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COPFS

Domestic Abuse

Freedom of Information - Domestic Abuse

Thank you for your request dated 22 April 2014 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the following information:

"1) The number of cases reported to the Procurator Fiscal within Inverclyde which had a domestic abuse element between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2014 (inclusive).

2) A breakdown of what action was taken in these cases, i.e. fiscal fine, prosecution, no action etc.

3) A breakdown of the categories of the reported cases, i.e. assault, serious assault, breach of the peace etc.

4) How many of the prosecuted cases resulted in a conviction.

5) How many cases are still pending an outcome.

6) A breakdown of the penalties imposed in instances of conviction."


As Greenock is the only Procurator Fiscal’s Office within Inverclyde, and accordingly we have provided data about charges reported to the Procurator Fiscal at Greenock which were reported by the police as domestic abuse charges, or which were regarded as such by the prosecutor who considered the evidence set out in the police report.

In relation to parts 1 – 5 of your request, the information you have requested is provided at Annex A.

For ease of reference, in respect of your request at point 3) above, for a breakdown of the ‘categories’, we have provided the information in terms of the relative offence classifications used by Scottish Government statistical publications.

A glossary of the offence classifications can be found at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk./Publications/2013/11/2711/8

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 provide this by number of charges rather than number of reports. A case report may involve more than one charge.

In this instance that is the position and we have also provided data about charges which were not prosecuted as a separate charge. This is because while the charge was itself not prosecuted, other charges for the accused within the same case were prosecuted. In some cases the charges which were prosecuted may have included details of incidents originally contained in the charges which were not proceeded with.

COPFS takes allegations of offences involving domestic abuse extremely seriously, and we operate a robust prosecution policy in relation to offences aggravated by domestic abuse. This includes a presumption in favour or prosecution where there is sufficient credible, reliable, admissible and corroborated evidence to support an allegation of domestic abuse.

Our domestic abuse processes remain under constant review in order that we can provide the best possible service to the victims of domestic abuse. Over the three year period for which you have requested data we have continued to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the effective prosecution of offences involving domestic abuse in a number of ways. For example in 2013 we appointed a dedicated Procurator Fiscal for Domestic Abuse, and refined our joint domestic abuse protocol with Police Scotland. We have also continued to utilise dedicated domestic abuse prosecutors, who are specially trained in understanding the dynamics of abusive relationships.

In relation to part 6 of your request, COPFS does not provide sentencing data and you would require to request this from the Scottish Courts Service.

Annex A

Table 1 – Domestic abuse charges reported to the Procurator Fiscal at Greenock from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2014 by initial decision taken

Domestic abuse charges, reported in Greenock, 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2014 by initial decision for action taken

  Action taken



Classification

Petition Court

Summary Court

Direct Measures

No Action

No Decision

Total

Serious Assault and Attempted Murder

13

2



1



16

Other Violence

2

2







4

Rape & Attempted Rape

8





2



10

Sexual Assault

4

2







6

Other sexual offences

1

4







5

Housebreaking



1



1



2

Theft by opening lockfast places



1







1

Theft of Motor Vehicle







1



1

Other Theft



5



1

1

7

Fraud

1

1







2

Other Dishonesty



1







1

Fire-raising



1







1

Vandalism etc.

4

24

1

6

1

36

Crimes against Public Justice

10

79



9

1

99

Handling offensive weapons

2

2







4

Common Assault

17

252

21

63

2

355

Breach Of The Peace etc.

24

395

62

116

5

602

Other Misc. Offences

2

50

6

14

1

73

Total

88

822

90

214

11

1,225