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Fraud cases reported to COPFS; broken down by category of offence and action taken. (R015394)

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

"I would be grateful if you could provide me with the following information for the financial years 2011/12, 2012/13, 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17 across Scotland for the questions below.

1. The number of fraud cases reported to the Procurator Fiscal by Police Scotland (and an annual total for all eight forces prior to the amalgamation of police forces in Scotland). Out of these can you provide a breakdown of the categories of the alleged offences – Business telephony fraud or boiler room fraud etc.

2. Of those cases, please provide a breakdown of what action was taken if any, i.e fiscal fine, prosecution etc

3. Can you also detail what cases passed to the Crown were not pursued and how many were marked ‘No Action’."

Firstly I should explain that the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service’s case management database is a live, operating database. It is designed to meet our business needs in relation to the processing of 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. Where we do provide information, the data provided relates to charges reported and not to cases. The table below details the number of fraud charges reported to COPFS by Police Scotland over the period of your request broken down by financial year.

The total number of charges reported overall also includes 2,599 charges labelled "Not a Separate Charge" where action was taken in relation to other charges reported in the case, for example, because the prosecutor took the view that an alternative charge was more appropriate or because details of the charge were included within the body of another charge for evidential reasons.

Financial Year Number of charges reported to COPFS
2011-12 6,346
2012-13 6,149
2013-14 6,151
2014-15 4,811
2015-16 4,184
Total 27,641
The categories of fraud charges reported over the period 2011/12 to 2015/16 are attached at Annex A.

The following table details the action taken in relation to the reported charges including those where no action was taken from the outset. No prosecutorial action can be taken where there is insufficient evidence. There are additionally 514 charges over the period of the request still under consideration.

Financial Year Reported 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Court Proceedings 2,921 2,809 2,949 2,254 1,946
Direct Measure 1,075 1,021 863 681 571
No Action 1,766 1,614 1,756 1,332 1,128
Total 5,762 5,444 5,568 4,267 3,645
The Procurator Fiscal may consider that the appropriate prosecutorial action is a Direct Measure. A number of direct measures are available to the Procurator Fiscal:
  • a warning by the Procurator Fiscal;
  • a fine;
  • a compensation order;
  • a combined compensation order and fine
  • a Fiscal Work Order requiring an accused person to complete unpaid work in the community;
  • referral to specialist support or treatment services

    Direct Measures provide a just, proportionate and immediate response to offending, and avoids the need for victims and witnesses to be inconvenienced by attending at court.

    ANNEX A separate attachment

    pdfR015394 Annex A28.04 KB