Saturday, 28 July 2018 05:09


New analysis of Scottish crime statistics has revealed a significant drop in convictions for those aged under 21 since the SNP came to power in 2007.

Latest figures have shown that those aged under 21 who have been convicted of a crime has dropped from 27,832 in 2007 to 8,814 in 2017 – a fall of nearly 70%. Amongst males, the number of convictions has fallen from 24,526 to 7,596 during the SNP’s time in power. And the latest Scottish Crime and Justice Survey revealed that 92% of those under 24 thought the police were doing a positive job in their area.
The SNP’s positive and decisive approach to justice issues has been widely praised, including by the Tory UK government, who have said that they “have a lot to learn from Scotland” on crime and justice.
Commenting, SNP MSP Rona Mackay, who is deputy convener of Holyrood’s Justice Committee, said:
“It’s clear that the SNP’s approach to justice is working for communities across Scotland.
“To see a fall of nearly 70% in convictions for our young people is absolutely staggering – and it’s no wonder that even the Tories at Westminster are admitting that they ‘have a lot to learn from Scotland’ on issues of crime and justice.
“Bringing crime and convictions down makes a hugely positive difference to our society – ensuring young people are living productive lives and making something of themselves as opposed to spending time in prison or on the streets getting into bother.
“Under the SNP, crime is at its lowest level in over four decades, we have more police on the streets and our communities are safer.
“We will continue doing all we can to make progress and help ensure no young people are left behind.”

People under 21 convicted, by gender, 2007-08 to 2016/17

Year 2007/08 2016/17 % change
Total 27,832 8,814 -68%
Male 24,526 7,596 -69%
Female 3,306 1,218 -63%

Source: Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, 2016-17

Taking everything into account, how good a job do you think the police IN THIS AREA are doing?
BASE: All respondents

Age 16-24
Sample size 418
Excellent 12%
Good 55%
Fair 25%
Poor 6%
Very Poor 1%
Don’t Know 2%
Refused -

Fieldwork period: April 2016 – April 2017
Source: Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2016/17, Volume 1: NVF Full Sample Tables, Table 1.081a: QRATPOL

Carol Monaghan (Glasgow North West) (SNP)
What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of community sentences on reducing reoffending rates. [904895]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Rory Stewart)
This is something the Department studied in detail in 2015, and we have conclusive evidence that giving somebody a community sentence rather than a short custodial sentence reduces reoffending over a one-year period.

Carol Monaghan
We have evidence of that in Scotland as well. The Scottish Government’s move towards community payback orders has helped Scotland to achieve its current 18-year low in reoffending. Is the Minister looking to the Scottish Government’s example and considering how they have managed to achieve these figures?

Rory Stewart
Absolutely. We have a lot to learn from Scotland, specifically on community sentences, and indeed we will be looking at what more we can do to emphasise that a custodial sentence in the short term should be a final resort. In reoffending terms, it is often much better for somebody to be given a community sentence.

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