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Majority of Scots think sentencing is too lenient

The Scottish Sentencing Council has today (Monday) published a survey showing a majority of Scots consider current court sentences to be too lenient, and that the primary role of the courts should be protecting public safety.

The survey, Public Perceptions of Sentencing, states that 56 percent of Scots consider Scottish court sentences to be “much too” or a “little too” lenient.

In addition 56 percent of respondents stated that “protecting the public” should be the priority for the Scottish Courts when setting sentences.

Lastly, almost half of respondents (48%) stated that community sentences do not reduce reoffending.

These results wholly undermine the SNP’s current ambitions to abolish sentences of up to 12 months and replace them with community sentences – releasing up to 9,500 criminals back into the community.


Liam Kerr, Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary said:

“The SNP cannot continue to ignore the majority of Scots who oppose their soft touch justice.

“In addition, almost 60 percent of Scots agree that the courts’ number one priority should be protecting the public.

“This demonstrates why the SNP must support my bill to keep the worst criminals in prison forever.

“And the SNP must abolish their presumption against prison sentences of less than a year and put victims and the public first.

“The Scottish people have sent a powerful message that they do not agree with the SNP’s soft touch justice, the SNP must listen.”

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