A new high in user satisfaction with services provided by Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service staff has been reported from the latest survey of court users carried out by SCTS.
A total of 92% of respondents declared overall satisfaction with their experience of going to a Scottish court, up from the previous highest satisfaction level of 89% recorded in both the 2013 and 2015 Court User Satisfaction Surveys.
Interviewers approached 2,615 people as they left 51 court buildings across Scotland between May and July this year. Of these, a quarter were attending court for professional or other work purposes (other than judicial or SCTS staff or contractors), and the other three quarters were non-professionals.
Specific questions revealed that 97% of respondents found staff polite and 96% that they were helpful. In terms of court facilities, satisfaction with the comfort, cleanliness and safety and security of facilities used was generally over 80%, while 88% were satisfied with the quality of the catering.
Around two thirds (67%) said they were "very" or "fairly" satisfied with the total waiting time to take part in court proceedings. Scores were lower in the Sheriffdoms of Lothian & Borders (56%) and Tayside, Central & Fife (53%). Of these, 60% were given reasons from court staff as to why they were waiting, and 56% kept updated as to how much longer they would have to.
When measured by individual sheriffdom, overall satisfaction levels mostly showed an improvement on the 2015 figures with levels ranging from 84% to 96%. In the 2015 survey the lowest level for a sheriffdom was 75%.
SCTS said the 2017 survey had "provided a number of helpful comments from court users which can assist the SCTS in making further improvements to its services, with the most prevalent issue focusing upon improving communication about delays, court cases and timings".
Welcoming the findings, chief executive Eric McQueen commented: "We should be very proud of these excellent results which are a credit to SCTS staff and reflect the high-quality service they give to court users. It is reassuring that, even at a time of great change in the justice system, hard work and dedication can produce such outstanding ratings."