations; 28% of Sheriff Summary trials called and 37% of Sheriff Summary trials in which evidence was led.


Commenting on the bulletin SCTS Executive Director Court Operations, David Fraser, said: “The latest figures show the recovery programme, which introduced the additional 16 trial courts in September 2021, continues to make inroads to the backlog created by the Covid-19 pandemic. The backlog has reduced every month this year and is now below the 2020/21 year end figure. Due to prioritising cases, domestic abuse accounts for two in every five evidence led trials at Summary level.

“I am pleased to introduce data showing how the accused arrive and depart court at their first appearance. This further evidences our commitment to openness, transparency and responding to data requests.

“We continue to make progress due to the excellent collaboration across the judiciary, justice organisations, the legal profession and the third sector which has helped get court business back on track. This collaboration remains crucial during the recovery programme and the anticipated increase in case registrations.”

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