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COPFS

SACRO Scheme Diverted from Prosecution – Offences Behaviour Act (27/09/2016) (R014034)

Thank you for your email dated  21 August 2016 in which you requested the following information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA):

· How many people have been referred to the SACRO scheme as a diversion from prosecution under the Offensive Behaviour Act since the scheme was introduced.

· The nature of the alleged offending behaviour of any such people.

· How many have completed the programme.


•  How many people have been referred to the SACRO scheme as a diversion from prosecution under the Offensive Behaviour Act since the scheme was introduced.

Thank you for clarifying that the SACRO diversion scheme which you were interested in was the SACRO Anti-Sectarianism Service (SAAS) which was provided with additional funding by the Scottish Government in 2015 in order to develop the diversion from prosecution programme on a Scotland wide basis for offences under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012.

You may wish to note that from 1st April 2016 the name of the SASS scheme has been changed to STOP (Sacro Tackling Offending Prejudices).  This reflects the fact that the scheme not only provides diversion for anti-sectarian behaviour connected to the offensive behaviour at football act, but also diversion for general offending which is of a sectarian nature as well as racial offending.

Since June 2015 2 referrals have been made to the scheme for sectarian offences under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 directly by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS). There may have been other referrals made by other organisations such as Social Work Departments where criminal cases have been diverted to them by COPFS.


•  The nature of the alleged offending behaviour of any such people.

Both of those referrals related to alleged sectarian offending in terms of section 1 of the Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012.


•  How many have completed the programme.

Both cases diverted from prosecution under the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act 2012 by COPFS since June 2015, and dealt with by SASS, have been completed successfully.