New figures have shown that as violent crime in Scotland increases, rising numbers of people convicted of homicide and sexual assault did not face jail time. The figures show that convictions of non-sexual crimes of violence, including homicide, attempted murder and serious assault, as well as robbery rose by 5 per cent between 2016/17 and 2017/18.
The largest increase is for homicide at 17 per cent. And 30 per cent of those convicted of homicide were not given custodial sentences, an increase of 4 per cent on 2016/17.
The figures also reveal that over half of those convicted of sexual assault – 52 per cent – did not receive a custodial sentence.
The figures have been revealed around the same time as news broke that a man was spared jail at Dumbarton Sheriff Court despite being found guilty of sexually assaulting a child over a period of years. The Sheriff argued that a criminal record would have an adverse impact on his career in dentistry.
“These figures will come as a shock to many people across the country. I support a rehabilitative approach to justice but a situation which sees convicted killers spared jail, simply isn’t right.
“These figures will be a source of distress to the victims and will break down trust in the system.
“People across Scotland are rightly outraged by the decision taken by the judge at Dumbarton Sheriff Court, so the fact that this is a trend which can be seen across the country will provide little confidence in the justice system.”