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Volume 959: debated on Wednesday 29 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will make an estimate of the average sum set for bail in the sheriff courts in Scotland as a whole and in each of the individual sheriffdoms in Scotland together with the number of accused refused bail in each sheriffdom and the number who were granted bail in both summary and indictment cases;(2) what was the total amount of money lodged for bail in the sheriffdom of Glasgow and North Argyll, the sheriffdom of North Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway and in Scotland as a whole for the latest convenient year; and, in each case, what percentage of these amounts were forfeited as a result of the non-attendance of the accused.

I regret that up-to-date information is not readily available and cannot be supplied except at undue cost. However, the Scottish Office"Social Research Study Pre-trial Bail and Custody in the Scottish Sheriff Courts", published in 1976, which provides certain figures on this matter, estimates the total amount of money lodged for bail in Scottish sheriff courts between 1st February 1972 and 31st January 1973 at slightly more than £100,000; the average sum set for bail in sheriff courts in that period was £13·80.

The study also shows that in Scotland as a whole in the same period 7,798 people were granted bail and 2,658 were refused bail, and that about 6 per cent, of those granted bail failed to appear at court when required.

Separate information about individual sheriffdoms and about summary and indictment cases is not available.