Domestic Abuse – Dundee (R012637)
Thank you for your e-mail of 8 March 2016 in which you requested the following information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA):
“I would like to request the following information under the Freedom of Information legislation, in relation to the Dundee area:
1. The number of cases reported to the Procurator Fiscal in Dundee between March 1, 2013 and February 28, 2014 which had a domestic abuse element.
2. Of those cases, please provide a breakdown of what action was taken, i.e fiscal fine, prosecution, etc.
3. Please provide a breakdown of the categories of the alleged offences - breach of peace, assault, etc.
4. Of those cases prosecuted, how many resulted in a conviction/plea of guilt?
5. Of those cases, how many are still pending a court decision?
6. Of those cases prosecuted, please provide a breakdown of the penalties issued for convictions/guilty pleas.
7. Could you please provide the same information for the periods between March 1, 2014 and February 28, 2015 and between March 1, 2015 and February 29, 2016.”
COPFS uses a live operational case management system, specifically designed to receive criminal and death reports from the police and other specialist reporting agencies and to manage the cases for investigation and prosecution purposes. The information held on the system is structured for these operational needs, rather than for statistical reporting or research purposes. Due to the way the data is structured on our system, where we are asked to provide statistical information, we provide this by number of charges rather than number of reports. A case report may involve more than one charge and the number of charges will not necessarily reflect the number of subjects reported.
Where we gather statistical information about domestic abuse charges, we do this 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. There may also be a small number of charges where domestic abuse markers ought not to have been added but have been, either by the police or the Procurator Fiscal.
Information on the outcome “direct measure” in the table is accessible on our website.
This document sets out the criteria for decision making and the range of options available to prosecutors dealing with reports of crime.
COPFS Domestic Abuse Policy
COPFS has a strict prosecution policy in relation to offences that are aggravated by domestic abuse. This includes a presumption in favour or prosecution where there is sufficient credible, reliable, admissible and corroborated evidence to support an allegation of domestic abuse.
Our domestic abuse policies and procedures remain under constant review in order that we can provide the best possible service to the victims of domestic abuse. Over the period for which you have requested data we have continued to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the effective prosecution of offences involving domestic abuse in a number of ways. For example in 2013 we appointed a
dedicated Procurator Fiscal for Domestic Abuse, and refined our joint domestic abuse protocol with Police Scotland. We have also continued to utilise dedicated domestic abuse prosecutors, who are specially trained in understanding the dynamics of abusive relationships.