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Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 - Prosecutions

Freedom of Information: Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 - Prosecutions

Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 - Prosecutions

Thank you for your letter of 4 July 2014 addressed to the Crown Agent requesting clarification on the Crown's policy of prosecuting offences under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 (RSA), Section 98(1) and also your request for confirmation of the number of complaints reported by the police and number of prosecutions commenced over the past five years. Your correspondence has been passed to me to reply.

By way of background, most investigations into crimes in Scotland are carried out by the police, who provide Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) (the prosecutor in Scotland) with a report of an alleged criminal offence, detailing the available evidence. Once such a report is received COPFS considers independently whether there is sufficient evidence in law to prove a criminal charge, and if so, whether it is in the public interest to prosecute.

In relation to section 98(1) of RSA, prosecutors require to consider whether, on the specific facts and circumstances that arise in any case reported to them there is sufficient reliable and credible evidence that the criminal offence has been committed and that the accused is responsible. If the Procurator Fiscal is satisfied of that, they will then consider whether action is appropriate in respect of the allegation in the public interest. The factors which the Procurator Fiscal will consider when determining the public interest are available in the Prosecution Code.

I would like to assure you that any report received by COPFS is considered carefully.

I have considered the second part of your request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service's case management database is a live, operating database. It is designed to meet this Department's business needs in relation to the processing of criminal cases, and the information within it is structured accordingly. We do not have a separate database, and hold only operational data needed for business purposes, ie to prepare court documentation; to send and receive electronic information regarding court appearances and results; to cite witnesses; to deal with issues relating to disclosure of information to the defence etc.

I attach herewith a table showing the number of charges reported in the last five years, broken down into financial year. This table also shows the number of charges in which prosecutions were raised, those which were dealt with by way of direct measure and those in which no proceedings were taken. The information provided relates to the number of charges received as opposed to the number of cases received. Please be aware that one or more charge(s) may relate to the same accused.

You may wish to note that in the last two financial years, only one charge under Section 98(1) of RSA was reported to Procurators Fiscal in Highland and Islands.

 

Action taken re Charge

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

Total

Court Proceedings

1

 

10

1

9

21

Direct Measure

1

7

 

2

4

14

No Action

4

2

1

5

4

16

Total Charges Reported

6

9

11

8

17

51