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COPFS

Child Sex Abuse

22 January 2013

Freedom of Information Request: Child Sex Abuse

Thank you for your e-mail dated 1 November 2012 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) in which you requested the following:

"In each of the last ten years for which figures are available, how many reports of child sexual abuse have been made, which police area did the cases originate in, and how many resulted in criminal proceedings? If your records show what the outcomes of those proceedings were, please provide them.

In answering all or any part of the question, if it is possible to break down the age range of the alleged victims of the offences it would be very useful."

I apologise for the delay in responding.

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.

In subsequent correspondence it was explained, to you that if your request was limited to charges under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 this would allow us to identify offences by the age of the victim. Otherwise, it would not be possible to deal with your full request without checking specific details of individual cases and this could not be done within the cost limits which apply to FOI requests. You indicated that you were willing to receive information on this basis.

The tables below provide information on closed charges under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 where the victim has been identified as being a younger child (under 13 years) or an older child (13 to 15 years). The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 came into force on 1 December 2010, so the figures for charges reported in the financial year 2010-11 only relate to the period from December 2010 to March 2011.

Table 1: Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009: Charges reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service*

Year reported

Police Area

Age of victim

Initial decision taken by Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.







Prosecute

Not separately prosecuted**

Direct measures

No Action***

Total number of charges

2010-11

Central

13 to 15

11





3

14



Under 13

7

5

3

2

17

Dumfries & Galloway

13 to 15







1

1



Under 13

1







1

Fife

13 to 15

4





3

7



Under 13

1







1

Grampian

13 to 15

23



1

1

25



Under 13

2







2

Lothian & Borders

13 to 15

4

2

1

4

11



Under 13

5





3

8

Northern

13 to 15

6

1



5

12



Under 13

9

3





12

Strathclyde

13 to 15

28

4

12

13

57



Under 13

6

1

2

1

10

Tayside

13 to 15

4

1

7

1

13



Under 13

7



3

3

13

Scotland

Total

118

17

29

40

204

2011-12

Central

13 to 15

13

3

6

11

33



Under 13

8

2

8

6

24

Dumfries & Galloway

13 to 15





5

3

8



Under 13

2



1

1

4

Fife

13 to 15

12

3

6

18

39



Under 13

19

6

9

8

42

Grampian

13 to 15

31

8

15

14

68



Under 13

4

2

3

6

15

Lothian & Borders

13 to 15

26

5

8

30

69



Under 13

17

3

2

19

41

Northern

13 to 15

28

3

10

18

59



Under 13

6

1

3

3

13

Strathclyde

13 to 15

73

12

24

50

159



Under 13

24

5

16

29

74

Tayside

13 to 15

16

1

4

10

31



Under 13

9

2

18



29

Scotland

Total

288

56

138

226

708

 

*Table includes information on all charges which have been fully dealt with and closed on the COPFS database (as at 21 November 2012).

**These charges were not separately prosecuted, but other charges for the same accused within the same case were. The charges that were prosecuted may have included details from the charges that were not prosecuted.

*** There are many reasons why no action is taken in respect of cases, however in these types of cases it is often due to the lack of evidence required to bring about a prosecution.

Table 2: Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009: Outcome of charges reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service with an initial decision taken to prosecute. *

Year reported

Police Area

Age of victim

Outcome







Conviction

No Conviction

No Further Action

Total number of charges

2010-11

Central

13 to 15

4

3

4

11



Under 13

4

3



7

Dumfries & Galloway

Under 13



1



1

Fife

13 to 15

2

2



4



Under 13



1



1

Grampian

13 to 15

6

12

5

23



Under 13



2



2

Lothian & Borders

13 to 15

3

1



4



Under 13



3

2

5

Northern

13 to 15

5

1



6



Under 13

7

1

1

9

Strathclyde

13 to 15

7

15

6

28



Under 13

4

2



6

Tayside

13 to 15

3

1



4



Under 13

4

3



7

Scotland

Total

49

51

18

118

2011-12

Central

13 to 15

9

3

1

13



Under 13

4

3

1

8

Dumfries & Galloway

Under 13

2





2

Fife

13 to 15

9

3



12



Under 13

15

3

1

19

Grampian

13 to 15

17

8

6

31



Under 13



1

3

4

Lothian & Borders

13 to 15

9

13

4

26



Under 13

9

5

3

17

Northern

13 to 15

11

5

12

28



Under 13

3

1

2

6

Strathclyde

13 to 15

30

25

18

73



Under 13

11

5

8

24

Tayside

13 to 15

11

5



16



Under 13

8

1



9

Scotland

Total

148

81

59

288


*Table includes information on all charges which have been fully dealt with and closed on the COPFS database (as at 21 November 2012).