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Motoring Offences - carried out by persons aged 16 years or under (R011037)

Freedom of Information: Motoring Offences - carried out by persons aged 16 years or under (R011037)

Thank you for your e-mail of 11 August 2015 in which you requested the following information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA):

“I would like to request answers to the following questions.

All answers should relate to the last three fiscal years. 

Please have any relevant totals clearly displayed and please provide the ages for all successful prosecutions. 

1. How many police reports were received in relation to motoring offences carried out by those aged 16 or younger.
2. In each year:
i) How many of these went to court?
ii) How many were successfully prosecuted?
iii) Of those who were prosecuted, what penalties were enforced?”

I should firstly explain that 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 can provide details of the numbers of charges for road traffic offences that have been reported to COPFS. We are unable to provide the numbers of police reports. It should be noted that an individual may be reported for a number of charges in any one report. Therefore the number of charges does not equate to the number of reports we have received or the number of accused.   

The Lord Advocate has issued Guidelines to the Chief Constable on the Reporting to Procurators Fiscal of offences alleged to have been committed by children which refers to guidance in relation to road traffic offences. I have attached a link to that guidance which is published on our website. 

I can advise you of the following in response to your requests: 

1.   How many police reports were received in relation to motoring offences carried out by those aged 16 or younger.  
2.   (i)      How many of these went to court?
(ii) How many were successfully prosecuted? 

Financial Year

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

Total charges reported

984

1,038

811

Number prosecuted in court

479

572

487

Number convicted

277

260

208


Please note that there are 126 prosecutions which have not yet concluded.

The number convicted relates to 15 and 16 year olds.

The total charges prosecuted includes those that were not separately prosecuted which is where no action was taken under the charge reported, but action was taken under an alternative charge or in relation to other charges reported by the agency in the case because, for example, the prosecutor took the view that an alternative charge was more appropriate or because details of the charge were included within the body of another charge for evidential reasons.

You should note however that the Procurator Fiscal has a number of alternatives for dealing with road traffic offences other than simply taking court action. Procurators Fiscal can for example issue Conditional Offers of Fixed Penalty under the Road Traffic Acts and given the Lord Advocate’s Guidelines referred to above many cases have been referred to the Reporter to the Children’s Panel. Other direct measures include fiscal fines and fiscal compensation orders, warnings, fiscal work orders and diversion schemes. Therefore to present the full picture of how the Procurator Fiscal deals with these charges I have included the full information on how the remaining charges were dealt with in the following table.


Action taken

Outcome

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

Direct Measures

Reporter

293

325

192



Fixed Penalty

28

36

23



Not a Separate Charge

11

3

2



Other

73

37

37

Direct Measures Total



405

401

254

No Action



100

65

48

No Decision yet



0

0

22

Total



984

1,038

811

(“Not a separate charge” is where no action was taken under the charge reported, but action was taken under an alternative charge or in relation to other charges reported by the agency in the case because, for example, the prosecutor took the view that an alternative charge was more appropriate or because details of the charge were included within the body of another charge for evidential reasons.)       

(iii)    Of those who were prosecuted, what penalties were enforced?

This information relates to disposals which are imposed by the Court and not COPFS and as a result the Scottish Court and Tribunal Service would be better placed to assist you with this aspect of your request and you may approach them directly at:

By Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Post:
The Freedom of Information Officer
Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service Headquarters
Saughton House - Spur N1
Broomhouse Drive
Edinburgh
EH11 3XD