Headline figures for the 2013-14 cohort
( Table 1 )
- Both the reconviction rate and average number of reconvictions per offender are at their lowest values for 17 years. Between 2004-05 and the most recent cohort of 2013-14, the reconviction rate decreased by 4.1 percentage points from 32.4 per cent to 28.3 per cent. In the same period, the average number of reconvictions per offender decreased by around 16 per cent from 0.61 to 0.51.
Age and gender
- Male offenders have more reconvictions on average than female offenders. In 2013-14, the average number of reconvictions per offender for male offenders was 0.53 which is 23 per cent higher than the value of 0.43 for female offenders ( Table 2).
- There has been a marked fall in the average number of reconvictions per offender for offenders aged under 25 since 1997-98. In 1997-98, the average number of reconvictions per offender in the under 21 age group was 0.93 and it has decreased by 34 per cent to 0.61 in 2013-14. In the last ten years, the average number of reconvictions per offender for the 21 to 25 age group decreased by 30 per cent from 0.71 to 0.50 ( Table 3).
- In contrast to the longer term decrease, the average number of reconvictions per offender for individuals aged under 21 has increased by 5 per cent from 0.58 in 2012-13 to 0.61 in 2013-14, the first increase since 2005-06. This change is primarily due to an increase in the average number of reconvictions per offender for males of this age category, which increased by 3 per cent from 0.61 to 0.63 since 2012-13. The average number of reconvictions per offender for females aged under 21 is unchanged from 2012-13 ( Table 5) with a value of 0.43.
- In contrast to the younger age groups, the average number of reconvictions per offender for the older age groups have generally increased over the same period. Between 2004-05 and 2013-14, the average number of reconvictions per offender increased by 14 per cent for the 31 to 40 age group, from 0.50 to 0.57, and by 16 per cent for the over 40 age group, from 0.32 to 0.37 ( Table 3).
( Table 6 )
- As in previous years, offenders who commit a crime of dishonesty have the highest average number of reconvictions per offender (0.94 in 2013-14), whereas offenders who commit a sexual crime have the lowest (0.15 in 2013-14), compared to offenders that committed other crimes.
- Since 2012-13, the largest decrease in the average number of reconvictions per offender is for those who committed a sexual crime, which decreased by nearly 17 per cent from 0.18 to 0.15. Over the same time period, the average number of reconvictions per offender increased for those convicted of criminal damage, for the second consecutive year, by 8 per cent (from 0.51 to 0.55), and for offenders who committed a crime of dishonesty by 1 per cent (from 0.93 to 0.94), the first increase since 2008-09.
Index disposal  and sentence length
- Offenders with an index disposal of a Community Payback Order ( CPO) in 2013-14 had an average number of reconvictions per offender of 0.55 ( Table 8). This average was 11 per cent lower than the figure of 0.62 for those offenders with index disposals of Community Service Orders and Probation Orders in 2009-10, immediately prior to the introduction of CPOs.
- Offenders given a Drug Treatment and Testing Order ( DTTO) have the highest average number of reconvictions per offender compared to other disposals, with a value of 1.66 for the 2013-14 cohort. While this is the first year-on-year increase since 2006-07, rising from a value of 1.58 in 2012-13, it represents a 25 per cent decline in the last ten years from the 2004-05 value of 2.2 ( Table 8).
- The average number of reconvictions per offender for those given a Restriction of Liberty Order ( RLO) has decreased by 13 per cent since 2012-13, from 0.68 to 0.59 ( Table 8), and by 52 per cent since 2004-05, from 1.24.
- Offenders released from a custodial sentence had an average number of reconvictions per offender of 0.84 which represents a 6 per cent decrease since 2012-13 ( Table 8). As in previous years, those released from shorter sentences of 3 months or less have, on average, a higher number of reconvictions (1.33) than those released from longer custodial sentences, such as between 3 and 6 months (1.08) and over 4 years (0.12) ( Table 9). However, this difference may be explained by the type of offenders who are more likely to get short custodial sentences; these individuals typically commit relatively low level crimes such as shoplifting but more often, in higher volumes and are more likely to be reconvicted.
Email: Mark Bell
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House