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Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland

The Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland (IPS) is the independent inspectorate for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the sole prosecuting authority in Scotland and also responsible for investigating sudden deaths and complaints against the police which are of a criminal nature.

The aim of the IPS is to make recommendations that will result in clear and measurable improvements in the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) service delivery, making COPFS more accountable and enhancing public confidence.

The principal functions of the IPS are:

  • To inspect or arrange for the inspection of the operation of COPFS
  • To report to the Lord Advocate on any matter connected with the operation of COPFS

The IPS operated on a non-statutory basis from December 2003. Since the coming into effect of the Criminal Proceedings etc (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007 Sections 78 and 79 in April 2007 the Inspectorate has been operating as a statutory body.

The 2007 Act provides for the appointment by the Lord Advocate of an officer known as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prosecution in Scotland. The statute requires the Inspector to secure the inspection of the operation of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. The Lord Advocate may also require the Inspector to submit a report on any particular matter connected with the operation of the Service which the Lord Advocate refers to the Inspector. An annual report must be submitted to the Lord Advocate on the exercise of the Inspector's functions.

All of the reports of the IPS will be published and details of these can be obtained in the Reports section of this website.

Joint reports will also be undertaken with criminal justice partners and again these will be published.

The IPS does not deal with individual complaints although comments from individuals are welcome. Individual complaints about specific cases should be referred to the Crown Office or appropriate Procurator Fiscal's office.

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Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010

Duty to furnish information on certain expenditure.

The duty under S.31 of the above Act to publish certain information is fulfilled by inclusion of relevant data in the Inspectorate's Annual Reports.

The duty under S.32 of the above Act to publish information regarding efficiency, effectiveness and economy will also be contained in future Annual Reports.