Scottish Budget: draft budget 2018-2019

Scottish Government's draft spending and tax plans for 2018-2019.

Chapter 15: Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

Portfolio Responsibilities

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service ( COPFS) is the sole public prosecution authority in Scotland prosecuting cases independently, fairly and effectively in the public interest.

The Lord Advocate’s position as head of the systems of criminal prosecution and investigation of deaths is enshrined in the Scotland Act 1998 and he exercises that responsibility independently of any other person.

Our purpose is to secure justice for the people of Scotland. We are committed to playing our part in making Scotland a safer place to live.

Our Priorities

COPFS priorities are in line with the overarching justice vision of a just, safe and
resilient Scotland. We seek to ensure that our systems and interventions are proportionate, fair and effective and to deliver a person-centred and modern public prosecution service.

In 2018-19 we will:

  • prosecute crimes and investigate deaths that require further investigation;
  • provide appropriate support to victims of crime, vulnerable witnesses and bereaved relatives;
  • respond to the increasing number of serious sexual offences that are reported to to COPFS;
  • subject to the approval of Parliament, implement the provisions of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill;
  • implement reforms introduced by the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 including improvements to procedures for sheriff and jury cases;
  • meet the challenges of prosecuting serious organised crime and cyber crime;
  • continue to play a full part in delivering the Digital Strategy for Justice in Scotland;
  • continue to develop our digital systems and processes to further enhance the service we provide to increase case-processing efficiency;
  • improve communications with victims and witnesses and comply with relevant legislative requirements; and
  • continue to co-operate with counterparts in other jurisdictions, while preparing for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Spending Plans

Table 15.01: Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Spending Plans (Level 3)

Level 3 2016-17 Budget
2017-18 Budget
Draft Budget

Staff Costs 72.4 72.3 78.3
Office Costs 3.9 3.9 3.8
Case Related 13.4 13.4 13.3
Centrally Managed 19.2 17.9 17.0
Capital Expenditure 3.6 3.6 3.6
Total Level 3 112.5 111.1 116.0
of which:
Fiscal Resource 103.5 103.5 108.4
Non-cash 5.4 4.0 4.0
Capital 3.6 3.6 3.6
Financial Transactions

Table 15.02: Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Spending Plans (Level 3 real terms)
at 2017-18 prices

Level 3 2016-17 Budget
2017-18 Budget
Draft Budget
Staff Costs 73.5 72.3 77.2
Office Costs 4.0 3.9 3.7
Case Related 13.6 13.4 13.1
Centrally Managed 19.5 17.9 16.8
Capital Expenditure 3.7 3.6 3.5
Total Level 3 114.2 111.1 114.3
of which:
Fiscal Resource 105.0 103.5 106.9
Non-cash 5.5 4.0 3.9
Capital 3.7 3.6 3.5
Financial Transactions

What the COPFS budget does

COPFS receives reports of crimes from the police and other reporting agencies.
We assess whether there is sufficient evidence to take prosecutorial action and, if so, what action is in the public interest. In appropriate cases we direct investigations by the police; prosecute all forms of crime before the High Court, Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court; and impose direct prosecutorial measures. We take action to assess and recover proceeds of crime; co-operate with counterparts in other jurisdictions; and assist victims and witnesses. COPFS also investigates deaths which require further explanation and complaints of criminal conduct against police officers.


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