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Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service: Strategic Plan 2015 - 2018

Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service: Strategic Plan 2015 - 2018

This document is also available in pdf format (372 KB)

Our Purpose 

 Securing Justice for the people of Scotland

Our Vision 

To be the world leading public prosecution and death investigation service

Our Enablers

  • People
  • Digital
  • Improvement
  • Collaborative Working
  • Finance
Our Values
  • Being Professional
  • Showing Respect
Our Objectives
  • criminal cases are effectively and independently investigated and prosecuted or have other proportionate action taken in the public interest
  • deaths which need further explanation are appropriately and promptly investigated
  • financial gain achieved by criminal means is removed from criminals using proceeds of crime laws
  • a level of service which takes account of individual needs and characteristics is provided to all
  • victims, nearest relatives and witnesses and those accused of an offence are treated with dignity and respect
Our Guiding Principles
  • Improving Quality
  • Optimising Resources
  • Delivering Efficiency

Contents

Foreword - Crown Agent        
The Strategy For Justice In Scotland
Securing Justice For The People Of Scotland
Delivery - What And How
Monitoring Delivery
Annex - Key Facts

 


 

Foreword

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) is Scotland's sole prosecution service. We receive reports about crimes from the police and other reporting agencies and decide what action to take in the public interest, including whether to prosecute. We also look into deaths that need further explanation and investigate allegations of criminal conduct against police officers.

This Strategic Plan describes what we aim to deliver over the period 2015-2018 and the underlying priorities. These are set against the backdrop of legal reforms, both past and planned, changes in the patterns of criminal behaviour and developments in our business practices. And, in particular, the ever increasing use of technology and moving towards more functional working, with increasing use of specialists for particular types of cases.

Our purpose is to secure justice for the people of Scotland. We are committed to playing our part in making Scotland a safer place to live and we will demonstrate that by prosecuting crime independently and impartially in the public interest.

We will continue to work with other parts of the criminal justice system to develop ever more productive working arrangements, performing a key role in the implementation of the various reforms to criminal law and procedure underway and planned in the years ahead, especially improving the quality of justice for victims and witnesses.

And we want to ensure our staff are properly equipped to cope with the challenges ahead and remain skilled, motivated and engaged. To that end, improved leadership and management training, together with training in technical skills, form major strands of our people strategy.

Each element of this Strategic Plan is designed to support our purpose to secure justice for the people of Scotland and I am confident that, by working together, we will do so.

 



 

 

 Catherine Dyer 
Crown Agent 


 

The Strategy For Justice In Scotland

We contribute both directly and by working collaboratively with other parts of the justice system to deliver the Scottish Government's Strategy for Justice in Scotland. This aims to deliver a justice system that contributes positively to a flourishing Scotland, helping to create an inclusive and respectful society, in which all people and communities live in safety and security, individual and collective rights are supported, and disputes are resolved fairly and swiftly.

  • The Strategy for Justice sets the following priorities:
  • reducing crime, particularly violent and serious organised crime
  • tackling hate crime and sectarianism
  • supporting victims and witnesses
  • increasing public confidence and reducing the fear of crime.

It identifies a number of Justice Outcomes which describe what the strategy is aiming to achieve. Through its objectives, COPFS contributes to the following Justice Outcomes.

  • we experience low levels of crime and low levels of fear, alarm and distress
  • we are at a low risk of unintentional har.
  • our people and communities support and respect each other, exercising both their rights and responsibilities
  • our public services are fair and accessible
  • our institutions and processes are effective and efficient
  • our public services respect the rights and voice of users.

 


 

Securing Justice For The People Of Scotland
We play a pivotal role in the justice system, working with others to make Scotland safer from crime, disorder and danger. The public interest is at the heart of all we do as independent prosecutors. We take into account the diverse needs of victims, witnesses, communities and the rights of those accused of crime.

Our workload has been increasing over recent years, with reports received increasing by 5% since 2009-2010 to 303,221. The nature of the cases being reported to us has changed, with our receiving more complex cases, such as sexual offences cases, which require more investigation and more resources to prosecute than other types of cases. This trend is shown by the increased numbers of cases going to trial. Our response to this has been to enhance the prosecution of cases by the introduction of specialist prosecutors and specialist investigation units and we will continue to consider whether this can be developed further. Currently we have units which specialise in appeals, cold cases, economic crime, confiscation of the proceeds of crime, deaths that need further explanation, domestic abuse; environmental and wildlife law, health and safety matters, international cases, serious and organised crime and sexual crimes.

The world in which we operate is changing. Criminal justice will be reformed in the coming years as recommendations are implemented from the reviews by Lord Carloway and Sheriff Principal Bowen, together with the advent of the Victims & Witnesses Act and the new court structures being introduced by the Scottish Court Service. All these reforms, together with the Scottish Government's Making Justice Work Programme, the Justice Strategy for Scotland, the Justice Digital Strategy and the Scottish Justice Quality Framework, will have significant implications for how we go about our business. In addition, public sector funding is under severe pressure and this is likely to continue into the future.

The Law Officers' priorities over the period of this plan are to contribute to improved public safety, reduced individual harm and enhanced economic and environmental well-being, in line with the over-arching Justice Vision of contributing positively to a flourishing Scotland, helping to create an inclusive and respectful society in which all people and communities live in safety and security with individual and collective rights being supported and disputes resolved fairly and swiftly.

This includes tackling inequality and protecting human rights. Operational priorities make it clear that prosecutors are targeting hate crime, domestic abuse, stalking and sexual offending, all of which involve significant equalities issues for those who have protected characteristics across all sections of society.

And we are helping families of victims obtain justice by pursuing so-called "cold cases" - historic unsolved homicides - and taking advantage of the ability to prosecute cases using the double jeopardy legislation.

Given the context described above, we need to continue our transformation programme if we are going to maintain delivery of a high quality prosecution service. In making best use of digital technologies we will continue to ensure compliance with legislative and information assurance requirements governing the management, use and sharing of data and with our records management plan developed under the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011. In addition, we need to ensure that our policies and practices allow us to keep abreast of changing patterns of criminal behaviour.

