Thank you for your request dated 4 May 2016 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the undernoted information:
1. “How many charges have been referred to COPFS under Section 39 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 (offence of stalking)
2. Of the charges reported, how many prosecutions under Section 39 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 were undertaken?
3. Of these prosecutions, how many charges:
- Were convicted
- Were acquitted
- Prosecution is still ongoing
- Charge was discontinued by the prosecution
4. For points 1, 2 and 3 above, can you please provide a breakdown for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and so far in 2016.”
I also refer to our e-mail correspondence of 19 May, where you confirmed you also wished the figures for 2015 included in the response.
You may be aware that the figures for the financial years 2010-2015 (up to 9 October 2014) were previously published on our website, however, in considering your FOI request, the figures in relation to Section 39 charges have been re-examined and there are small differences in some of the figures, accordingly I have attached the updated figures in this response.
In respect of the small differences, COPFS case management database is a live, operating database. It is designed to meet our business needs in relation to the processing of criminal cases, and the information within it is structured accordingly. We do not have a separate statistical database, and hold only operational data needed for business purposes. This does mean that the data contained therein can change as live cases are updated.
The information you have requested is summarised in the table below. This information is correct as at 17 May 2016. All of the data corresponds with the financial year in which the charge was raised, ie, convictions for charges raised in 2010-11 are recorded in the 2010-11 data though the conviction may not have occurred during that period. The number of prosecutions ongoing should be taken into account in interpreting the figures, particularly for 2014-15 and 2015-16 where there are a significant number of prosecutions which have not yet concluded.