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COPFS

Rape and Sexual Assault

8 February 2013

FOI REQUEST: Rape and Sexual Assault

Thank you for your e-mail dated 7 November 2012 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) in which you requested the following:

"I am interested in obtaining this information for the Grampian and Highlands and Islands regions only.

The date range I would like to request the following information for is from December 1, 2010, to the most recent available date in 2012:

1) The number of charges of rape and sexual assault reported to the procurator fiscal.

2) The number of charges of rape and sexual assault reported to the procurator fiscal that have been prosecuted.

3) The number of these that have resulted in a conviction, the number that did not result in a conviction and the number ongoing."

In subsequent correspondence you confirmed that your request related to charges under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 only.

It may help to 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 prosecution purposes. The information held on the system is structured for these operational needs, rather than for statistical reporting or research purposes.

Tables 1 and 2 below provide information on charges reported in Grampian, Highland, Orkney and Shetland under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 between 1 December 2010 and 27 November 2012.

As you may be aware, the implementation of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 from 1 December 2010 broadened the definition of rape and changed the definition of other sexual crimes.

The charges that are covered in the figures for rape, attempted rape and sexual assault are listed in Table 3. For sexual assault, I have included charges that relate to physical sexual assault but not those that relate, for instance, to sending indecent communications or to voyeurism.

Table 1: Rape and attempted rape charges reported in Grampian, Highland, Orkney and Shetland under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 between 1 December 2010 and 27 November 2012







Rape

Attempted rape

Total charges reported to the Procurator Fiscal

172

16



of which - decision on commencing court proceedings not yet made

48

2

Charges where no action was taken*

38

3

Charges where court proceedings commenced

73

11



Of which - charges indicted

32

4



Conviction

9

2



No Conviction

6

1



No Further Action**

1

0



Ongoing

16

1

* No action describes a situation where for a variety of reasons proceedings cannot be raised.  This may include insufficient evidence; the accused is serving a sentence of imprisonment; the victim does not want to proceed with the case.

** No further action describes a situation where charges have been indicted but for a variety of different reasons, proceedings are discontinued. This may be because the evidential position has changed or because the victim no longer wishes to proceed with the case.