To deliver our objectives successfully we will be a Service that:

  • develops highly capable, skilled and specialist staff at all levels who are deployed appropriately
  • delivers casework supported by effective quality standards and consistent operating method.
  • works efficiently, supported by enhanced systems, structures and processes, making best use of digital technologies, to improve the way we operate
  • disrupts and deters criminal activity by denying serious and organised crime groups the profits of crime.

And which observes and seeks to promote our core values of:

  • being professional: working with pride, always acting with integrity and taking personal responsibility to provide high standards of service
  • showing respect: being open and sensitive to the needs and ideas of others, treating people fairly and welcoming diversity.

 

  

 

 

 


 

Delivery - What And How

What we will deliver is a world leading public prosecution and death investigation service which secures justice for the people of Scotland through our Objectives:

  • criminal cases are effectively and independently investigated and prosecuted or have other proportionate action taken in the public interes.
  • deaths which need further explanation are appropriately and promptly investigated
  • financial gain achieved by criminal means is removed from criminals using proceeds of crime laws
  • a level of service which takes account of individual needs and characteristics is provided to all
  • victims, nearest relatives and witnesses and those accused of an offence are treated with dignity and respect.

How we will deliver is through our Guiding Principles, which we have adopted to focus our activities, and through our Enablers which will underpin and support delivery. In addition, we will work with colleagues in the justice sector and with other stakeholders to identify opportunities to improve the operation of the whole justice system. Leadership has a key role in ensuring delivery of our objectives so that, in addition, we will be focusing on developing leadership and management training, to ensure staff have the skills they need.

Improving Quality

We will continue to implement our Improvement Strategy and to streamline and simplify processes; improve the quality of work at every stage through professional competence in process delivery to defined quality standards, ensuring cases are well prepared; we will play our part in the Scottish Justice Quality Framework and the Making Justice Work programme to improve Justice Outcomes.

Optimising Resources

We will ensure that our resources are used to best effect so that we have the right people, doing the right things at the right time in the right way; we will undertake workforce and organisational analysis to ensure we have the structures, capability, specialist skills and professional standards needed; we will provide the leadership, training and development required to support staff.

Delivering Efficiency

We will further improve and innovate our IT systems and services to support business delivery by enhancing our IT infrastructure, delivering efficient and dynamic platforms and technologies, developing integrated and innovative corporate and business application systems. We will review our estate, to ensure we both align with new Court structures and operate cost-effectively. And we will undertake a Change Programme to deliver enhanced efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Key Deliverables

Key deliverables over the Strategic Plan period include:

Leadership/Management Development

We are developing a leadership and management development strategy that will provide the knowledge and skills to effectively lead change, and create a culture of continuous performance improvement delivered by managers with the skills and confidence to undertake their roles effectively.

This leadership development approach has been specifically designed to address the leadership challenges we face over the next three years at an organisational, team and individual level, as well as tackling the front-line management skills that are critical to deliver the level of service expected by our stakeholders.

The combination of strong, focused leadership and well trained, capable managers will make the difference in our ability to deliver our strategic outcomes

Public Contact and Information

We will review the way in which we provide information to the public and those who come into contact with us, including the use of technology, in order to improve the quality of service we provide, meet the needs of our diverse communities and allow for changes to be made on the basis of feedback received.

Victims' Right to Review

Being a victim of a crime can be traumatic and have an emotional impact. Where a crime has been reported and this has been considered by the Procurator Fiscal, it is appropriate that the victim is made aware of a decision to take no action and the reason for this if they have expressed a wish to be informed of such a decision. This also applies where we have taken proceedings but thereafter decided not to continue with those proceedings. This obligation, which is now enshrined in Section 4 of the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014, will be implemented in an effective and proportionate way.

Review of Prosecution Policies

We will continue to regularly review potential options around prosecution policy to ensure improved quality of decision-making, based on an outcome-focused approach so that cases are being dealt with appropriately. We will ensure that other parts of the justice system are made aware of the likely impact of any changes.

Investigating Deaths

We are working with the National Health Service, National Services Scotland to implement the electronic reporting of deaths to us by medical staff. It is anticipated that the roll out of this new system will be complete by the end of 2015. In addition, we are working to secure access to the electronic records system used by the NHS, in order that pathologists can obtain medical records more easily, thereby speeding up processes and allowing pathologists to make best use of the information available. We are also encouraging the use of view and grant procedures in as many cases as possible, with the aim of reducing the numbers of post mortems and the distress to relatives.

Initial Case Processing Hub

The key function of initial case processing is to make first time autonomous decisions on crimes reported to us at summary level. The skills and competences required for that differ from those required for other aspects of our work and it has been decided that initial case processing should be provided with its own distinct leadership focused on the delivery of that activity. It is intended therefore to create an initial case processing hub to deliver an improved focus and consistency in the initial stages of handling cases reported to us. Current plans are to move to centralised management of this work from April 2015, while consideration is being given to transferring this work to one or more centralised hubs over the course of the plan period.

National High Court Hub

With the reduction in the number of locations at which the High Court sits, we are commencing a review of how we carry out High Court work, in order to ensure the continued effectiveness and efficiency in the way in which we manage this aspect of our business. Initial thoughts are that we would move to a national High Court function before 2018 but that is dependant upon the outcome of the forthcoming review.

FUTURE SHAPE

Following the introduction of Federation and greater functional working in 2012, we have undertaken a review of those arrangements. This is to enable us to assess how far the changes made so far are supporting quality in our decision-making and efficiency and whether these arrangements will continue to provide us with the best structures in the future.

We are setting up a programme to include work on implementing proposals that arise from the review recommendations, this programme will link in to the other changes underway such as the moves to nationally managed ICP and High Court hubs (as detailed above) as well as other improvement projects.

