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Public Perceptions of Sentencing in Scotland

ScotCen Social Research have been funded by the Scottish Sentencing Council to gather public perceptions of Sentencing in Scotland for death by driving offences and sexual offences.

Who is carrying out this research?

ScotCen Social Research have been commissioned by the Scottish Sentencing Council to carry out focus groups to explore public perceptions of sentencing in Scotland for death by dangerous driving offences and sexual offences. ScotCen is an independent social research agency, and is an integral part of NatCen Social Research, Britain’s leading centre for independent social research.

Why is this research being carried out?

Currently, little is known about Scottish public attitudes to sentencing, including in the areas of sexual offences and causing death by driving offences. The Scottish Sentencing Council are developing sentencing guidelines to help judges decide what sentences to give to people who have committed offences and to help the public better understand sentences. As part of this process we would like to understand the views of members of the public on sentencing in Scotland.

Why should I take part?

You will help expand the knowledge base around public perceptions of sentencing in Scotland. You may also find the focus group interesting and enjoy sharing your views on sentencing in Scotland. Taking part is completely voluntary, but we do hope you will get involved. If you would like to take part in a focus group, all you need to do is contact contact us by email SentencingPerceptions@scotcen.org.uk.

Everyone who participates in a focus group will receive a £20 Love2Shop voucher as a thank you.

What will taking part involve?

Your participation will involve taking part in a focus group discussion facilitated by a trained ScotCen researcher. The focus group will last around an hour to an hour and a half.

With your permission, the discussion will be audio recorded using encrypted recorders and transcribed to aid analysis. Only the research team will have access to the recording.

Do I have to take part?

Taking part is completely voluntary, and you won't have to answer any questions you don’t want to. There will be no consequences if you chose not to participate.

The location, date and time of the focus group will be agreed shortly.

Why have you chosen me?

When you took part in the Scottish Social Attitudes study in 2017, you gave consent to be re-contacted about new research conducted by ScotCen. We are contacting you for this study as we thought this topic may be of interest to you. 

Is the focus group confidential?

Yes. We will treat information you give us in the strictest confidence under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The results collected are used for research purposes only and no one looking at the findings will be able to identify you in any way. You can find out more about how we protect your personal information here.

How will my information be used?

We will use information collected from this research to write a report. The information you provide will be treated confidentially and used only for the purpose of the research described above and will be securely deleted on completion of the study. ScotCen will not pass your personal details to anybody without your permission.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

You can find out more information about the research in the attached privacy notice or by contacting contact us by email SentencingPerceptions@scotcen.org.uk or call 0131 240 0210.

What's next?

If you would like to take part in a focus group, please click the button in the email you received to register your interest. Alternatively contact contact us by email SentencingPerceptions@scotcen.org.uk or call 0131 240 0210.