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Criminal justice social work statistics: 2014-15

Published: 24 Mar 2016 11:30

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Statistics published today by Scotland's Chief Statistician show that the number of social work orders issued has remained fairly stable over the past several years, with numbers fluctuating around the 20,000 mark. The most recent figure of 20,100 represents a slight decrease of 2 per cent over the previous year.

The number of diversion from prosecution cases has increased consistently since 2010-11, nearly doubling over the past four years to 1,900.

Completion rates for social work orders continue to be substantially higher in recent years compared to earlier years. The most recent figure of 68 per cent in 2014-15 represents a marked increase from 59 per cent in 2008-09, and a slight drop from 70 per cent in the previous year.

The majority of social work orders (95 per cent) consisted of community payback orders. Today's report also shows that 78 per cent of community payback orders included an unpaid work or other activity requirement, and men were more likely to have this requirement than women (80 per cent compared to 68 per cent). The completion rate for community payback orders was highest for the over 40s (77 per cent) and those in employment (84 per cent).

Notes to editors

This publication is available at and contains information on criminal justice social work services and social work orders, as well as the characteristics of people involved. Information is provided for 2014-15 and, where possible, for earlier years too in order to identify longer-term trends.

Tables at community justice authority area and local authority area level, which have been updated to include 2014-15, can be found at:

Further information on Crime and Justice statistics within Scotland can be accessed at:

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be assessed at: