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Prosecutions and convictions of 16 and 17 year olds (30/5/2016) (R012994)

Prosecutions and convictions of 16 and 17 year olds (30/5/2016) (R012994)

Thank you for your request dated 2 May 2016 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the undernoted information:


“The number of 16 and 17-year-olds prosecuted at Sheriff Court level in Scotland since the law changed in September 2015 to protect their identities.

The number of 16 and 17-year-olds convicted at Sheriff Court level in Scotland since the law changed in September 2015 to protect their identities.

The number of 16 and 17-year-olds prosecuted at High Court level in Scotland since the law changed in September 2015 to protect their identities.

The number of 16 and 17-year-olds convicted at High Court level in Scotland since the law changed in September 2015 to protect their identities.

Of the High Court figures, please tell me how many were prosecuted for and how many were convicted of: 

1 - murder

2 - culpable homicide 

3 – rape”

Please be aware that the data relates to accused persons reported for the period 1 September 2015 to 30 April 2016 and accordingly will not include any persons that may have been reported prior to 1 September 2015 and subsequently had proceedings raised after 1 September 2015.  Please also be aware that a number of prosecutions will still be ongoing.

The number of 16 and 17 year old who have had proceedings raised against them at Sheriff Court level in Scotland since 1 September 2015 is 2303 and the number of those convicted to date is 556.

The number of 16 and 17 year olds who have had proceedings raised against them at High Court level in Scotland since 1 September 2015 is 52. 

I consider that the information on the number of 16 and 17 year olds who have been convicted at the High Court since 1 September 2015 isexempt from release under Section 38(1)(b) of FOISA.  This is because the numbers are small enough that their release could lead to identification of the persons involved.  This information would be personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998.  This is an absolute exemption and I am not required to apply the public interest test.

In respect of your query as to how many of the High Court prosecutions relating to 16 and 17 year olds contained a murder charge and how many had been convicted of that charge, again, because of the small numbers involved, I consider this information to be exempt from release under Section 38(1)(b) of FOISA.

I can confirm that no prosecutions were raised in the High Court relating to 16 and 17 year olds containing a charge of culpable homicide at the outset.

In respect of your query as to how many of the High Court prosecutions relating to 16 and 17 year olds contained a rape charge and how many had been convicted of that charge, I can advise that 20 such prosecutions have been raised and to date there have been no convictions.  As previously stated, please be aware that a  the marjority of these prosecutions are ongoing.