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COPFS

Help us to build equality into our work

We are seeking your views on our plans for building equality into our work as an employer and a public prosecutor. Please email your comments to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 18 April 2017.

 

DRAFT COPFS EQUALITY OUTCOMES FOR 2017 TO 2021

Introduction

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) is Scotland’s sole prosecution service.  We receive reports about crimes from the police and other reporting agencies and decide what action to take in the public interest, including whether to prosecute.  We also look into deaths that need further explanation and investigate allegations of criminal conduct against police officers.

In 2015 we published our Strategic Plan which describes what we aim to deliver over the period 2015-2018 and our underlying priorities.  These are set against the backdrop of legal reforms, both past and planned, changes in the patterns of criminal behaviour and developments in our business practices.  Our key objectives are:

  • criminal cases are effectively and independently investigated and prosecuted or have other proportionate action taken in the public interest 
  • deaths which need further explanation are appropriately and promptly investigated
  • financial gain achieved by criminal means is removed from criminals using proceeds of crime laws
  • a level of service which takes account of individual needs and characteristics is provided to all 
  • victims, nearest relatives and witnesses and those accused of an offence are treated with dignity and respect

What is an Equality Outcome?

An equality outcome is a result which we aim to achieve in order to further one or more of the three needs of the General Equality Duty:

  • Eliminate discrimination
  • Advance equality of opportunity
  • Foster good relations across all protected characteristics

By focusing on outcomes rather than objectives, we aim to achieve practical improvements for people who come into contact with the prosecution service, whether as a victim, a witness, an accused or a bereaved family member.  Equality outcomes are therefore results intended to achieve specific and identifiable improvements in the services and support we provide for people entering the Scottish criminal justice system.

COPFS Draft Equality Outcomes

We have therefore developed a set of six Equality Outcomes linking directly to our Strategic Plan, which provides the framework for positive action to ensure equality of opportunity:

1. People who live or work in Scotland are aware of the role of the prosecution service in the Scottish criminal justice system.

2. Our prosecutors will act fairly and without bias towards all victims, witnesses and accused persons, and be sensitive to individual needs,  to ensure that the prosecution service we provide, delivers an equal opportunity to everyone to access justice.

3. The services provided by COPFS are suitable and accessible to all who need to use them.

4. COPFS staff are knowledgeable about equality legislation and treat all victims, witnesses and accused persons with dignity and respect.

5. Scotland will be a safer place for everyone as a result of our collaborative working with other organisation.

6. COPFS will pursue initiatives to increase the number of staff with protected characteristics such as race, religion and LGBTI, who enter and progress within the prosecution service.

Current Equality Outcomes

We published our first set of equality outcomes covering the four year period from 2013-2017 in April 2013, and a progress report was published in April 2015.

You have until 18 April 2017 to let us have your comments on our Draft COPFS Equality Outcomes for 2017 to 2021.

Thank you for reading.