08 Jan 8th January 2019
Police too late in referring hundreds of cases to prosecutors
Police Scotland is failing to refer suspects to prosecutors timeously, according to figures obtained by Scottish Labour. Between 2015/16 and 2017/18 there has been around a 20 per cent increase in the number of cases that are not prosecuted because they are time barred, data supplied by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service shows. This means that while police officers believe they know who committed a crime, they cannot arrest and charge suspects because too much time has elapsed since the crime took place. Freedom of Information requests from Scottish Labour show hundreds of time barred crimes have been recorded.
Judge allows personal injury claim against Police Scotland to proceed despite ‘inordinate and inexcusable delay’
A woman who was injured in a road traffic accident when a car she was travelling in was struck by a police van is suing Police Scotland for damages. Anji Mannas claims that although the physical injuries she sustained were “modest”, she suffered “severe and continuing psychological injuries” as a consequence of the crash, which happened in 2001. A judge in the Court of Session has allowed the action to proceed after dismissing an attempt by the Chief Constable of the Police Service for Scotland to have the case thrown out due to “unfairness” caused by “inordinate and inexcusable delay” on the part of the pursuer’s former lawyers in progressing her claim.
More than 1000 murders in Scotland left ‘unresolved’
The death of Darren Birt is one of more than 1000 cases in Scotland where no-one has been brought to justice. Police Scotland files list at least 1112 homicides since 1960 as ‘unresolved’ – meaning the force believes they know who committed the crimes but no convictions have been achieved. Just 60 of these cases are classed as ‘unsolved’ – meaning the identity of the perpetrators is unknown. Darren’s murder is considered unresolved. Three men were arrested and charged but the Crown Office dropped the prosecution.
Alcohol ban in public considered in Borders
Scottish Borders Council has agreed to carry out a new public consultation on its proposed alcohol byelaws. The council’s proposals involve setting up designated zones where people can be fined for public drinking in the town centres of Coldingham, Eyemouth, Galashiels, Hawick, Jedburgh, and Newtown St Boswells. People found drinking within the town centre areas could be fined up to £500, but the byelaws will not apply on common riding days and on Hogmanay.
The great speeding penalty shake-up
Speeding motorists are set to be spared fines and points on their licences under plans to introduce awareness courses. Prosecutors are examining proposals for drivers to avoid a conviction by taking part in the educational programmes. Police Scotland has submitted a plan for the scheme to Lord Advocate James Wolffe, QC, who is ‘carefully’ considering the move.
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