In our earlier reviews we set out a group of indicators that seemed to us, taken together, to
give a basis for making an assessment of the progress of the system as a whole. They are:
- Levels of crime – is crime reducing and within the overall figures what is the picture for violent crime?
- Detection of crime – are the police clearing up more crimes?
- Policies to support victims – does the system take an adequate and individualised approach to caring for the victims of crime?
- The sanctions system – are the penalties proportionate and well-administered; do they contribute to the reduction of crime and are they as rehabilitative as it is possible for sanctions to be?
- Reforms to the system – do they increase public involvement, aim to raise public confidence and represent a sensible use of scarce resources?
- Dealing with children in trouble – how far are the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child embedded and observed in the system?
- Human rights and accountability – is the treatment of individuals and groups in accordance with Scotland’s domestic and international obligations on human rights?
- Substance misuse – what progress is being made in tackling the problems which lie at the root of much crime and violence?
- Public attitudes – is the public confident that their interests are properly reflected in policy and how safe do they feel?
- Use of resources – is public money allocated on the basis of knowledge about the best return for money spent?
Our experience of using this framework suggests that it covers many of the elements that fit together into an overall response to crime and justice in any society and enable us to make a broad assessment of the road Scotland is taking and the changes that are taking place.
The Consortium welcomes comment on this Review and suggestions for future publications.
Professor Alec Spencer
Convenor Scottish Consortium on Crime and Criminal Justice