21 December 2012
FOI REQUEST: Criminal convictions – knife crime and threatening behaviour
Thank you for your email dated 28 November 2012 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) in which you requested:
"Information relating to criminal convictions.
A record of all cases matching the criteria of a person being charged with 'two counts of carrying a knife, one charge of threatening behaviour' in 2012 / 11.
If this is too specific, and does not turn up a match, I would like as close a match as possible, i.e. one count and threatening behaviour, then just for carrying a knife."
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.
We have searched the database for reports submitted to the procurator fiscal in the financial year 2011-12 relating to people with at least one charge of carrying a knife, and at least one charge of threatening or abusive behaviour.
The charges included in the search are listed below.
- Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 Section 49 (1) – Carrying a knife
- Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 Section 49 A (1) – Carrying a knife on school premises
- Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 Section 47 (1) – Carrying an offensive weapon (where the offensive weapon was recorded as a knife, a sword or a machete)
- Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 Section 38 (1) – Threatening or abusive behaviour
We have identified 19 people with two or more charges of carrying a knife and one or more charges of threatening or abusive behaviour, who have been convicted of at least one charge against them, and who have been sentenced. In addition, we have identified 352 people with one charge of carrying a knife and one or more charges of threatening or abusive behaviour, who have been convicted of at least one charge against them, and who have been sentenced. Details are given in the table below.
It should be recognised that there will be many more charges that are in the process of being prosecuted, but where there is no conclusion of proceedings and as a result no outcome or sentence recorded as yet.
It is important to recognise that sentencing is entirely a matter for the court and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service do not play any part in determining what sentence individual's receive.