A combination the festive period and restrictions imposed due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 cut the number of criminal cases heard during December, the latest monthly figures from Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service show.

SCTS's monthly workbook for December reveals that:

  • 30 High Court evidence led trials commenced, 71% of the average pre-COVID level, compared with 63 in November and 54 in October;
  • 56 High Court cases were concluded, 83% of the pre-COVID average (November: 82; October: 70);
  • 52 sheriff solemn evidence led trials commenced, 55% of the pre-COVID average (November: 48; October: 70);
  • 363 sheriff solemn cases were concluded, 85% of the pre-COVID average (November: 414; October: 403);
  • 422 sheriff summary evidence led trials commenced, 73% of the pre-COVID average (November: 385; October: 439);
  • 4,410 sheriff summary cases were concluded, 92% of the pre-COVID average (November: 4,162; October: 4,099);
    1,781 justice of the peace cases were concluded, 70% of the pre-COVID average (November: 1,981; October: 2,022).

November figures in most courts were affected by the restrictions on business imposed during the COP26 conference in Glasgow.

The overall level of new cases registered in December was 82%, and of cases concluded 84%, of the average pre-COVID level. Petitions, which provide a useful indicator of future solemn business, were 4% higher than the average monthly pre-COVID level, compared with 34% higher in November and 10% higher in October.

The workbook is available at: www.scotcourts.gov.uk/official-statistics