McSporrans criminal solicitors' latest news on all aspects of criminal & road traffic law.

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.


Tackling metal theft

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


Football Bill moves forward

A majority of members of the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee have shown their support for the two new offences included in the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill.


Scots want more action to tackle sectarianism

A recent poll has revealed that 91% of Scottish people would like to see stronger action being taken against sectarianism and offensive behaviour associated with football.


POCA offences to be reported on Facebook

People who fund their lifestyles by the proceeds of crime are to be targeted in a new intelligence gathering campaign launched by Lothian and Borders Police.


Lord Advocate asks UK Supreme Court to Clarify Criminal Law

The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, has sought clarification from the UK Supreme Court on the law regarding rights of suspects who have been detained by police in Scotland.


Nat Fraser Conviction Quashed by Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh

The Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh has, today on 8 June 2011, quashed Scottish man Nat Fraser’s conviction for murder, although the hearing on whether there is to be a retrial is continuing.


New Cold Case Unit for Scotland

The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, has announced plans to create a new 'cold case' investigation unit to assist the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) and the police with unsolved murders and other serious crimes in Scotland.

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