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Contact us now for a free initial consultation:
0131 557 9151

New prosecution policy on transmission of sexually transmitted infections

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has issued guidance on the intentional or reckless sexual transmission of, or exposure to, sexually transmitted infections.

The policy has been drawn up in consultation with the Public Health Sector and other interested groups, including the Terrence Higgins Trust, HIV Scotland and the National AIDS Trust.

COPFS is one of the few prosecution services worldwide who have proactively published their prosecution guidance on this issue.

The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, said:

“This policy sets out clear guidance to prosecutors on cases where there is an allegation of sexual transmission of, or exposure to, infections which have serious, and potentially life-threatening consequences for the person infected.

“In preparing this policy, we have consulted closely with the public health sector alongside health charities and interest groups.

"We are publishing this guidance because we recognise that it is important to provide clarity and consistency on this area of the law. We also recognise the devastating effect that such diseases can have, and we will prosecute where it is in the public interest to do so, taking into account the rights of both victim and accused as well as any public health concerns."


Drug seizures by Scottish Police Forces

Scotland’s Chief Statistician has published statistics on drug seizures by Scottish Police Forces, which give the number and quantity of drugs seized by the eight Scottish police forces in 2010-11.


Pilot project successfully tackles youth offending

A pilot project to tackle the problem of youth offending in Aberdeen has successfully helped to reduce the number of crimes committed by young people.

The system, which is being extended to local authorities across Scotland, aims to hold young people to account for their behaviour and stop them following the wrong path into a life of crime.

The final report into the pilot of Whole System Approach in Aberdeen revealed a 20% reduction in youth crime between 2008-09 and last year. It also showed that:


New prosecution ‘networks’

Three senior procurators fiscal have been appointed to lead new prosecution ‘networks’ covering local Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) offices across Scotland.

The three ‘networks’ structure (North; East; and West) has replaced the COPFS previous eleven ‘area’ structure. The appointment of the new senior procurators fiscal: John Dunn (West); David Harvie (North); and John Logue (East), was announced by the Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC.

The restructuring will allow the COPFS to use its technology to the full, with teams of staff from around Scotland working together to make the best use of resources and provide a more efficient and effective service to the public.

Specialism in all prosecution work is now at the core of the COPFS with the introduction of the new structure.

The move builds on the approach already taken at a national level where specialist prosecutors are already embedded in areas of work such as: Sexual Crime; Serious and Organised Crime; Health and Safety, and have delivered significant results.


Scottish Crime and Justice Survey on drug use

Scotland’s Chief Statistician has published the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2010/11: Drug Use report.

The publication presents statistics on adults’ experiences of illicit drug use and covers self-reported drug use in the last month, the last year and ever.

The main findings of the report include:


Special committee to probe organised crime in the EU

A special parliamentary committee on organised crime, corruption and money laundering has been created by the European Parliament. It has a year to investigate infiltration of the EU's legal economy, public administration and financial systems by organised crime, including mafias, and propose ways to fight it.

Misappropriation of public funds, infiltration of the public sector, and contamination of the legal economy and financial system are some of the key threats posed by criminal organisations in the EU.

Within the time limit of its mandate, the committee is to evaluate the extent of organised crime's impact on the EU economy and society and recommend legislative and other measures to enable the EU to respond to these threats at international, European and national levels.

The committee, with a one year mandate extendable once, will have the power to make on site visits and hold hearings with EU and national institutions from all over the world.

MEPs may invite representatives of business and civil society and victims’ organisations, and officials, including judges, involved in the daily fight against organised crime, corruption and money laundering.

The special committee is to start work by the end of April this year.


Cracking down on criminal profits

The European Commission has proposed new rules for more effective and widespread confiscation of funds and other property acquired through crime.


Impact of Bail Reforms on Summary Justice Reform

The Scottish Government has published the findings from the Evaluation of the Impact of Bail Reforms on Summary Justice Reform.


Dedicated domestic abuse court in Edinburgh

The Scottish Government has announced that a specialist court dedicated to domestic abuse has opened in Edinburgh to provide further support for victims of domestic abuse and bring offenders to court quickly.


Stronger CPS cases in hate crime

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is prosecuting more hate crimes, more successfully and with more defendants pleading guilty than ever before.


Anti-knife crime initiative extends to west Edinburgh

A hard-hitting knife crime campaign which has proven highly successful in educating young people about the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife is to be rolled out in West Edinburgh.


Fast-track justice

A pilot project designed to speed up the punishment of low level offenders sentenced to a Community Payback Order has seen encouraging results during its first nine months, with 92% of offenders on the pilot sent out to pay back the community within 24 hours, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has said.


Surjit Singh Chhokar murder to be reinvestigated

The murder of Surjit Singh Chhokar in 1998 is being reviewed by the Crown Office. Strathclyde Police have now been instructed to carry out further investigation into his murder under the Double Jeopardy legislation introduced in November last year.


Significant proceeds of crime victory

Lady Stacey has issued her opinion in a long-running civil recovery case involving Russell Stirton and Alexander Anderson.


Parole Board publishes Annual Report

The Parole Board for Scotland has recently published its Annual Report 2010-11, which reveals that out of 606 determinate sentence prisoners whose cases were referred to the Board, 170 were recommended for release on parole.


Sexual victimisation and stalking

Scotland's Chief Statistician has published statistics on adults' experiences of sexual victimisation and stalking in Scotland.


Criminal proceedings in Scotland

Scotland's Chief Statistician has recently published data on criminal proceedings in Scotland during 2010-11. The publication presents statistics on court proceedings and sentencing, as well as statistics on bail orders and undertakings.


Lord Advocate announces 62% rape conviction rate

The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland, QC, has announced the first conviction rates for the new Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act, which came into force in December 2010.


Tackling metal theft

The Scottish Government is taking serious steps to tackle the growing problem of metal theft, the Justice Secretary has announced.


Blueprint to reform criminal law

A major review of the Scottish criminal justice system has recently been published. The review considers the future of Scots law and practice following the UK Supreme Court's Cadder ruling last year, and the impact of recent legislation on criminal procedure.

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