Penal Policy

Recorded Crime in Scotland 2020-2021

On 28/09/21 the Recorded Crime in Scotland, 2020-2021 figures were published which included the following key points: between 2019-20 and 2020-21, crimes recorded by the police in    Scotland remained almost unchanged; non-sexual crimes of violence decreased by 4%; sexual crimes decreased by 2%; crimes of dishonesty decreased by 19; fire-raising, vandalism etc. decreased by 10%; and other crimes increased by 10%. Most of these crimes relate to drug possession, crimes against public justice or handling offensive weapons.

Membership of the new Scottish Parliament Criminal Justice Committee Announced

On 17 June 2021, membership of the new Scottish Parliament Criminal Justice Committee was announced as follows:

  • Audrey Nicoll (Convenor) (SNP)
  • Russell Findlay (Vice-Convenor) (Conservative)
  • Rona Mackay (SNP)
  • Collette Stevenson (SNP)
  • Fulton MacGregor (SNP)
  • Pauline McNeill (Labour)
  • Katy Clarke (Labour)
  • Jamie Greene (Conservative)

Scottish Crime & Justice Survey 2019-20

On 16 March 2021, the Scottish Crime & Justice Survey 2019-20 was published which showed a 46% fall in crime since 2008-9. It highlighted continuing inequality where falls in crime and improved perceptions of safety have not been equally felt; and where 1 in every 100 adults was a victim of repeated incidents of violence, with their experiences accounting for almost two thirds of the total of violent crime in 2019-20.

Covid19 Court Restrictions Extended

On 12 February 2021, the Lord President announced that court restrictions across Scotland would be extended throughout March. He advised that criminal courts would continue to focus on the most serious trials, whilst the majority of summary trials in the Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court would continue to be adjourned.

The Restorative Justice (Prescribed Persons) (Scotland) Order 2021

On 22 January 2021 The Restorative Justice (Prescribed Persons) (Scotland) Order 2021 was laid before the Scottish Parliament to give Restorative Justice guidance a statutory basis, so that prescribed people must have regard to it. It’s a piece of secondary legislation (SSI) connected to the implementation of the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act and is something which we support. We look forward to details on how Restorative Justice will be be introduced across Scotland by 2023, as previously advised in the Restorative Justice Action Plan.









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