Enablers

Delivery of our objectives is supported by focused activity in five areas. These describe what will be done over the period to March 2018 that will support the delivery of the guiding principles and ultimately our objectives. These activities will be kept under review to ensure that our approach and activities remain relevant.

People

We will ensure that our staff have the knowledge, skills and capability to deliver a high quality, cost efficient service.

Key elements are:

  • leading and managing: preparing and delivering leadership and management development programmes to support leaders and managers in delivering our priorities and objectives and contributing to overall success
  • developing: ensuring staff have the skills and knowledge they require for their role and future roles
  • recognising: giving positive feedback to staff on work well done and supporting those who require additional training
  • employing: ensuring that there is clarity over job roles and responsibilities and having clear and transparent recruitment and deployment arrangements in place
  • engaging: ensuring that staff have confidence and are empowered and trusted to deliver a world-class, cost-effective prosecution service
  • fairness: maintaining and updating a suite of people policies that provide protection and fairness for staff throughout their careers, and that promotes equality and diversity in our internal and external relations.

Digital

We will ensure that we deliver and support a portfolio of efficient, resilient, innovative and secure IT systems.

Key elements are:

  • responding to business needs and strategic priorities: providing flexible and agile IT resources and solutions that allows enhanced and sustained organisational performance
  • corporate processes and business solutions: implementing innovative business and applications solutions to increase operational efficiency and to deliver customer focused digital services
  • robust and flexible IT infrastructure and information systems: creating enterprise architecture that enables structured and seamless access to information, creating opportunities for innovative new digital business models to underpin the effective delivery of digital services
  • people and skills: aligning and focusing the core competencies, digital capabilities and skills of staff with the delivery of operational and strategic aims.

Improvement

We will ensure our systems and processes are robust and fit for purpose to meet the expectations and requirements of all our key stakeholders, both internal and external.

Key elements are:

  • tablets in court: delivering paperless prosecution case presentation in summary courts initially, through the use of electronic tablet.
  • online secure access for victim and witness case information: delivering applications online for our stakeholders, eg, updated case progress information for victims and witnesses, including access to their witness statements
  • digital evidence store: sharing images and CCTV evidence in the most efficient and cost-effective manner by providing a digital evidence store so that such evidence can be viewed from any location and inserted into appropriate documentation as required.

Collaborative Working

Successful delivery of our objectives will require effective partnership working across a range of stakeholder organisations, as part of the Strategy for Justice in Scotland. This will support the effective operation of the justice system and the achievement of shared outcomes.

Key elements are:

  • digitised justice systems: we will play a full part in the Digital Strategy for Justice in Scotland, including working with Police Scotland and the Scottish Court Service to encourage digital evidence presentation, the use of video links and mobile devices; we will continue to develop and innovate our existing digital systems and processes to further enhance the services we provide to customers and stakeholder.
  • equality and diversity: working jointly to tackle under-representation across criminal justice workforces and promote criminal justice agencies as inclusive employers and service providers, delivering unconscious bias training and improving access to justice
  • legislative changes: work with justice bodies to deliver the planned legislative programme, including court reform, criminal justice reform and support to victims and witnesse.
  • reducing adjournments: consider with other justice agencies ways in which repeated adjournments (commonly referred to as "churn") can be reduced without adversely affecting the rights of victims and the accused.

Finance

We will support the delivery of business priorities by ensuring that the level of funding secured is distributed appropriately and that we can continually demonstrate Best Value.

Key elements are:

  • finance skills: ensuring all managers across COPFS are clear about their financial responsibilities and are suitably skilled to meet them
  • financial management: embedding Finance Business Partners who will support Budget Holders and Budget Managers to make the optimum use of the resources allocated to them to meet the business priorities
  • finance systems and processes: continually reviewing and streamlining all business processes to ensure that they are as efficient and effective as they can be
  • procurement: enhancing our procurement capability, ensuring that we seek to improve value for money and efficiency and promoting equality and diversity in our suppliers.

 


 

Monitoring Delivery

This Strategic Plan sets out our objectives and strategic principles over the period 2015 to 2018. Delivery plans are developed each year as part of our annual planning process and are monitored by the Executive Board at its monthly meetings and by the Strategic Board at its quarterly meetings.

Overall responsibility for delivery of this plan rests with the Executive Board. Collaborative Justice-wide initiatives will be managed and monitored through the Scottish Government's Justice Board and the associated Making Justice Work Programme.

Reporting

A report on performance and expenditure for each financial year is provided in the COPFS Annual Report and Accounts.

To comply with our public sector general equality duty, we will report on the representation of our workforce and monitor the impact of our Employment and Prosecution policies on Protected Groups as defined by The Equality Act of 2010. We will also report on progress to meet the specific duties set by the Scottish Parliament in 2012. The Scottish Government publish a range of statistics, including hate crimes.

We also report on sustainability and how we have reduced our impact on the environment in support of the Scottish Government's Greener Scotland objectives.

Openness

We will be open and transparent on the progress of the delivery of our strategic priorities and objectives: by publishing information on our website; by engaging with our stakeholders; and by communicating with the media. There will be regular communication and engagement with staff to ensure they are properly equipped and informed to deliver the Strategic Plan objectives.

Risk Management

We have a formal Risk Management Framework in place, with risks being monitored regularly by a Risk Management Group, chaired by a senior Risk Champion, comprising representatives of each business area and a Non-Executive Director. Risks are also reviewed regularly by the Executive Board and the Audit & Risk Committee. Responsibility for management of individual risks is delegated to specific risk owners with actions monitored and reported.

Review

The Plan will be reviewed annually to ensure the strategic approach remains appropriate.

