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Public Protection & Community Justice - Data

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What you told us

Read the Consultation Report for the Strategic Plan 2022-25 (PDF)

What the data tells us

Community Justice is the prevention and reduction of offending by addressing the underlying causes. It is concerned with making a positive change for those who have committed offences, their families and victims of crime.

Certain agencies have a statutory duty to be involved in Community Justice Partnerships:

  • Scottish Ministers
  • Police Scotland
  • Health Boards
  • The Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service
  • The Procurator Fiscal Service
  • The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service,
  • Integration Joint Boards
  • Skills Development Scotland
  • Local Authorities

Number and rate per 10,000 population of all crimes and offences recorded by the police

The number of crimes and offenses recorded by the police decreased over the period 2010 to 2020 in both Midlothian and Scotland. In 2010/11, Midlothian rates were substantially lower than Scotland but Scottish rates reduced more quickly, and by 2013/14 they were lower than Midlothian and continued to be so until 2019/20. Rates in 2019/20 were fairly close, with 431 crimes and offenses per 10,000 in Midlothian and 451 per 10,000 in Scotland.


A three-year profile analysis of offenders in Midlothian identified characteristics which include:

  • The highest proportion of people involved in offending were resident in Dalkeith/Woodburn.
  • Over two thirds left school at the minimum leaving age without further formal education.
  • 38% had financial problems.
  • A quarter had accommodation problems.
  • 57% had a history of alcohol misuse. 48% had a history of drug problems.

Scottish data shows a strong association between mental health issues and offending. Two in three women prisoners suffer from depression, and just under half of female prisoners have attempted suicide. Particular concerns are raised around the proportion of prisoners struggling to form positive attachments; 46% of prisoners reported they rarely/never ‘felt interested in other people’, 48% reported they rarely/never ‘felt loved’ and 49% reported they rarely/never ‘felt close to other people’.

It is estimated that the prevalence of learning disabilities among offender populations is much higher than the general population with around 20% to 30% of offenders within the criminal justice system affected by a learning disability. 

There is a high correlation between being in prison and income inequality, social mobility, teenage births, and high levels of obesity and smoking. Domestic violence is also associated with offending behaviour, nationally 43% of young offenders report witnessing violence between their parents or guardians as a child.

Scottish data also shows a strong relationship between gender and community Justice.  Males accounted for 82% of all people convicted in 2018/19 but represented a higher proportion of all custodial sentences (91%) totalling 11,092 men. By contrast women accounted for 18% of people convicted compared to a lower proportion for custodial sentences (9% of custodial sentences). Males also have higher reconviction rates and a higher average number of reconvictions per offender than females


Any attempts to reduce offending and reoffending as part of the Community Justice agenda require a multidisciplinary and community approach to issues such as inequality, adverse childhood experiences, trauma, lack of opportunity, poor physical and mental health issues and difficulties with accessing education and employment, and substance misuse.