CHAPTER 26: CROWN OFFICE AND PROCURATOR FISCAL SERVICE
Table 26.01 Detailed Spending Plans 2008-11
Victim Information and Advice
Investigation of Deaths
Complaints Against Police
1. The prosecution of serious crime before a jury in the sheriff and High Courts.
2. The prosecution of less serious offences in the district, stipendiary and sheriff courts, without a jury.
What the budget does
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service ( COPFS) provides Scotland's independent public prosecution and deaths investigation service. The Lord Advocate's position as head of the systems of criminal prosecution and investigation of deaths is enshrined in the Scotland Act.
COPFS is the sole public prosecution authority in Scotland. It is responsible for making decisions about and bringing prosecutions for all criminal offences. COPFS also has the duty to investigate all sudden, suspicious or unexplained deaths and is responsible for deciding whether criminal proceedings or a Fatal Accident Inquiry should be held and for conducting such proceedings and inquiries. Responsibility for investigating complaints against the police, involving allegations of criminal conduct, rests with the Area Procurators Fiscal. Prosecution of police officers is undertaken on the instruction of Crown Counsel. COPFS Financial Crime Unit and Civil Recovery Unit investigate and recover proceeds of drug trafficking and other serious crime. COPFS also provides a Victim Information and Advice Service across Scotland.
COPFS works closely with its criminal justice partners to help make Scotland a safer place and plays a pivotal role within the criminal justice system in maintaining the security and confidence of all communities of Scotland in the prosecution system, making the justice system more accessible and responsive. The core values of COPFS are impartiality, integrity, sensitivity, respect and professionalism.
The increases over the next three years will allow COPFS to take forward the full range of activities covered by the budget.