A significant proportion of the most serious prosecutions involve violent crime. A COPFS review of bail confirmed our focus on the safety and protection of victims, witnesses and the public. It set out key principles for prosecutors to consider when deciding whether or not to oppose bail. If there is evidence of risk to safety, prosecutors oppose bail.
Our Cold Case Review Unit was set up to pursue those who have avoided initial detection for homicide. Working with the police, the unit created the first comprehensive database of unresolved cases, with the information constantly updated. The unit also keeps under review cases that might be considered under double jeopardy legislation, which introduced some exceptions to the legal rule that normally excludes an accused being tried twice for the same offence.
COPFS established Europe’s first specialised unit dealing with the prosecution of sexual offences, the National Sexual Crime Unit. Our highly experienced, expert prosecutors recognise the devastating impact sexual crimes often have on victims and have the skills to deal with the significant challenges and intricacies of these cases.
For further information please see Advice for Victims of Sexual Crimes leaflet.
This was the first meeting to be attended by all of the heads of the prosecution services for the
The Nature and Scale of Human Trafficking in 2013 was presented by Caroline Young
Joint Investigation Teams presented by PSNI Senior Investigating officer – DCI Douglas Grant, Eurojust - Elisa Hopley and Public prosecution Service Northern Ireland - Michael Agnew
Human Trafficking: A Different Kind of Victim present by DCC Iain Livingstone
As part of the Serious Organised Crime Task Force, we help to lead work designed to divert, disrupt, deter and detect organised crime. Organised crime is ever-changing, with criminals constantly seeking new opportunities to sustain their enterprises. Our Serious and Organised Crime Division develops new collaborative approaches to the investigation and prosecution of serious and organised crime.
Seizing the money and assets of criminals and organised crime groups significantly curtails their activities, prevents them from re-investing their profits, and makes it difficult for them to carry out their criminal enterprises. Millions of pounds recovered by COPFS has been reinvested in Scottish communities through the CashBack for Communities programme. We work closely with law enforcement agencies and use proceeds of crime laws to make Scotland a hostile place for criminals. Please see statistics on Confiscation Orders
All those committing knife-related crime face our robust prosecution policy. Anyone arrested with a knife in Scotland’s town and city centres will be prosecuted before a sheriff and jury and face a potential prison sentence of four years. We work closely with the police and others to deter violence and protect communities.
The Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit considers deaths that are reported to COPFS because they need further explanation. The specialist staff in the unit, along with those in our associated Health and Safety Division, help to establish the cause of deaths and, where necessary, ensure the best case is presented in prosecutions and fatal accident inquiries.
COPFS is committed to tackling domestic abuse and reports of domestic abuse will always be viewed seriously. COPFS works closely with criminal justice partners and stakeholders to reassure victims that it is safe to come forward and that their cases will be dealt with professionally.
Domestic Abuse Speeches from Conference 8th May 2014 by Solicitor General and Specialist Procurator Fiscal for Domestic Abuse:
COPFS has prioritised some categories of cases due to the seriousness of the crimes involved and the impact on victims and communities.
Our Victim Information and Advice service helps victims, witnesses and bereaved next of kin through the criminal justice process by keeping them informed of key events and helping them access support.