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Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) is Scotland’s sole prosecution service.

How does COPFS operate?
 COPFS receives reports about crimes from the police and other reporting agencies and then decides what action to take, including whether to prosecute the person(s) who is the subject of the report. COPFS plays a pivotal part in the justice system, working with others to make Scotland safe from crime and disorder. The public interest is at the heart of all we do as independent prosecutors. We take into account the diverse needs of victims, witnesses, communities and the rights of those accused of crime.
Jointly reported cases

COPFS and SCRA will sometimes receive cases that have been jointly reported by the Police about offences that have allegedly been committed by children and young people. These are cases which relate to a young person under the age of 16, who are aged 16 or 17 years old and are subject to a Compulsory Supervision Order or those covered by the categories explained under s199 of the Children’s Hearing (Scotland) Act 2011; and those charged with certain offence types.

The Procurator Fiscal and the Children’s Reporter will discuss cases which are jointly reported before the Procurator Fiscal decides which organisation should deal with the case. This will depend upon a number of factors, including the child’s circumstances and the gravity of the offence.

You can find out more about the work of COPFS at our website – www.copfs.gov.uk

Charged with an offence

COPFS treats those accused of an offence fairly and respects their rights. COPFS is an independent body and cannot give legal advice. Anyone looking for legal advice should contact the Law Society of Scotland or the Public Defence Solicitors’Office. Information about legal aid is available from the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

Any questions you may need answerd can be found in the Q & A section of the website.

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