 


 

Annex - Key Facts For 2013-14

Caseload 

In 2013-14 we:

  • received 303,221 reports (293,672 criminal reports and 9,549 death reports), a 4% increase on the previous year
  • had 36,552 charges with a domestic abuse aggravator reported to us, a 35% increase on 2012-13
  • had 7,479 sexual offences charges reported to us, a 12% increase on 2012-13
  • placed 10,255 cases on petition, of which 1,595 were later reduced to summary, giving a net total of 8,660,a 16% increase on the previous year
  • concluded 34 Fatal Accident Inquiries
  • had 601 disposals in the High Court, a 1% increase in total but there was a 16% increase in trials
  • had 4,750 Sheriff & Jury disposals, 2% less than the previous year but trial numbers increased by 8%
  • had 55,395 Sheriff Summary disposals, a 2% increase in total but had an 8% increase in trial.
  • had 36,095 JP Court disposals, a 10% increase, with a 15% increase in trial.
  • issued 7,785 Warning Letters, a 40% decrease
  • issued 753 Compensation Orders, the fourth yearly reduction
  • had a total of 121,494 non-court disposals, a 6% decrease
  • cited 341,449 witnesses, including 184,949 police witnesse.
  • exceeded all our performance targets.

A range of statistics can be found on our website: www.copfs.gov.uk

Finances

During 2013-14 we spent £107.874m. Of this:

  • £67.542m was spent on staff;
  • £40.332m on other administration costs - of this:
    • £15.805m was spent on obtaining expert reports and witness costs
    • £9.075m was spent on office running costs, including utilities, rent, rates, etc.

Staffing

As at 31 March 2014:

  • we had 1,532 staff in post on a full time equivalent basis (FTE), compared to 1,486 in 2007
  • of these, 68% were women, compared to 53.3% across the Civil Service as a whole
  • women represented 50% of our Senior Civil Service compared to 37.4% across the Civil Service
  • 4.9% of staff have declared themselves to have a disability, compared to 8.6% across the Civil Service
  • the level of sickness absence is currently 8.5 days per member of staff, compared with 8.7 days per person for the public sector and 7.2 days for the private sector, as reported by CIPD.

Dealing With Requests For Information

During 2013-14, as well as making a range of material available proactively under our Publication Scheme.

  • we responded to 333 Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and carried out 47 FOI reviews
  • we responded to 59 subject access requests under the Data Protection Act
  • we answered 317 items of Ministerial Correspondence to the Law Officers, of which 183 were Official Replies.

Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service head office:

Crown Office 25 Chambers Street Edinburgh EH1 1LA

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Telephone: 01389 739 557

Calls can be made through RNID Typetalk. Please prefix our telephone number with 18001

Deaf sign language users should text on 07825 280346, specifying if you would prefer your reply by sms, text or email.

© Crown copyright 2015

This document is available on our website www.copfs.gov.uk

Produced for Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service by APS Group Scotland, February 2015.

CO/SP/JAN15/JV

Our role in your community is a DVD resource which explains the role of Scottish prosecutors and is free to download from the COPFS website. Images from the DVD, which included actors to illustrate scenes, have been used in this publication.

Equality and Diversity

Hate Crime in Scotland

Reports relating to COPFS Public Sector Equality duties

Equality Impact Assessment records

Equality Advisory Group membership and biography information

Equality Advisory Group Minutes

Equality and Diversity Strategy Group

Proud in COPFS

Justice Equality and Diversity Sub Group

Interpreting and Translation

Visit our Equality and Diversity in Your Community page for more info

 

 

Hate Crime in Scotland

This publication provides information on race crime, and on crimes aggravated by religious, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity prejudice. It also includes details of offences under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012.

 A geographical breakdown of the national figures is also provided below.

Hate Crime in Scotland Report

2016-17

docxHate Crime in Scotland 2016-17

pdfHate Crime in Scotland 2016-17

pdfHate Crime in Scotland 2010-11 to 2016-17 (breakdown by Procurator Fiscal Office)

2015-16

docxHate Crime in Scotland 2015-16.docx

pdfHate Crime in Scotland 2015-16.pdf


2014-15

pdfHate Crime in Scotland 2014-15 183.8 KB


2013-14

pdfHate Crime in Scotland 2013-14122.86 KB


2012-13

pdfHate Crime in Scotland 2012-13.193.05 KB

2011-12

pdfHate Crime in Scotland 2011-1248.26 KB

pdf(Read Only PDF version - Hate Crime 2011-12) 48.26 KB

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 Reports relating to COPFS Public Sector Equality duties

 pdfCOPFS Equality Outcomes FOR 2017 - 2021docxCOPFS Equality Outcomes FOR 2017 - 2021

pdfMainstreaming Equality Report 2017docxMainstreaming Equality Report 2017

xlsAnnex C - HR Data and Analysis for Mainstreaming Equality Report 2017

pdfCOPFS Equality Outcomes Update Report 2015

pdfStaff Statistical Equality Information 2015

pdfCOPFS Equality Outcomes for 2013-2017

pdfCOPFS Mainstreaming Equality Report 2013

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Equality Impact Assessment records

2017

pdfStaff Customer Service Survey 2017 - 18 May 2017

pdfDomestic Abuse Protocol - 28 February 2017

 

2016

pdfSheriff and Jury Witness information phoneline - 29 December 2016

pdfCOPFS Transitioning at Work policy - 20 July 2016.pdf

 

2015

pdfShaping the Future Programme - November 2015

pdfSecurity Breach Management - 21 May 2015

pdfRight to Review - 22 July 201549.64 KB

 

