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Adult Support and Protection Code of Practice

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Chapter 14: Offences

Obstruction

1. Section 49 provides that it is an offence to prevent or obstruct any person from doing anything they are authorised or entitled to do under the Act. It is also an offence to refuse, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a request to provide information made under section 10 (examination of records etc.). However if the adult at risk prevents or obstructs a person, or refuses to comply with a request to provide access to any records, then the adult will not have committed an offence.

2. A person found guilty of these offences is liable on summary conviction to:

  • a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale; and/or
  • imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months.

Offences by corporate bodies etc.

3. Where it is proven that an offence under Part 1 of the Act was committed with the consent or connivance of, or was attributable to any neglect on the part of a "relevant person", or a person purporting to act in that capacity, that person as well as the body corporate, partnership or unincorporated association is also guilty of an offence.

4. A "relevant person" for the purposes of this section means:

  • a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of a body corporate such as limited company, a plc., or a company established by a charter or by Act of Parliament;
  • a member, where the affairs of the body are managed by its members;
  • an officer or member of the council;
  • a partner in a Scottish partnership; or
  • a person who is concerned in the management or control of an unincorporated association other than a Scottish partnership.

5. An unincorporated association is the most common form of organization within the independent and third sector in Scotland. It is a contractual relationship between the individual members of the organisation, all of whom have agreed or "contracted" to come together for a particular charitable purpose. Unlike an incorporated body the association has no existence or personality separate from its individual members.