Annex E – Legislative and policy changes
E.1 The Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 introduced a new statutory aggravator for domestic abuse which came into force in April 2017. This act also covers ‘intimate images’ offences (often known as ‘revenge porn’).
E.2 Sections 79-81 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 (“the 2016 Act”) made significant changes to the sheriff and jury procedures contained in the Criminal Procedure Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (“the 1995 Act”). Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 and were introduced over three dates during the period May to August 2017. This may feed through to average sentence lengths because it allows sentence discounts for early guilty pleas.
E.3 The 2016 Act - Part I (Police powers) came into force on 25 January 2018. The provisions, amongst other matters, transferred written undertaking provisions from the 1995 Act to Part I of the 2016 Act.
It may be useful for users to be aware of other recent changes to legislation:
E.4 On December 5th 2014 the alcohol limit for drivers in Scotland was reduced from 80 mg to 50 mg per 100 ml blood.
E.5 The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012, which came into effect on 1 March 2012, was repealed on 20 April 2018, although prosecutions under the act were informally ended during 2017. We publish here for completeness a table of proceedings under this act as they stand up to the end of 2017-18, with no further cases anticipated.
People proceeded against under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 20121
|Section 1: Offensive Behaviour at Football|
|Section 6: Threatening Communications|
|Section 1 and 6|
1- Where main charge
E.6 Aside from the changes mentioned above, there have been no other major legislative changes throughout 2017-18 which impact on the comparability of the statistics. However, it should be noted that legislation introduced in more recent years prior to 2017-18 will continue to have an impact on the statistics as people are charged under the new legislation and proceeded against in court.
Email: Ian Volante