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COPFS

Equality Act

8 April 2013

Freedom of Information Request: Equality Act

Thank you for your email dated 4 March 2013 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) requesting the following information:

(1)A statistical quote of the number of complaints raised against the service on grounds of the characteristics specified by HM Equality Enactment of 2010 between the 1st day of January 2012 to the 31st day of December 2012.

(2)Information that details the terms and conditions of engagement with the service in respect of lodging a complaint with the public service of criminal perpetration by a member(s) of the police.

  • a) Information that details the rights in law of a liege before, during and after lodging a request with the service to investigate criminal conduct alleged to be perpetrated by member(s) of the police.
  • b) Information that details where the onus, obligation of due rigor and burden of proof lays when a liege lodges such a complaint of criminality against a member(s) of the police.
  • c) Under what circumstances may a liege be arrested/charged if the complaint is not up-held?
  • d) Information a liege should consider before lodging a complaint of criminality against the police with the service.

(3)Information regarding facilities/resources or staff in place to assist those diagnosed or suspected on medical opinion with autism in pursuing there right in lodging a complaint regarding possible criminal conduct by a member(s) of the police force, with the service.

For ease of reference I have repeated your questions below using the numbers you provided and inserted my responses immediately under the relevant question.

Q1A statistical quote of the number of complaints raised against the service on grounds of the characteristics specified by HM Equality Enactment of 2010 between the 1st day of January 2012 to the 31st day of December 2012.

There has been 1 complaint raised against COPFS during the time period you specify.

Q2 Information that details the terms and conditions of engagement with the service in respect of lodging a complaint with the public service of criminal perpetration by a member(s) of the police.

Members of the public can make alleged criminal conduct by an on-duty police officer by the following means:-

  • Write directly to the Chief Constable for the Police Service of Scotland or the Criminal Allegations Against the Police Division (CAAP) at Crown Office.
  • Go to any police station and give details of their complaint.
  • Ask a solicitor, MSP, MP or local councillor to make the complaint to the Chief Constable on their behalf.
  • Seek assistance from the Citizen's Advice Bureau.

Q2 (a) Information that details the rights in law of a liege before, during and after lodging a request with the service to investigate criminal conduct alleged to be perpetrated by member(s) of the police.

In terms of any individual person's legal rights, they might wish to consult with a solicitor or seek advice from the Citizen's Advice Bureau.

Q2 (b) Information that details where the onus, obligation of due rigor and burden of proof lays when a liege lodges such a complaint of criminality against a member(s) of the police.

All such allegations of criminality against Police Officers will be considered in the normal context of criminal law, having regard to the sufficiency, credibility and reliability of the evidence available. If it is assessed by the prosecutor that there is sufficient admissible evidence in law then consideration will be given to whether the proceedings would be justified in the public interest. The COPFS prosecution code can be found at

www.crownoffice.gov.uk/Publications/2005/06/Prosecution-Code.

Q2 (c) Under what circumstances may a liege be arrested/charged if the complaint is not up-held. Anyone who knowingly makes a false allegation against a Police Officer, Special Constable or civilian employee of a Police Force commits an offence by doing so and may be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

Q2 (d) Information a liege should consider before lodging a complaint of criminality against the police with the service.

If a member of the public has an allegation of criminality about a serving police officer which allegedly has been committed whilst the officer was on duty, then he/she can make such a complaint as detailed at 2 above.

Q3 Information regarding facilities/resources or staff in place to assist those diagnosed or suspected on medical opinion with autism in pursuing there right in lodging a complaint regarding possible criminal conduct by a member(s) of the police force, with the service

The options detailed at 2 above are the facilities/resources available to anyone seeking to make an allegation of criminality against a Police Officer, Special Constable or civilian employee of the Police Force. Whilst there are no dedicated resources or staff in place within COPFS to assist individuals with autism to lodge a complaint, our staff will assist individuals who wish to submit such a complaint and will try to make the process as accessible as possible.