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News from COPFS

Engaging with communities to tackle hate crime

COPFS and Police Scotland last night hosted an Edinburgh LGBT community event of discussion and engagement to listen to people’s experiences of hate crime and the criminal justice system.

COPFS and police to host Edinburgh LGBT community event

COPFS and Police Scotland will host an Edinburgh LGBT community event of discussion and engagement to listen to people’s experiences of hate crime and the criminal justice system. The ultimate aim is to help make the city a safer place and if successful similar events could be rolled out across Scotland. 

Extra help for vulnerable witnesses in Court

From today, 1 September, vulnerable witnesses in Scotland will have greater protection with new provisions of the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014 coming into force. This includes enhanced special measures to support them when giving evidence in Court.

The Glasgow bin lorry crash - The decision not to prosecute the driver


1. Crown Counsel decided that the driver of the Glasgow City Council bin lorry which collided with and killed six people in Queen Street and George Square, Glasgow, on 22 December 2014, should not be prosecuted.

2. This decision was taken after full and careful consideration of all the evidence relevant to criminal responsibility and was made on the basis that there was insufficient evidence to show that he had committed a criminal offence.

3 years imprisonment after man found guilty of trafficking workers from Bangladesh

A 47–year-old man has been sentenced to 3 years imprisonment, having been found guilty of human trafficking.

Shamsul Arefin carried out his crimes between 2008 and 2010 when he was the owner of the Stewart Hotel near Appin in Argyll.

COPFS recognised as a champion of equality and inclusion

COPFS has been awarded the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei) Team of the Year Award 2015 for its “outstanding contribution to delivering change within the field of equality and inclusion, and the positive impact this had on organisational success”.

‘Right to Review’: Strengthened rights for victims of crime in Scotland

Today sees a strengthening of victims’ rights with the introduction of the right in law for a victim to ask for a review of a decision by the Crown not to prosecute their case – this formalises the current practice of the Scottish prosecution service to review cases where appropriate.

Lord Advocate welcomes reductions in Hate Crime

The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, today welcomed the publication of figures which show a continued reduction overall in Hate Crime in Scotland.

Investigations by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner Under the Direction of the Crown

COPFS is the sole prosecuting authority in Scotland and, on behalf of the Lord Advocate, decides in every case whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute.  COPFS also has responsibility, on behalf of the Lord Advocate, to investigate all sudden and unexplained deaths in Scotland.

New standards of service for victims and witnesses published

New standards of service have been published today to support and protect victims and witnesses in the Scottish criminal justice system; to make sure they have access to the information they need; and to ensure they are treated fairly.

The standards are the result of a partnership between COPFS, the Parole Board for Scotland, Police Scotland, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service and the Scottish Prison Service, in consultation with victims organisations. 

The new Standards of Service explains what a victim or witness can expect to happen at each stage of the criminal justice system process, the standards of service they can expect, and who they can contact for help or advice so they can participate effectively in criminal proceedings.

Standards of Service