Scottish Government
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Inspectorate of Prosecution

The Inspectorate of Prosecution yesterday published an inspection report on the Highlands and Islands Area of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

The inspection found:

  • An examination of over 350 individual cases showed overall high compliance with policy
  • Crown Office targets were generally met especially at the initial case marking stage
  • In general compliance with desirable timetables regarding disclosure to the defence was good
  • Feedback from a survey of witnesses in court (carried out in conjunction with the Witness Service) gave generally
  • Very positive results particularly in relation to information being given during the court day

Her Majesty's Chief Inspector Joe O'Donnell said:

"The Highlands and Islands Area is a large part of Scotland covering parts of the mainland and various islands. There are nine Procurator Fiscal Offices scattered throughout the Area which have with the exception of Inverness small numbers of staff. Geographical spread inevitably creates logistical problems for cover.

"This was the biggest inspection undertaken by us to date and over 350 individual cases were examined in some detail. Overall the Area performs to a high standard particularly in the area of the investigation and prosecution of crime being the core activity of the Service."

The Inspectorate of Prosecution, in accordance with its Business Plan, is conducting inspections of the 11 Areas of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and of Crown Office (headquarters functions). These inspections are wide ranging including reviews of individual cases, considerations of bail, management issues, service to victims and witnesses, disclosure issues and equality issues etc.

Feedback is obtained from a wide range of criminal justice partners and others to enable as wide an evidence base as possible.

The Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland is an independent statutory body charged with the inspection of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. It does this by way of Office and Area inspection reports and also by thematic reports.

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