2014

pdfCOPFS corporate brand - 12-201452.04 KB

pdfDoc Scanning software - 12-201456.43 KB

pdfConfiguration Management Policy - 17-11-2014 73.59 KB

pdfWireless Use Policy - 17-11-2014.pdf73.59 KB

pdfIT Patch Management Policy 17-11-2014.pdf73.56 KB

pdfRemoveable Media Policy 17-11-2014.pdf47.11 KB

pdfRemote and Mobile Working Policy 17-11-2014.pdf47.35 KB

pdfSecure Disposal of Information and Equipment Policy17-11-2014.pdf47.35 KB

pdfCOPFS Information Classification Policy 17-11-2014.pdf73.33 KB

pdfCOPFS Information Risk Management Policy 17-11-2014 73.59 KB

pdfE-Court project revised - 11-2014 204.43 KB

pdfPresentation Skills course 21-10-2014.pdf24.26 KB

pdfCOPFS Acceptable Computer use Policy 09-10-2014.pdf84.74 KB

pdfInformation Access Control Policy 30-09-2014 73.57 KB

pdfAcceptable Use of IT policy - 30-09-2014 52.72 KB 

pdfVAT Fraud toolkit - 24-09-14.pdf 17.06 KB

pdfEIA Transgender policy - 08-09-2014 52.36 KB

pdfInformation Security policy - 04-08-2014 48.55 KB

pdfCOPFS Incident Management Policy - 04-08-2014.pdf84.82 KB

pdfCOPFS Incident Response Policy 04-08-2014.pdf 73.35 KB

pdfSerious and Organised Crime e-learning pack 22-07-2014 35.71 KB

pdfCase Management in Court (E-Court) Project  01-04-2014 127.44 KB

pdfFiscal Work Orders 19-02-2014 16.14 KB

pdfOlder Persons Prosecution Policy 9-01-2014 16.84 KB

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Equality Advisory Group membership and Biography information

pdfMembership and Biographies - 201564.67 KB

pdfEAG Role and Remit 51.86 KB

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Equality Advisory Group Minutes

EAG Minutes of 3 March 2016.pdf

EAG Minutes of 26 November 2015.pdf

pdfEAG minutes 2 September 2015 89.15 KB

pdfEAG minutes 26 February 2015 86.96 KB

pdfEAG minutes of 18 December 2014  46.31 KB

pdfEAG minutes of 2 July 201444.18 KB 

pdfCommunity Engagement Dundee - 27 February 2014.pdf51.37 KB

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Equality and Diversity Strategy Group

pdfEquality and Diversity Strategy Group 16 December 201589.49 KB

pdfEquality and Diversity Strategy Group 13 May 2015 77.2 KB

pdfEquality and Diversity Strategy Group 27 November 2013 25.94 KB

pdfEquality and Diversity Strategy Group - 12 March 201421.64 KB

pdfEquality and Diversity Strategy Group 21 August 201476.82 KB

pdfEquality and Diversity Strategy Group 19 November 2014 79.25 KB

pdfEquality and Diversity Strategy Group 11 February 201578.04 KB

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Proud in COPFS

pdfScottish Government Equality Champion - C Dyer.pdf35.42 KB

pdfBusiness Plan 14 15.pdf159.89 KB

pdfNetwork Activities.pdf52.89 KB

pdfAdvice guidance and support.pdf73.22 KB

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Justice Equality and Diversity Sub Group

pdfJustice Equality and Diversity Sub-Group Minutes 29 Oct 201349.47 KB

pdfJustice Equality and Diversity Sub-Group Minutes 3 December 201345.73 KB

pdfJustice Equality and Diversity Sub-Group Minutes 13 January 201442.77 KB

pdfJustice Equality and Diversity Sub-Group Minutes 3 March 201448.41 KB

pdfJustice Equality and Diversity Sub-Group Minutes 23 April 201441.93 KB

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Interpreting and Translation

pdfEnhancing the professionalisation of the provision of interpreting in the Scottish Criminal Justice System: Key findings of a Scoping Exercise – Skills for Justice 1.48 MB

_______________________________________________________________________

Please visit our "Equality and Diversity in Your Community" page for information on how COPFS works in this area.

Return to top

This publication provides information on race crime, and on crimes aggravated by religious, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity prejudice. It also includes details of offences under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012.

A geographical breakdown of the national figures is also provided below.

Hate Crime in Scotland 2016-17 will be published on 9 June 2017.

Publications from other organisations

Please note that our website contains links to websites operated by third parties. If you use these links, you leave our website.

These links are provided for your information and convenience only. The inclusion of any such links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them. 

COPFS cannot be held responsible for the contents of any pages referenced by an external link.

 

Epilepsy Scotland: 'Epilepsy and the Law' DVD

This training DVD is aimed at all professionals working in the law sector. Made by Epilepsy Scotland, in partnership with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and Police Scotland this DVD clearly explains the issues for people with epilepsy including examples of post-seizure behaviour commonly mistaken for drunk or disorderly conduct Features include interviews with key experts and reconstructed examples with professional actors.

This DVD is invaluable CPD for police, lawyers and any professional who regularly comes into contact with people who may be wrongly thought to be drunk and disorderly - but may actually be having a seizure or in a post-seizure state.

The insightful DVD can be purchased from the Epilepsy Scotland online shop.

Glasgow Community Justice Authority

GCJA information on alternatives to prosecution, remand and custody: A Summary of Community Options 

Inspectorate of Prosecution: Time Bar Report

COPFS welcomes the findings of the Inspectorate of Prosecution's report on time bars, and in particular we note their finding that COPFS manages the complexity of timebars very well. We also accept all of the report recommendations, some of which have already been implemented, which will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our work.

We will continue to adapt to change, adopting new approaches in our work and implementing solutions for the future to ensure that COPFS can continue to secure justice for the people of Scotland.
The full report can be read here: http://www.gov.scot/about/public-bodies/ipis/reps
 

New College Lanarkshire: ‘A guide to Scots Law’

Practical, sensible advice on Scotland’s laws for those coming to live in the country for the first time.

An English version of this guide is available here.

The guide is also available in 10 more languages, including:

Police Investigations & Review Commissioner

Police Scotland

Information Systems

Information Systems

 

This page is awaiting content.

Community

Community

This page is awaiting content.

Deaths

This panel was already here.

The role of the Procurator Fiscal in the investigation of deaths - Information for bereaved relatives

The role of the Procurator Fiscal in the investigation of deaths - Information for bereaved relatives 

The Procurator Fiscal is responsible for investigating the circumstances and cause of death and, if necessary, instructing a post mortem examination.

 

This panel was already here.

Translated versions - The role of the Procurator Fiscal in the investigation of deaths

 

This panel was already here.

