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COPFS

Rape Cases – Glasgow, Hamilton, Dumbarton, Paisley, Aberdeen and Edinburgh (R010262)

Freedom of Information: Rape Cases – Glasgow, Hamilton, Dumbarton, Paisley, Aberdeen and Edinburgh (R010262)

Thank you for your e-mail of 24 April 2015 to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, in which you requested the following information in terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002:

 

1) For the following years, please provide the figures of the number rape and attempted rape cases processed in the PF offices of Glasgow, Hamilton, Dumbarton, Paisley, Aberdeen and Edinburgh:

  • 2014 – April 24, 2015
  • 2013-14
  • 2012-13
  • 2011-12
  • 2010-11

2) For the following years, please provide the figure for each of the number of rape and attempted rape cases that went to trial in the PF offices of Glasgow, Hamilton, Dumbarton, Paisley, Aberdeen and Edinburgh :

  • 2014 – April 24, 2015
  • 2013-14
  • 2012-13
  • 2011-12
  • 2010-11

3) For the following years, please provide the figure for each of the number of rape and attempted rape cases that went to trial that resulted in a conviction in the PF offices of Glasgow, Hamilton, Dumbarton, Paisley, Aberdeen and Edinburgh :

  • 2014 – April 24, 2015
  • 2013-14
  • 2012-13
  • 2011-12
  • 2010-11

Before considering your requests it may be of assistance to explain the approach taken by COPFS in relation to allegations of rape and other sexual offences.

COPFS takes the prosecution of sexual crimes extremely seriously and we have a robust prosecution policy in relation to these types of offences.  We will prosecute all such offences where there is sufficient reliable and credible evidence and where it is in the public interest to do so, as it almost invariably is in such cases. We have developed a team of expert prosecutors in the COPFS National Sexual Crimes Unit (NSCU) which specialises in the investigation and prosecution of serious sexual crimes across Scotland.  All cases involving serious sexual offences are reported to NSCU for instructions. This dedicated team of senior prosecutors direct criminal investigations from the earliest stages, providing advice and expertise on all aspects of the investigation and preparation of cases.  This specialism is being replicated in local Sexual Offence Units around the country which work hard to ensure that cases reported to NSCU have been prepared to the highest possible standard.

COPFS also  have  a  number  of  training  courses  designed  to  assist  prosecutors investigating and prosecuting sexual offences. The training extends beyond legal and investigative guidance and advanced advocacy skills to understanding the emotional and psychological impact of sexual crime on its victims, the importance of which cannot be understated. Victims can have confidence that their cases are being handled by skilled prosecutors able to deal with the profound challenges and complexities inherent in the prosecution of sexual crimes. 

When considering the appropriate charges to prosecute, prosecutors will consider all the elements of the crime and which elements of a crime can be proved by corroborated evidence. However, as the majority of sexual offences take place in private, corroborating what actually took place can be difficult, and accordingly there will not always be sufficient evidence in law for prosecutorial action to be taken.

I have considered your request for information below.

I have attached, at Annex A, statistics in relation to the first of your requests. You ask for information as to the number of rape and attempted rape cases processed in each of the highlighted offices. The statistics I am able to provide relate to the number of cases reported to the specified Procurator Fiscal Offices that contain any charge of rape or attempted rape (defined according to the Scottish Government classification). Where a case includes both rape and attempted rape charges, it has been counted as a rape case only.

I would emphasise that these statistics are for the numbers of such cases which are reported to each of the offices. Given the way that cases involving allegations of rape and attempted rape are dealt with by specialist prosecutors in NSCU and dedicated sexual offence teams, it cannot be said that these cases were processed in the offices in which they were received. All allegations of rape and attempted rape are considered by specialist prosecutors. There may be multiple locations involved in the consideration and preparation of a case, particularly in the circumstances of complex matters such as rape and attempted rape.

In relation to your second and third requests, which relate to proceedings in court and outcomes for those, I am unable to provide you with statistics. 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 prosecution purposes.  The information held on the system is structured for these operational needs, rather than for statistical reporting or research purposes. 

The Scottish Government produces the Official Statistics on prosecutions and convictions. Therefore in relation to your second and third requests, you may wish to contact the Scottish Government FOI department as they will hold information from the Scottish Government Criminal Proceedings database. I would advise however that the Scottish Government statistics are prepared on a different basis from COPFS and cannot be compared directly. I have attached a link to the relevant part of the Scottish Government website for your convenience. 

Annex A


Rape and attempted rape cases reported, 2010-11 to 2014-15

   
           
             


Year



2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16 (2)

1. Rape (1)













Aberdeen

19

29

25

35

36

5

Dumbarton

6

5

22

15

20

0

Edinburgh

43

76

64

75

102

7

Glasgow

63

77

102

113

100

3

Hamilton

15

25

24

21

29

3

Paisley

16

24

34

26

18

2

2. Attempted rape













Aberdeen

4

3

4

2

5

0

Dumbarton

0

2

2

1

0

0

Edinburgh

14

9

4

9

6

0

Glasgow

15

8

5

8

6

1

Hamilton

3

4

1

1

2

1

Paisley

2

0

0

1

1

0

             
Note

           
1.  If a case contains both a rape and an attempted rape charge, it has been counted as a rape case

2.  2015-16 figures cover the period from 1/4/2015 to 24/04/2015 only.