Diversion from prosecution scheme

Please note: The following information relates to offenders over the age of 16.  For Youth offending, please see Youth offending - general information

The Procurator Fiscal may deem that it is not in the public interest to prosecute a case through court.  In such instances, the decision to prosecute may be deferred whilst the case is referred to the Criminal Justice Social Work team.  The team will undertake further assessments of the alleged offender and, if appropriate, intervention.

Following a period under voluntary supervision to the Criminal Justice Service, a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal advising of outcome. This procedure is known as Diversion from prosecution.

Diversion may be considered in cases involving a minor offence being committed, or if the alleged offender is young or a first-time offender, or where there is no overriding public interest for a prosecution.

A member of the Criminal Justice team will assess suitability for Diversion.  This involves a meeting between the accused person and a member of the Criminal Justice Team.  This meeting may include a family member, if appropriate.  The purpose of the meeting is to establish:

  • details of the alleged offence
  • any difficulties the accused person may have
  • what services might be of assistance to prevent re-offending

The Criminal Justice team may work directly with the alleged offender for a limited period of time or refer them to another agency for more specialised support.

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