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Section 9 - Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005

Freedom of Information: Section 9 - Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005

Thank you for your request dated 25 February 2014 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the undernoted information:

"Since 2005, how many reports to the Procurator Fiscal have been made under section 9 (payment for sexual services of a child) Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005, since 2005?

Please also provide a breakdown by number/ year; and by COPFS federation.

In how many of these cases has there been: guilty/not guilty/ not proven verdicts?"

I attach herewith tables providing the information requested. The information is based on outcomes of charges from 2005-06. The 2013/14 data is up to 5 March 2014.

COPFS uses a live, operational database which is designed for case management purposes, rather than the provision of statistical information. Due to the way the data is structured on our system, where we are asked to provide statistical information, we do this by the number of charges, rather than the number of reports.

The first table provides the total number of charges reported to the Procurator Fiscal under Section 9, broken down into Financial Year and Federations as requested. Please note that a case report may involve more than one charge.

The second table provides the number of guilty/not guilty/not proven charges broken down into Financial year and Federations as requested.

The second table only provides information about charges which have reached a verdict in court. For completeness it should be noted that in addition to these outcomes, prosecutions in a number of charges remain ongoing; prosecutions were discontinued in some other charges; and a number of charges were 'not separately prosecuted'. This 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 police in the case, for example, because 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.

COPFS takes the prosecution of sexual offences and offences against children extremely seriously, and we have a robust prosecution policy in relation to these types of offences. 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.

Charges reported to PF under Section 9 of Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005

 

Financial Year Reported

Federation

 

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

Total

EAST

 

-

-

-

2

1

-

2

2

1

8

NORTH

 

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

1

WEST

 

-

1

-

2

-

-

-

-

1

4

Total

 

-

1

-

4

1

-

2

2

3

13

 

 

Charges with a Guilty/Not Guilty or Not Proven Verdict

 

Financial Year Reported

Federation

Verdict

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

Total

EAST

Guilty

-

-

-

2

-

-

-

-

-

2

 

Not Guilty

-

-

-

-

-

-

2

-

1

3

WEST

Not Guilty

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

1

Total

 

-

-

-

3

-

-

2

-

1

6