Rape and sexual crime convictions increase in Scotland

Convictions for rape, attempted rape and other sexual offences have increased, the latest figures from the Scottish Government indicate.

Rape and sexual crime convictions increase in Scotland

Official statistics on criminal proceedings in Scotland during 2018-19 were released on Tuesday.

Compared to the previous year, they show a 43% increase in convictions for rape and attempted rape to 152.

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However, less than half of these cases brought to court result in a conviction, at a rate of 47%.

The number of proceedings for these crimes rose by 32% to 324 throughout the year.

For sexual offences overall, there was a 9% increase in convictions to 1,215, driven by the rise in guilty verdicts for rape, attempted rape, possessing indecent images and "indecent communication".

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A total of 89,733 people were "proceeded against" in Scottish criminal courts in 2018-19, a fall of 6% from the previous year.

This continues a general downward trend in court activity over the last decade.

Convictions for non-sexual violent crimes dropped by 3% to 1,781, though robbery convictions fell sharply by 12% to 361.

Attempted murder and serious assault convictions were almost unchanged at 1,172.

The number of custodial sentences increased across most age groups for males as well as for women in their thirties.

The average length of a prison sentence was 11 months, excluding life sentences. This is a slight increase on the year before.

The number of convictions related to domestic abuse fell by 7% to 9,210, the fourth consecutive year of decline.

Discussing domestic abuse convictions, the report noted: "Levels have been declining since 2014-15 but remain 8% higher than when numbers were at their lowest of the last decade in 2010-11 (8,566 convictions).

"Their use has fallen at a similar rate this year to the overall number of convictions."

In relation to all criminal proceedings, 5% of people were acquitted on a not guilty verdict and 1% were acquitted on a not proven verdict.

Charges were found proven in 87% of cases and proceedings were dropped in 6%.

There was a 27% increase in recorded police warnings for low-level offences to 22,070.

Procurator fiscal warnings, when prosecutors choose not to take an accused person to court, decreased by 34% to 6,211.

The Criminal Proceedings in Scotland publication is based on data from Police Scotland and the Crown Office.