Summary: Community Justice Needs Assessment

December 2017


AREA PROFILE: Orkney Islands

Population of 21,349 (2011); most inhabitants   living on the Mainland of Orkney

 Only 19 out of 70 island inhabited, making Orkney fifth least densely populated Scottish locality 

Almost all of population feel safe in their homes and around 90% feel connected to their community 

Third of population in 16-44 age group with increasing older population




Orkney has been consistently named one of the safest places to live in the United Kingdom. The Community Justice Needs Assessment re-enforced this, finding:

·        Consistently low crime and reconviction rates

·        Exceptionally low rates of Youth Offending, sustained over a number of years

·        Exceptionally low levels of opiate drug misuse, compared with the rest of Scotland.

·        High completion rates of Community Payback Orders, with high percentage of clients surveyed stating that their experience provided sufficient support, was worthwhile and benefitted their community.

·        Most of the local population feeling safe in their homes and connected to the community

·        Almost all of younger population reporting good health

·        Unemployment rate consistently lower than Scottish average


·        Alcohol misuse was involved in two thirds of offending in Criminal Justice Social Work cases in 2016

·        More 15 year olds drink alcohol on a weekly basis than rest of Scotland (2013)

·        From 2016-17, Orkney had the largest national increase in homelessness presentations

·        Access to services and opportunities may be difficult with a low income and lack of private transport

·        Two thirds of Orkney households live in fuel poverty, the highest rate in Scotland (2016)


The Orkney Community Justice Partnership has identified three key areas for local development:

  1. Response to Domestic Abuse
  2. Provision of forensic mental health services
  3. Prisoner release and transfer back to the Community




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