3 May 2013
FOI REQUEST: PROSTITUTION (PUBLIC PLACES) (SCOTLAND) ACT 2007
Thank you for your e-mail under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) in which you seek the following information -
1. statistics on how many people have been prosecuted across Scotland, under 'kerb crawling' legislation, broken down by area if possible;
2. figures on how many people have been banned from driving; and
3. comment on whether the Lord Advocate had referred to a "dedicated prosecutor" when visiting Routes Out.
I have provided responses below to each of your requests:
(1) The data for the reply has been obtained from the Scottish Government which is responsible for generating official statistics relating to court proceedings. The table annexed shows the number of offences prosecuted under Sections 1(1) and 1(3) of the Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) 2007 Act.
(2) COPFS does not hold this information.
It may assist 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.
(3) You had also asked COPFS Media Relations for a comment on whether the Lord Advocate had referred to a "dedicated prosecutor" when visiting the Routes Out Project.
A meeting took place in November last year as part of a larger visit to ASSIST, the Domestic Abuse Taskforce and Routes Out. The Lord Advocate expressed his support for the work of Routes Out and confirmed that revised Lord Advocate's Guidelines were about to be published reinforcing the commitment of COPFS to do all that it could to work together across the justice system to enforce the parliamentary intent to address the problem of street prostitution and tackling demand by targeting the actions of purchasers. In particular he indicated that the revised guidelines highlighted the power of the courts to disqualify those who use a car in the commission of soliciting/loitering offences and directed prosecutors to remind the court of the power in appropriate cases. Since then COPFS have been engaging with Routes Out. The revised Lord Advocate's Guidelines on the 'Enforcement of soliciting and loitering offences by purchasers' were published in December 2012 and can be viewed on the COPFS website.