The total amount paid out in damages by Scottish councils has fallen by more than half in the latest five years compared with a similar study carried out two years ago, according to figures obtained by BBC Scotland.

Data obtained from local authorities via freedom of information requests show total payments of £15.5m since 2010, compared with a total of £33.2m when the Scottish Conservative Party requested similar information in 2012.

As the figures suggest that most compensation was pothole and water-related, the relative severity of successive winters may have an impact on the total. Glasgow reported a total of £1.3m paid in 2011 for injury or damage caused by road surfaces, but only £43,379 as the latest total for 2014. The council said there had also been improved investment in road surfacing.

Some councils have pointed out that claims arising from more recent incidents may still be in hand.

Incidents giving rise to payments have also included assault by council employees, damage caused by a golf ball, a claim in Aberdeen for "failure to educate", and one in North Ayrshire after a body was placed in the wrong burial plot.

Only the Scottish Borders and Midlothian have seen an increase in payouts in the most recent years.

The BBC has complied a searchable database providing a breakdown of claims by local authority, type of claim and date.