Diversion from Prosecution

Diversion from Prosecution

In the event the Procurator Fiscal believes that formal proceedings may not be necessary they can "divert" a case for Social Work or other intervention.

Diversion may be considered in cases involving young or first offenders, for minor offences or where there is no overriding public interest for a prosecution.

A report is prepared by a Social Worker from the Criminal Justice Social Work Team.  The report returned to the Procurator Fiscal includes details of:-

  • the offence
  • the reasons it happened
  • any difficulties the accused may have
  • what services might be of assistance to prevent re-offending
  • the individual's agreement to engage with a Diversion Service

If considered suitable for Diversion the Criminal Justice Social Work team might work with the person for a short period of time or refer them to a partner agency.

At the end of the Diversion period a formal progress report is submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.  If it has been completed successfully that is the end of the matter and no further action is taken or conviction recorded.  However, if someone fails to attend or does not engage fully with the agreed intervention plan then the Procurator Fiscal can then prosecute or refer to the reporter (where relevant).

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