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COPFS

S28, 29 and 31 – Criminal Justice & Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010

11 July 2013

Freedom of Information Request: S28, 29 and 31 – Criminal Justice & Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010

Thank you for your request dated 12 June 2012 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for information about the number of a) reports b) proceedings taken and c) the outcomes of criminal proceedings taken under Sections 28, 29 and 31 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010, which created three offences of involvement in, directing and failure to report serious organised crime.

You specifically sought the following information:-

1. Since these provisions of the 2010 Act came into force, how many charges have been reported to COPFS under i) Section 28, ii) Section 30 and iii) Section 31 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act respectively

2. Of reports received during this period, how many decisions have been taken to prosecute, in respect of each of the offences created by i) Section 28, ii) Section 29 and iii) Section 31

3. Of cases which have proceeded in Court under each of these sections during this period, how many cases have proceeded in i) the High Court, ii) solemn Sheriff, iii) summary Sheriff and, if applicable, iv) Justice of the Peace Courts respectively

4. Please also provide the number of prosecutions under each of the offences created by i) Section 28, ii) Section 29 and iii) Section 31 of the 2010 Act which have resulted in a guilty verdict or an acquittal in each of these courts

Although in questions 2 and 4 you refer to Sections, 28, 29 and 31, there is no separate offence under Section 29 and the preamble to your request refers to the offences of involvement in, directing and failure to report serious organised crime, which are created by Sections 28, 30 and 31 respectively. We have accordingly treated your request as a request for information about sections 28, 30 and 31 of the Act.

In some parts of your questions you have referred to cases and in some parts you have referred to offences, please be aware that the information provided relates to individual offences and not cases as this is how the information is contained within our case management database. The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscals Service's case management database is a live, operating database. It is designed to meet COPFS' business needs in relation to the processing of criminal cases, and the information within it is structured accordingly. We do not have a separate statistical database, and hold only operational data needed for business purposes, i.e. 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.

Statistical information about prosecutions can be extracted more easily from the Scottish Government Justice Department's Court Proceedings Database which is designed to provide statistical information. It contains information about cases prosecuted in all Courts and can provide information either at the level of the specific offence or by certain broader groupings of offences (e.g. crimes of violence, crimes of dishonesty, offences involving drugs etc). You can contact the Scottish Government Justice Department at mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 0131 244 2228.

We have now completed our search for the information you request, and attach herewith a copy of a table encompassing the information requested in questions 1 and 2.

You will note within the table there is reference to "Not Sep Charge" – this means the charge was not separately prosecuted. Not separately prosecuted include charges which were not separately prosecuted, but where other charges for the accused within the same case were prosecuted. In some cases the charges which were prosecuted may have included details from the charges which were not prosecuted.

With regard to questions 3 and 4 in your request:

3. Of cases which have proceeded in Court under each of these sections during this period, how many cases have proceeded in i) the High Court, ii) solemn Sheriff, iii) summary Sheriff and, if applicable, iv) Justice of the Peace Courts respectively

and

4. Please also provide the number of prosecutions under each of the offences created by i) Section 28, ii) Section 29 and iii) Section 31 of the 2010 Act which have resulted in a guilty verdict or an acquittal in each of these courts

Of the 3 charges which have concluded under Section 28 from the year 2011-2012, a guilty verdict was recorded in the Sheriff Court at Sheriff and Jury level for one charge and verdicts of not guilty were recorded in the High Court for two charges.

The one charge which has concluded under Section 30 from the year 2011-2012 resulted in a not guilty plea being recorded in the Sheriff and Jury Court.

 

Section

Subj Pro

Charge Pro

Outcome

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

Grand Total

S: 28

1. Petition

1. Court

1. Convicted



1



1







2. Not Convicted



2



2







3. Ongoing

11

33

65

109







4. No Fur Action





1

1





1. Court Total



11

36

66

113





9. Not Sep Charge



4

44

26

74



1. Petition Total





15

80

92

187



2. Summary

1. Court

3. Ongoing



0



0





1. Court Total





0



0





9. Not Sep Charge





0

0

0



2. Summary Total







0

0

0



5. No Action





3

8

8

19



7. No Decision

Meantime





1

36

46

83

S: 28 Total







19

124

146

289

S: 30

1. Petition

1. Court

2. Not Convicted



1



1







3. Ongoing



6

32

38





1. Court Total





7

32

39





9. Not Sep Charge





5

7

12



1. Petition Total







12

39

51



7. No Decision

Meantime







6

18

24

S: 30 Total









18

57

75

S: 31

7. No Decision

Meantime









4

4

S: 31 Total











4

4

Grand Total







19

142

207

368