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COPFS

Police Officers reported to COPFS re criminal allegations and outcomes –(R016106) June 2017

Thank you for your request dated 16 May 2017 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the undernoted information:

Broken down by years 2014/15 and 2015/16, how many police officers have been reported to COPFS by Police Scotland in respect of criminal allegations?

For these specific cases that were reported in this period, please provide the figures for a) no action taken b) court proceedings were raised and if there was a conviction or no conviction c) no decision has yet to be reached.

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.

The data provided below relates to serving police officers on duty reported by way of a Standard Prosecution Report (SPR) to the COPFS Criminal Allegations Against the Police Division (CAAP-D) in the financial years 2014/15 and 2015/16. These police officers were reported for alleged offences committed while they were on duty.

Although not requested by you, for completeness, we have also included the figures for cases which were dealt with by non-court disposal. Non court disposals are a range of measures which can be used by the prosecutor as an alternative to prosecution in court.

The figures provided relate 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 to COPFS other than by SPR. Such 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 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.

  2014/15

2015/16

Cases Reported

130

91

No Action Taken

73

50

Court Proceedings Raised

30

24

Conviction Obtained

10

8

No Conviction Obtained

14

7

Ongoing

6

9

Non Court Disposal

21

13

No Final Decision Made

6

4