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News from COPFS

Criminals will not be the winners in the 2014 Commonwealth Games

Scottish prosecutors will use the full range of their powers to protect the interests of legitimate businesses and their hard working staff in the run up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games by cracking down on fraudsters.

Any major sporting event can be a target for organised criminals looking to profit, whether it is from ticket touting, selling counterfeit goods or property scams.

The Lord Advocate has issued a strong deterrent message to fraudsters warning they could face sentences of up to five years in jail and an unlimited fine or be prosecuted using proceeds of crime legislation and the loss of their homes, cars or other assets linked to crime.

Retained organs

The Lord Advocate has the sole authority in Scotland to investigate any death which requires further explanation.

When a person dies in Scotland, they cannot be buried or cremated until a medical certificate giving the cause of death has been issued. This certificate must be completed by a doctor, and must show the time, place and cause of death. Most deaths which are reported to the Procurator Fiscal are reported because a doctor is unable to confirm the cause of the death and is therefore unable to issue a death certificate.

Solicitor General welcomes Equally Safe strategy

This new strategy, developed by the Scottish Government, COSLA and a range of partners sets out plans to eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls, aiming to create a society where all can feel equally safe and respected.

Parliament House – The Hidden Gem

The five-year redevelopment project of Scotland's historic Parliament Hall, Edinburgh was commemorated on 23 June with the unveiling of a plaque by the Lord President, the Rt. Hon. Lord Gill, Chairman of the Scottish Court Service.

Attending the ceremony was the Lord Advocate, the Rt. Hon Frank Mulholland QC who said he had a long and happy association with the building and had been privileged to have appeared there on many occasions.

McLaren High School wins schools debate on freedom of dress

The final of the 2014 East of Scotland Schools Public Speaking Competition took place on 18 June at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Chambers Street, following local heats across the region.

The competition hopes to encourage young people from across Scotland to hone their speaking skills, while at the same time encouraging them to consider real issues that could affect them or those around them. 

Drivers urged to consider the consequences of drink driving this summer

Motorists in Scotland are being reminded of the tough legal and personal consequences of drink driving with the launch of the COPFS / Police Scotland 2014 Summer Drink Drive campaign.

The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, the senior Law Officer in Scotland warned that those caught “Will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law” and not only risk losing their licence, liberty and car but their life and the life of others.

Should you suspect someone of drink driving, please call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it to your local police office by dialing 101. In an emergency, you can also dial 999.

Scottish students film to save young lives from knife crime tragedy praised by the Lord Advocate

A knife crime awareness film created by students from Inverclyde Academy, Greenock to warn their peers of the tragic impact knife crime can have has been praised by the Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC at the film’s launch in Glasgow who said that what they were doing with their innovative and ground breaking DVD is ultimately saving lives.

‘Crime of Love’ created as an educational tool in partnership with Inverclyde Academy, COPFS and BBC Scotland is available to view on the BBC Scotland LAB website:

Solicitor General says Scotland needs domestic abuse law

Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC says Scotland needs to look towards developing a modern approach that takes account of the devastating emotional damage to victims caused by domestic abuse as well as the physical damage that is so often caused - and we need a law that recognises that and punishes those responsible.

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Lord Advocate applies for Chhokar murder retrial

The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC has applied to the High Court for authority under the Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Act 2011 to set aside the acquittal of Ronnie Coulter, Andrew Coulter and David Montgomery and prosecute them again for the murder of Surjit Singh Chhokar in North Lanarkshire in 1998.

POCA results in serious disruption to criminals

The Crown Office can reveal that £8 million was seized from criminals in Scotland last year under the Proceeds of Crime Act.