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Domestic Abuse reported to COPFS by Police Scotland (R012247)

Domestic Abuse reported to COPFS by Police Scotland (R012247)

Thank you for your e-mail of 27 January 2016 in which you requested the following information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA):

“I am seeking some information on Domestic Abuse reported to COPFS by Police Scotland.  For the last 3 years, could you advise me of

a) The number of Prosecution reports involving Domestic Abuse, where the accused has been kept in Custody for court.

b) Matched against that data, the number of reports deemed to have an insufficiency of evidence and that have consequently seen the accused liberated prior to the accused being released.

c)  Of those liberated, the number of persons who have subsequently faced prosecution action against them”

I can advise that COPFS collate statistical information about domestic abuse charges by undertaking an electronic search of our systems. Charges involving domestic abuse are normally identified by an electronic marker, and it is charges with this marker that are collated to form the statistical information that we provide about domestic abuse. Electronic domestic abuse markers are normally added by the police to appropriate charges. However, it is ultimately the decision of the Procurator Fiscal whether a charge falls within the definition of domestic abuse, and domestic abuse markers can be added or removed by the Procurator Fiscal. There may be a small number of charges processed by COPFS where domestic abuse markers ought to have been added but have not either by the police or the Procurator Fiscal. 

The data we have provided below is based on financial years 2012/13 to 2014/15. The table displays:

i. the number of accused who were reported to COPFS in police custody in respect of a domestic abuse matter i.e. for charge(s) with a domestic abuse marker attached .  It is noted that there could be more than one accused person reported as part of the same case, however the figures provided are the number of accused rather than the number of reports/cases.  It is also possible that an accused will have multiple charges libelled as part of the one case some of which relate to domestic abuse and some of which do not; 

ii. the number of those listed at (i) above who were subsequently liberated by COPFS pending further enquiry.  This would be done by way of a deferred marking when it is considered that there is insufficient evidence on the face of the police report and that further enquiry instructed of the police could provide a sufficiency of evidence; 

iii. the number of those listed at (ii) above who following liberation by COPFS for further police enquiry, were ultimately prosecuted when those enquiries provided a sufficiency of evidence.





Subjects reported as a custody





Subjects marked No Action specifically because of an insufficiency of evidence and liberated from custody pending further enquiry





Subjects liberated pending further enquiries and then prosecuted for the initial domestic matter