Advice for bereaved nearest relatives in cases of crime-related deaths

Advice for Bereaved Nearest Relatives in Cases of Crime - Related Deaths 

You may be the nearest relative (spouse, partner, child, parent, sibling or other relation) of someone who has died as a result of a crime. If so, you may become involved with the criminal justice system. This can be stressful and confusing when you are also coping with the grief of bereavement. Victim Information and Advice (VIA) can help you.

 

This panel was already here.

Guidance for medical practitioners

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has produced this booklet for the information and guidance of medical practitioners. The booklet is intended to provide a clear, concise guide and to assist medical practitioners to decide whether a death requires to be reported to the Procurator Fiscal and, if so, how to go about doing this.Guidance for medical practitioners.

Reporting deaths to the Procurator Fiscal,pdfReporting deaths to the Procurator Fiscal.pdf

 

 

  • COPFS Family Liaison Charter (September 2016)

  • FOI publication bulletin

  • Death of William Macrae 
  •  

     

    Victims and Witnesses

    Victims' Right To Review

    Please be aware that from 1 July 2015, you, as a victim of crime in Scotland, have the right to a review of a decision by us not to prosecute, made on or after 1 July 2015. You should if possible apply for a review within one month of the date you are informed of our decision not to prosecute. Generally you would be told of the review decision within 20 working days.

    docxApplication form to request a review 251.83 KB
    pdfLord Advocate’s Rules: Review of a Decision Not to Prosecute – Section 4 of The Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014118.21 KB

     

    Review of victim care in the justice sector in Scotland

    A Victim Review carried out by the former Solicitor General, Dr Lesley Thomson QC which recommends ways in which the justice system could better serve victims of crime.

    Review of Victim Care in the Justice Sector in Scotland.pdf

     

    Victims and Witnesses

    You may have a lot of questions about what to expect. The relevant COPFS booklets listed above will be sent to you if you are cited to be a witness but you can read them now by clicking on the links above.

    We hope they help answer some of your questions for example about what to bring to court, what will happen when you get there and what expenses you can claim and how.

    If you are eligible for the Victim Information and Advice service you will also be sent leaflets which give more information about the various aspects of the court process. 

     

    Victim’s Code for Scotland

    As a victim of crime you have rights. The Victims' Code for Scotland sets out these rights and who to contact for help and advice.

     

    Prosecution Code

    This Prosecution Code sets out the criteria for decision making and the range of options available to prosecutors dealing with reports of crime. Further information on Prosecution Policy and Guidance can be found here.


    Standards of Service reports

    pdfStandards of Service annual report 2016-17docxStandards of Service annual report 2016-17

    pdfStandards of Service 2017-18docxStandards of Service 2017-18

    pdfStandards of Service Annual Report 2015-16 

    pdfStandards of Service 2016-17

     

    Access to Information Protocol

    The Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014

    The central objective of the Victim and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014 (the Act) is to improve the experience of victims and witnesses within the criminal justice system in Scotland.  One of the key provisions is that victims and witnesses have a legal right to request certain information about their case.

    pdfAccess to Information Protocol – July 2015119.62 KB

     pdfAccess to Information Protocol - easy read version60.8 KB

    docAccess to Information Protocol - COPFS Application Form – July 201560 KB

    docAccess to Information Protoccol - Scottish Court Service Request Form39.5 KB

     

    Victims’ Rights (Scotland) Regulations 2015

    pdfVictims Rights - Return of Property 120.43 KB

     

    pdfVictims and Witnesses Bill - Consultation Paper - COPFS Response.pdf52.88 KB

    COPFS welcomes the opportunity to provide a response to the consultation paper on the Victims and Witnesses Bill. This Bill represents the commitment of the Scottish Government to improve the experience of victims and witnesses, a commitment which is shared by COPFS.

     


    pdfOur Commitments to Victims and Prosecution Witnesses - Information Booklet 209.95 KB

    pdfArabic - Our Commitment to Victims and Witnesses - Arabic تحدد هذه النشرة إلتزامنا نحوك بصفتك ضحية أو بصفتك شاهد للادعاء العام. وبأمكانك أن تطلع على المزيد في نشرة المعلومات "إلتزامنا نحو الضحايا وشهود الادعاء العام – نشرة معلومات. 

    pdfFarsi - Our Commitment to Victims and Witnesses - Farsi. در این بروشور، تعهدات ما در قبال شما به عنوان قربانی یا شاهد برای تعقیب کیفری تدوین شده است

    pdfFrench - Our Commitment to Victims and Witnesses - French. Ce dépliant présente nos engagements envers vous en tant que victime ou témoin pour la partie civile. Pour plus de renseignements, veuillez consulter le dépliant : “Our Commitments to Victims and Prosecution Witnesses” (Notre engagement envers les victime

    pdfGaelic - Our Commitment to Victims and Witnesses - Gaelic. Tha am bileag seo a' cur an cèill ar dleastanais ribh mar neach-fuiling neo neach-fianaise-cùirte. Gheibh sibh tuilleadh fios o "Ar Dleastanais ri Luchd-Fuiling agus Luchd-Fianaise-Cùirte - Leabhran Fiosrachaidh

    pdfPolish - Our Commitment to Victims and Witnesses - Polish. Niniejsza ulotka ma na celu opisanie naszych zobowiązań wobec ofiar przestępstw i świadków oskarżenia. Dodatkowe informacje można znaleźć w broszurze "Nasze zobowiązania wobec ofiar przestępstw i świadków oskarżenia - Broszura Informacyjna

    pdfRussian - Our Commitment to Victims and Witnesses - Russian. В этом буклете изложены наши обязательства по отношению к вам в качестве потерпевшего или свидетеля обвинения. Более подробная информация содержится в брошюре "Наши обязательства по отношению к потерпевшим и свидетелям обвинения - Информационная брошюра


