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Scottish Budget Spending Review 2007

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CHAPTER 16: CROWN OFFICE AND PROCURATOR FISCAL SERVICE

PORTFOLIO RESPONSIBILITIES

The overarching responsibility of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service ( COPFS) is to serve the public interest, prosecuting cases independently, fairly and effectively.

The key aims of COPFS are to:

  • secure the confidence of Scotland's diverse communities by improving the delivery of justice through the timely, efficient and effective prosecution of crime;
  • give priority to prosecution of serious crime, including drugs trafficking and persistent offenders;
  • provide services that meet the information needs of victims, witnesses and next of kin, in co-operation with other agencies; and
  • ensure that all deaths reported to the Procurator Fiscal are investigated appropriately and speedily.

In this way, COPFS contributes to a safer and stronger Scotland by ensuring that cases are brought to a conclusion in the most appropriate way as quickly as possible. By tackling crime quickly and using a wider range of measures appropriate for specific offences, the COPFS portfolio will help to reduce crime and the fear of crime, improve the conditions which support economic development and social capital in communities, and enhance the quality of life of all Scottish people.

SUMMARY OF KEY SPENDING PRIORITIES FOR THE CROWN OFFICE AND PROCURATOR FISCAL SERVICE PORTFOLIO

The spending priorities for COPFS for 2008-09 to 2010-11 are briefly described below. More detail about spending plans is given in table 16.01 and in chapter 26.

  • £46.1m/£52.7m/£52.6m for the prosecution of serious, complex and organised crime, whether in the High Court or before a Sheriff and jury, including the prosecution of terrorism, murder, serious assaults, sexual offences, drug and people trafficking, fraud and organised crime and the confiscation of proceeds of crime;
  • £34.3m/£34.2m/£34.6m for the efficient and timely prosecution of summary casework, which comprises in numerical terms the large majority of the 330,000 crime reports submitted each year, including less serious offences and antisocial behaviour, prosecuted in the district, stipendiary and Sheriff courts, without a jury;
  • £5.0m/£4.3m/£4.3m for the investigation of deaths, which includes discharging the public function in investigating relevant categories of deaths promptly, appropriately and with sensitivity to the needs of the next of kin;
  • £2.7m/£3.1m/£3.8m for Victim Information and Advice, supporting victims of crime and vulnerable witnesses involved in the resolution of cases; and
  • capital expenditure of £5.9m/£6.7m/£7.2m, which will complete the modernisation of the COPFS estate and improve the ICT system and increase case-processing efficiency.

Table 16.01 Spending Plans 2008-11

2008-09 Draft Budget £m

2009-10 Plans £m

2010-11 Plans £m

COPFS Operating

104.3

112.0

113.3

COPFS Capital

5.9

6.7

7.2

Total

110.2

118.7

120.5