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COPFS

Police Officers reported for criminal offences, outcomes and time between report and trial (R015610)

Thank you for your request dated 13 March 2017 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the undernoted information

"In the published "Performance against Key Targets April 2015 to March 2016" it states that in 2015-16, 92% of police officers reported to COPFS for criminal allegations had their investigation completed and the outcome reported to the complainer within 12 weeks of receipt of the report. 
So, to assist you in provided the information I am looking for and to reduce any costs, for that time period, using the same details that provided that information;

1 - how many police officers were reported to COPFS for criminal offences? (You know that number of else how do you know the 92% figure?)

2 - how many final outcomes were trials? (You must know that as you say the result was given to each complainer)

3 - what was the time between report and trial for each police officer? (You must know that or else how do you know 92% were completed within 12 weeks?)"

The published figures you refer to relate to allegations of criminal conduct that on-duty Police Officers have committed in the course of their duties.

1 - how many police officers were reported to COPFS for criminal offences?

In the financial year 2015/16 91 Police Officers were reported to COPFS for criminal offences.

The figure provided relates only to criminal cases where COPFS has received a Standard Prosecution Report (SPR) from the police. For your information, a significant proportion of criminal allegations against the police are reported initially by way of a template report. Template reports will be submitted even where there is assessed to be an insufficiency of evidence, unlike an SPR. There has to be a distinction drawn between cases where there is a sufficiency of evidence and cases reported by template where there is an insufficiency of evidence but which are reported to COPFS in order that COPFS can independently review the quality of investigation, and to demonstrate transparency. Criminal proceedings can only be raised where there is assessed to be a sufficiency of admissible evidence. All criminal allegations against police officers are thoroughly and rigorously investigated and proceedings taken where Crown Counsel consider that there is sufficient evidence that is credible and reliable. COPFS will always request an SPR where Crown Counsel instruct proceedings. For cases where no proceedings are taken, there will be a significant number where no SPR is ever requested or submitted.

2 - how many final outcomes were trials?

Of the 91 Police officers reported to COPFS for criminal offences in the financial year 2015/16, trials commenced against seven of those Officers and there are trials scheduled to commence against a further eight of those Officers.

3 - what was the time between report and trial for each police officer?

Of the seven trials that have commenced, I have noted below the time in weeks between the report being received and the trial commencing.

17 weeks
42 weeks, 6 days
46 weeks, 4 days
52 weeks
56 weeks 2 days
83 weeks 
83 weeks

I have not provided details of the time between the report being received and the trial commencing for the eight trials which have trial dates scheduled but have not yet started as trial start dates can be subject to change for a variety of reasons.

Please be aware that the target is to complete the investigation of criminal allegations against police officers and advise the complainer of the outcome of the investigation within 12 weeks of the date on which the report is received in at least 90% of cases. It is not dependent on any trial proceedings being completed within 12 weeks.