    pdfBeing a Witness - High Court leaflet548.21 KB

    pdfBeing a Witness - Sheriff and Jury Court leaflet280.09 KB

    pdfBeing a Witness - Sheriff Court343.65 KB

    pdfBeing a Witness in the Justice of the Peace Court333.73 KB


     

    pdfGuidance booklet for an Expert Witnesses420.72 KB


    pdfHow We Can Help You - June 15.pdf114.95 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Albanian June 1543.04 KB

    pdfHow can we help you - Arabic Jan 15.pdf151.16 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Bengali June 15141.89 KB

    pdfHow can we help you - Bosnian June 15174.48 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Cantonese Jan 15.pdf259.48 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Czechoslovakian June 1596.35 KB

    pdfHow can we help you - Farsi Jan 15.pdf741.25 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - French Jan 15.pdf62.13 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - German Jan 15.pdf82.85 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Hindi Jan 15.pdf761.38 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Hungarian June 15142.46 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Italian June 1546.75 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Kurdish Jan 15.pdf79.17 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Latvian June 15138.92 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Lithuanian June 1582.09 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Mandarin Jan 15.pdf340.41 KB

    pdfHow we can help you- Nepalese June 15128.76 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Polish June 15780.04 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Portuguese June 1561.23 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Punjabi Jan 15.pdf63.63 KB

    pdfHow can we help you -Pushtu Jan 15.pdf231.59 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Romanian June 1571.06 KB

    pdfHow can we help you - Russian Jan 15.pdf105.67 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Slovakian June 15164.42 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Spanish Jan 15.pdf51.86 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Turkish June 15410.61 KB

    pdfHow we can help you - Ukrainian June 15145.13 KB

     


     

    pdfAdvice for Victims of Hate Crime - English - June 151.63 MB

    pdfAdvice for Victims of Hate crime - Czechoslovakian Jan 15.pdf86.32 KB

    pdfAdvice for Victims of Hate crime - Lithuanian - June 1580.25 KB

    pdfAdvice for Victims of Hate crime - Mandarin Jan 15.pdf265.07 KB

    pdfAdvice for Victims of Hate crime - Nepalese Jan 15.pdf134.19 KB

    pdfAdvice for Victims of Hate crime - Polish June 15648.95 KB

    pdfAdvice for Victims of Hate crime - Punjabi Jan 15.pdf49.26 KB

    pdfAdvice for Victims of Hate Crime - Romanian June 1582.28 KB

    pdfAdvice for Victims of Hate crime - Urdu.pdf694.73 KB

     


    Right to Review

    Please be aware that from 1 July 2015, you, as a victim of crime in Scotland, have the right to a review of a decision by us not to prosecute, made on or after 1 July 2015. You should if possible apply for a review within one month of the date you are informed of our decision not to prosecute. Generally you would be told of the review decision within 20 working days. 

     

    pdfAdvice for Victims of Domestic Abuse - English - Aug 2015517.87 KB 

     


     Right to Review

    Please be aware that from 1 July 2015, you, as a victim of crime in Scotland, have the right to a review of a decision by us not to prosecute, made on or after 1 July 2015. You should if possible apply for a review within one month of the date you are informed of our decision not to prosecute. Generally you would be told of the review decision within 20 working days.

     

    pdfAdvice for Victims of Sexual Crimes Solemn Proceedings Aug 2015701.82 KB

    pdfAdvice for Victims of Sexual Crimes Summary Proceedings Aug 2015648.17 KB

     


     

    pdfInformation about Summary Trials - English June 155.08 MB

    pdfInformation about Summary Trials - Bengali June 15172.38 KB

    pdfInformation about Summary trials - Cantonese Jan 15.pdf187.21 KB

    pdfInformation about Summary trials - Latvian June 15234.15 KB

    pdfInformation about Summary trials - Lithuanian June 15156.73 KB

    pdfInformation about Summary trials - Mandarin June 15179.79 KB

    pdfInformation about Summary trials - Nepalese June 15117.37 KB

    pdfInformation about Summary trials - Polish Jan 15.pdf111.68 KB

    pdfInformation about Summary trials - Portuguese June 15207.77 KB

    pdfInformation about Summary trials - Punjabi Jan 15.pdf295.57 KB

    pdfInformation about Summary trials - Romanian June 15228.69 KB

    pdfInformation about Summary trials - Russian Jan 15.pdf155.25 KB

    pdfInformation about Summary trials - Slovakian June 15176.72 KB

    pdfInformation about Summary trials - Turkish Jan 15.pdf132.32 KB

    pdfInformation about Summary trials - Urdu Jan 15.pdf397.75 KB

     


     

    pdfInformation about the Petition Procedure - English June 153.62 MB

    pdfInformation about the Petition Procedure - Bosnian June 153.24 MB

    pdfInformation about the Petition Procedure - German June 15261.25 KB

    pdfInformation about the Petition Procedure - Italian June 1562.58 KB

    pdfInformation about the Petition Procedure - Mandarin Jan 15.pdf165.32 KB

    pdfInformation about the Petition Procedure - Polish June 15315.36 KB

    pdfInformation about the Petition Procedure - Pushtu Jan 15.pdf317.62 KB

    pdfInformation about the Petition Procedure - Slovakian Jan 15.pdf173.6 KB

    pdfInformation about the Petition Procedure Spanish June 15107.12 KB

     


     

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials June 15 167.45 KB

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials - Albanian June 2015 54.62 KB

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials - Bengali June 1595.13 KB

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials - Cantonese June 15163.23 KB

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials - Czechoslovakian Jan 15.pdf184.36 KB

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials - Estonian June 1547.69 KB

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials - German June 1543.51 KB

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials - Kurdish Jan 15.pdf161.91 KB

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials - Lithuanian June 15183.09 KB

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials - Polish June 15113.95 KB

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials - Portuguese June 1551.77 KB

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials - Punjabi Jan 15.pdf92.59 KB

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials - Romanian June 15105.25 KB

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials - Russian June 15118.26 KB

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials - Somali Jan 15.pdf71.26 KB

