Most Scots 'not confident that sentence fits the crime'

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Nearly two thirds of Scots (62%) are not confident that the justice system delivers sentences which fit the crime, according to a government survey.

However, more than 77% believe that the process allows those accused of crimes to get a fair trial regardless of their background.

Overall, cases of crime in Scotland have fallen by 16% since 2016-17.

The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey also found that violent crime has almost halved since 2008-09.

Less than 1% of people experienced more than one violent crime in 2017-18, with this group accounting for three-fifths of all violent crime.

The proportion of alcohol-related violent crime was estimated to be down by about a quarter since 2008-09.

The survey was based on interviews with about 5,500 adults about incidents over the previous year, whether they were reported to police or not.

Other findings include:

  • One in eight adults (12.5%) in Scotland experienced a crime in 2017-18, compared to one in five (20.4%) in 2008-09
  • Property crime, including vandalism and housebreaking, fell by 41% between 2008-09 and 2017-18
  • The rate of repeat violent victimisation fell from 1.6% in 2008-09 to 0.7% in 2017-18
  • 77% of adults felt safe walking alone after dark - an increase of 11 percentage points since 2008-09
  • The majority of adults (57%) said the police were doing a good or excellent job in their local area
  • 15.6% of adults said they had experienced at least one incident of partner abuse since the age of 16.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf welcomed the 16% fall in overall crime and highlighted "how safe people feel in their communities".

He said: Tackling alcohol-related harm has been a pivotal part of our pioneering public health approach to reducing violent crime over the last decade and it is heartening to see a fall in alcohol-related violence.

"I remain concerned about the level of repeat victimisation, and that people in the most deprived communities are more likely to experience violence.

"While these findings are not new, we must not simply accept them as a 'fact of life', and we will continue our work to further understand and reduce violence wherever it persists."