The average number of reconvictions per offender declined by 17% between 2002-2003 and 2011-2012, figures published by Scotland’s Chief Statistician show.
In the period 2010-11 to 2011-12, the average number of reconvictions per offender in all of Scotland fell by almost 4%, with the reconviction rate going down from 30.1% to 29.2%.
The reduction was chiefly fuelled by a steep drop in reoffending by the under-25s. The report revealed a decline of more than 25% in the number of reconvictions among criminals aged between 21 and 25, from 0.74 in 2002-2003 to 0.54 in 2011-2012.
While expressing satisfaction with the trend in reconviction rates, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill also highlighted that additional efforts are needed to further bring these levels down. The figures imply that the government’s early intervention initiative is proving a success, he noted.
The goal of the so called ‘whole systems approach’ is to tackle all sorts of youth crime, ranging from low level crime to harmful offences. The most efficient way to do so is to identify and address problematic behaviour as early as possible, according to MacAskill.
The results provide clear evidence on the level of commitment from the Scottish police, education boards, social services and additional justice partners. Their efforts have helped bring recorded crime in Scotland to a 40-year low, the Justice Secretary said.
The government plans to invest more than £7.7 million in measures to fight juvenile crime and bolster mentoring services for offenders. The initiative specifically targets males and females who have a long record of recurring crimes, MacAskill said.