Figures show overall decrease in reconvictions but increase for older age groups
Reconviction statistics published today by Scotland’s chief statistician indicate that during the past decade there has been a decrease in the proportion of offenders being reconvicted, and a decrease in the number of times that offenders are reconvicted.
This has largely been driven by decreases in reconvictions of offenders aged under 25.
The Reconviction Rates in Scotland: 2012-13 Offender Cohort statistics show that the average number of reconvictions per offender has decreased by nearly 6 per cent in the year between 2011-12 to 2012-13, from 0.54 to 0.51.
In the same period, the reconviction rate has fallen by one percentage point, from 29.6 per cent to 28.6 per cent.
These decreases continue the trend over the past decade where between 2003-04 to 2012-13 the average number of reconvictions per offender has decreased by nearly 18 per cent, from 0.62 to 0.51; and the reconviction rate has fallen by 4.1 percentage points, from 32.7 per cent to 28.6 per cent.
They also show the average number of reconvictions per offender for the under 21 age group has decreased by almost a third from 0.82 in 2003-04 to 0.57 in 2012-13; and decreased by more than a quarter for the 21 to 25 age group, down from 0.72 to 0.52 in the same period.
In contrast, reconvictions for older age groups have generally increased over the same period: the 31 to 40 age group increased by 12 per cent from 0.50 to 0.56, and the over 40 age group increased by 20 per cent from 0.30 to 0.36
Male offenders are reconvicted more than females.
In 2012-13 the average number of reconvictions for male offenders was 0.53 which was 23 per cent higher than the value of 0.43 for females.
Offenders who committed a crime of dishonesty had the highest number of reconvictions per offender, on average (0.90 in 2012-13), whereas offenders who commit a sexual crime had the lowest (0.17 in 2012-13), compared to offenders that committed other crimes.
The reconviction rate, for the purposes of the statistics, is defined as the proportion of offenders who are reconvicted within a year after being released from a custodial sentence or given a non-custodial sentence.
The average number of reconvictions per offender, is the number of times that offenders in a cohort are reconvicted within a year after being released from a custodial sentence or given a non-custodial sentence.