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COPFS

Cases Reported to Greenock PFO – May 2017 (R015961)

Thank you for your request dated 19 April 2017 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the undernoted information in relation to the Procurator Fiscal’s Office at Greenock:

The number of reported cases to your office in 2014, 2015 and 2016

The number of cases which were prosecuted in 2014, 2015 and 2016

The percentage of cases prosecuted in the Justice of the Peace Court and Sheriff Court in 2014, 2015 and 2016

The number of cases reported to your office in 2014, 2015 and 2016 which were the subject of diversion and/or non conviction disposal

The number of fresh custody cases at Greenock Sheriff Court on 2014, 2015 and 2016

We should also be obliged if you would confirm that your office, along with all Procurator Fiscal offices in Scotland, now have an outcome based policy marking system

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 criminal cases, and the information within it is structured accordingly. We do not have a separate database, and hold only operational data needed for business purposes

The information you have requested is recorded by financial year and is provided to you on that basis.

Please be aware that the data provided in relation to court proceedings and diversion/non conviction disposal relates to individuals and one or more individual may be the subject of the same case. In addition, the information provided relates to the initial marking of the individual and does not take into account any subsequent markings, ie, failure of a direct measure where court proceedings were subsequently taken.

Please also be aware that the data provided in relation to individuals marked for court proceedings or direct measures relates to the date the decision was taken and it may be that some cases received in the previous financial year were not marked until the next one.

 

 

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Criminal Cases Received

 

4,357

3,425

2,828

 

 

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

 
Court Proceedings

Solemn

199

232

169

% of Court Proceedings total

9.8%

12.6%

9.7%

Summary

1,239

1,240

1,125

% of Court Proceedings total

60.7%

67.2%

64.8%

JP

603

373

442

 

% of Court Proceedings total

29.5%

20.2%

25.5%

 

 

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Direct Measures

1,748

1,267

1,036

 

 

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Cases Reported as a Custody Report

803

894

762

I do not consider that your final question is a request for recorded information under FOISA and accordingly, we are not obliged to respond to it. However, I can advise that

the published Prosecution Code sets out the criteria to be applied by prosecutors in their decision making. The Prosecution Code can be accessed using the attached link:

http://www.copfs.gov.uk/images/Documents/Prosecution_Policy_Guidance/Prosecution20Code20_Final20180412__1.pdf

The Lord Advocate has approved the institution of a wide-ranging prosecution policy review. The review is directed to implementing more effectively and rigorously the Crown’s existing principles as stated in the Code. An underlying aim of the review is to ensure that marking decisions take account of the likely sentencing outcome, in a more systematic fashion than heretofore. The review therefore includes an analysis of sentencing outcomes to provide an evidence base for decision making.

If the evidence supports it, one result may be that cases will be prosecuted in a different forum. Equally, where the anticipated sentencing outcome can be achieved through a direct measure, using such a measure achieves a swifter outcome for the victim and the accused, and avoids the stresses which a prosecution can impose on victims and witnesses. While there will be cases where the public interest rightly demands a prosecution and a conviction, regardless of the sentencing outcome, it is anticipated that there will be cases which are currently prosecuted on summary complaint that may appropriately be dealt with by a direct measure.

The Lord Advocate has separately confirmed that the Crown will continue to take a firm and rigorous approach, as a matter of policy, to domestic abuse. This approach seeks to address a form of criminal behaviour which, for too long, was not taken seriously by the criminal justice system and which blights the lives of families throughout Scotland.