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials - Urdu Jan 15.pdf855.46 KB

     pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials - Spanish June 15109.15 KB

    pdfInformation about Sheriff and Jury trials -Turkish June 15174.65 KB

     


     

    pdfInformation about High Court procedure - June 15100.7 KB

    pdfInformation about High Court Procedure -Bengali.pdf2.48 MB

    pdfInformation about High Court procedure - Cantonese.pdf345.58 KB

     pdfInformation about High Court procedure - Hungarian - June 15149.55 KB

    pdfInformation about High Court procedure - Polish - June 15203.91 KB


    pdfInformation about Sentences June 153.88 MB

    pdfInformation about Sentences -Bengali Jan 15.pdf184.37 KB

    pdfInformation about Sentences - Kurdish Jan 15.pdf126.8 KB

    pdfInformation about Sentences - Lithuanian June 15

    pdfInformation about Sentences - Mandarin June 15262.58 KB

    pdfInformation about Sentences - Polish June 15

    pdfInformation about Sentences - Russian June 15196.37 KB

    pdfInformation about Sentences - Turkish June 15186.3 KB

     


    pdfInformation about Appeals June 1578.54 KB

    pdfInformation about Appeals - Kurdish.pdf184.36 KB

    pdfInformation about Appeals - Polish - June 15164.32 KB

     

     


    pdfInformation about giving your statement Precognition - Polish June 15277.25 KB

    pdfInformation about Giving your statement Precognition June 154.21 MB


    Right to Review

    Please be aware that from 1 July 2015, you, as a victim of crime in Scotland, have the right to a review of a decision by us not to prosecute, made on or after 1 July 2015. You should if possible apply for a review within one month of the date you are informed of our decision not to prosecute. Generally you would be told of the review decision within 20 working days.

    pdfInformation for Victims of Human Trafficking - English Aug 2015727.13 KB


     

    People with Learning Disability

    pdfPeople with Learning Disabilities and the Scottish Criminal Justice System916.96 KB

    You may find the following "Easy Read" versions of the above booklet helpful:

    pdfIntroduction 779.46 KB

    pdfInformation about the Court725.18 KB

    pdfInformation about Criminal Justice Social Work Services238.66 KB

    pdfInformation about Prison Services278.09 KB

    pdfInformation about Prosecution and Defence773.52 KB

    pdfInformation about the Police216.7 KB

    pdfInformation about Health and Social Work Services281.13 KB


    Victim of Crime Leaflets - translated into: Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Gaelic, Hindi, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Punjabi, Russian and Urdu.

    Victim Notification Scheme: Short/Long term offenders, additional info leaflet -translated into: Polish

    Victim Notification Scheme - Long-Term Offenders and Offenders with Extended Sentences: Guidance for Victims  - translated into: Polish, Slovak, Latvian, Lithuanian, Cantonese, Mandarin & Arabic 

    Victim Notification Scheme - Short-Term Sex Offenders: Guidance for Victims

    Victim Notification Scheme - Making a Victim Statement - Guidance for victims making a victim statement, translated into: Albanian, Bengali, Cantonese, Estonian, French Canadian, Greek, Latvian, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Nepalese, Pashto, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Tigrinya, Urdu.

    Being a Witness - Going to Court  - A booklet for adult witnesses in criminal and children's hearing court proceedings.

    Being a Witness - the Use of Special Measures booklet  - A booklet for adult witnesses in criminal and children's hearing court proceedings. 

    Being a witness: An information booklet for young people in Criminal Proceedings

    Being a witness: Helping people with learning disabilities who go to court: A guide for carers -A guide for carers, intended to help them support someone they care for with a learning disability, if that person is asked to be a witness and needs to go to court.  

    Being a Witness: I am a Witness in Court: A Guide for People with Learning Disabilities - A guide for people with learning disabilities who have been asked to be a witness in court. 

    Being a Witness: A Booklet for Children in Criminal Proceedings

    Your child is a witness: a booklet for parents and carers 

    Information for Bereaved Families and Friends Following Murder or Culpable Homicide

    Information to assist victims following rape or sexual assault

     

    Information on other publications which you might find helpful is available on the Scottish Government Victims and Witnesses publications page, and their Victims of Crime in Scotland page. 

     

    Statistics

    Hate Crime in Scotland

    COPFS Performance

    Civil Recovery Unit Annual Reports

    Retained organs

    Domestic Abuse

    Civil Service People Survey

     

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    Hate crime in Scotland

    Information on race crime, on crimes aggravated by religious, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity prejudice, and on offences under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 is available on our Equality and Diversity page

     

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    COPFS Performance

    COPFS has a national database which stores operational information about our cases. That allows us to take decisions in each case and track the outcomes. We use it to help us manage our casework effectively and, although it is not a statistical database, we are able to use some of the information it provides to help us monitor aspects of our performance.

    pdfPerformance Against Key Targets April 2017 to June 2017

    pdfCase Processing Financial Year April 2017 to June 2017

    pdfStatistics on Case Processing Last 5 Years 2012-1742.06 KB

    pdfNo Action cases Reported to COPFS 2012-1736.34 KB

    docxCOPFS Achievements (Updated November 2015)77.2 KB

    pdfCOPFS Performance Measures (Updated November 2015)41.6 KB

     

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    Civil Recovery Unit Annual Reports

     

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    Retained organs

     

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    Domestic abuse

    This panel was already here.

    Civil Service People Survey

    The Civil Service People Survey (CSPS) is an annual survey of the attitudes and work-life experiences of Civil Servants. Managed by the Cabinet Office it is open to all Civil Servants and those that work for Civil Service organisations. The CSPS provides consistent and robust metrics which helps understand how to improve levels of engagement across the Civil Service and in individual organisations. 

    The Civil Service publish organisation and benchmark scores on the Government website.

     

    COPFS survey scores:

    pdfCOPFS - Civil Service People Survey 2017

    pdfCOPFS - Civil Service People Survey 2016

     

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