Annex C: Overview of the Justice Sector Organisations
Police Scotland's purpose is to improve the safety and wellbeing of people, places and communities in Scotland, focusing on Keeping People Safe in line with our values of Integrity, Fairness and Respect.
The Fairer Scotland Duty (Part 1 of the Equality Act 2010) requires Police Scotland to actively consider how to reduce inequalities of outcome caused by socio-economic disadvantage when making strategic decisions. Human Rights is at the heart of our decision. The Service incorporate Human Rights into our Equality Impact Assessment. The Service works to ensure that its values and Code of Ethics are understood by all officer and staff and they are at the heart of every decision made as individuals and as a service. In addition the Code of Ethics is a set of guiding principles that define how Police Scotland perform its duties. Encompassing the values of the service and its commitment to human rights, the code is designed as a guide to help officers and staff provide positive outcomes in line with the policing purpose.
The Service is led by Chief Constable Iain Livingstone QPM, supported by a command team of three Deputy Chief Constables, a Deputy Chief Officer, Assistant Chief Constables and Directors.
There are 13 local policing divisions, each headed by a Chief Superintendent who ensures that local policing in each area is responsive, accountable and tailored to meet local needs. Each division encompasses response officers, community officers, local crime investigation, public protection and local intelligence.
Scottish Police Authority
The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 created the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and set out its five core functions:
- to maintain the Police Service;
- to promote the policing principles set out in the 2012 Act;
- to promote and support continuous improvement in the policing of Scotland;
- to keep under review the policing of Scotland; and
- to hold the Chief Constable to account for the policing of Scotland.
These five functions demonstrate the dual, integrated responsibilities of the SPA: its oversight role in scrutinising policing in Scotland and holding the Chief Constable to account; and its supportive role in maintaining and improving the police service. The SPA is also responsible for the management and delivery of Forensic Services in Scotland.
The Authority aims to increase public trust and confidence in the policing of Scotland in the way it carries out its functions and through the quality of its governance arrangements.
Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) is Scotland's prosecution service. We receive reports about crimes from the police and other reporting agencies and then decide what action to take, including whether to prosecute someone. We also look into deaths that need further explanation and investigate allegations of criminal conduct against police officers.
COPFS plays a pivotal part in the justice system, working with others to make Scotland safe from crime, disorder and danger. 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. We support the Strategy for Justice in Scotland and, in particular, its priorities of:
- Reducing crime, particularly violent and serious organised crime
- Tackling hate crime and sectarianism
- Supporting victims and witnesses
- Increasing public confidence and reducing fear of crime
Our values are:
- Being professional
- Showing respect
Our aim is to meet the Law Officers' strategic priority of achieving operational effectiveness in all cases.
The main roles and responsibilities of COPFS are to:
- investigate, prosecute and disrupt crime, including seizing the proceeds of crime
- establish the cause of sudden, unexplained or suspicious deaths
- investigate allegations of criminal conduct against police officers.
Our Key Objectives are:
- to secure the confidence of our diverse communities by improving the delivery of justice through the timely, efficient and effective prosecution of crime;
- to give priority to the prosecution of serious crime, including drugs trafficking and persistent offenders;
- to provide services that meet the information needs of victims, witnesses and next-of-kin, in co-operation with other agencies;
- to ensure that all deaths reported to the Procurator Fiscal are investigated appropriately and speedily.
Scottish Court and Tribunal Service
The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) is an independent body corporate established by the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008.
Its function is to provide administrative support to Scottish courts and tribunals and to the judiciary of courts, including the High Court of Justiciary, Court of Session, sheriff courts and justice of the peace courts, and to the Office of the Public Guardian and Accountant of Court.
Scottish Prison Service
The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government and was first established in April 1993. Our Framework Document sets out the policy and resources framework set by Scottish Ministers within which the SPS operates. As an Executive Agency, the SPS is funded by the Scottish Government.
The SPS is responsible for those who are committed to its care by the Courts and is accountable to the Scottish Parliament for the delivery of custodial care in accord with The Prisons and Young Offenders Institutions (Scotland) Rules 2011.
Scottish Legal Aid Board
Our mission is to fund and deliver services that enable people to enforce and protect their rights, defend themselves and manage their personal affairs and relationships.
By fulfilling our mission and strategic objectives, both we and legal aid will better contribute to the achievement of Scottish Government aims, an efficient justice system and improved outcomes for those who need services supported by legal aid.
Law Society of Scotland
The Law Society of Scotland is the professional body for over 12,000 Scottish solicitors and was established in 1949. We have an overarching objective of leading legal excellence, and strive to excel and to be a world-class professional body, understanding and serving the needs of our members and the public. As part of our regulatory duties, we set and uphold standards to ensure the provision of excellent legal services and ensure the public can have confidence in Scotland's legal profession.
The Law Society also has a statutory duty to work in the public interest, a duty which we are strongly committed to achieving through our work to promote a strong, varied and effective legal profession working in the interests of the public and protecting and promoting the rule of law. We seek to influence the creation of a fairer and more just society through active engagement with the Scottish and United Kingdom governments, parliaments, wider stakeholders and our membership.
Faculty of Advocates
The Faculty of Advocates ensures that the people of Scotland, regardless of wealth, background or location, have access to the very best independent, objective legal advice. The Faculty has been at the forefront of legal excellence since 1532 and regulates the training and professional practice, conduct and discipline of advocates.
As well as ensuring excellence in the specialist field of courtcraft, the Faculty is constantly evolving and is at the forefront of innovations in alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration and mediation.
Members of the Faculty have access to the country's finest legal resource - the Advocates' Library and the Faculty provides a collegiate atmosphere which allows advocates to exchange views in a way that gives them a unique insight into the law and helps ensure that they are always at the leading edge of analysis.
Community Justice Scotland
Community Justice Scotland works to change the conversation about justice. We believe that smart justice based on the best evidence of what works will prevent offending, repair lives and improve communities. We want Scotland to be the safest country in the world.
Community justice focuses on reducing offending and further offending by addressing the needs of people affected by the justice system. It is founded on the belief that most crime is preventable, and that it can be managed in a positive way, which benefits communities and allows them to move on from harm caused.
Community justice requires local and national agencies to work together in partnership with communities to ensure the right services and interventions are available in the right places, and at the right time. Approaches must be effective, efficient and equitable, while maintaining safety and minimising risk.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
We are the world's fourth largest fire and rescue service, committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the people of Scotland.
We are a national organisation delivering our front-line services locally from three strategically positioned hubs based in the North, West and East of the country.
You may think that our role is pretty straightforward – to prevent and control fires but, we do so much more than that.
We respond to many different emergency incidents including road traffic collisions, rope rescue, water rescue, hazardous materials and flooding as well as assisting our partner agencies to keep our communities safe.
The best way to deal with an emergency is to prevent it from happening in the first place, and our role starts long before any 999 call is made. We work in closely with our key partners right across Scotland to deliver crucial fire safety messages and create safer communities for our people.
As part of our prevention programme, we offer everyone in Scotland a free home fire safety visit. We also fit smoke alarms free of charge if your home requires them.
When emergencies do occur, our staff are ready and equipped to respond to many different types of incidents within our communities.
Our high service standards have demanded an ever increasing commitment to development and our firefighters continue to be amongst the best equipped and most highly trained in the world.
Our aspiration is that by working together for a safer Scotland, we can help reduce the incidence of fire and continue to play a key role in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the people of Scotland.