Reporting to the Procurator Fiscal
Form of report to the Procurator Fiscal
Once a decision is taken to recommend that proceedings be instituted, or you are requested to submit a prosecution report by your line manager, the report should be completed and submitted to an inspector who is authorised to approve submission of a Report to the Fiscal.
The line manager should at this stage also appoint a Reviewing Officer who will be responsible for ensuring that HSE meets its obligations in the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 for recording, retention and revelation of relevant material (Link to disclosure guidance when available).
It is essential in Scottish legal procedure that corroborated evidence is provided for all material facts that have to be proved. The form of the prosec\ution report is the same irrespective of whether the case will proceed under summary or under solemn procedure. This section takes you through the prosecution report in the order which it is assembled, but you should be aware that the starting point is the Inspectors Investigation Report.
All prosecution reports in Scotland are now submitted to the Fiscal electronically on the SRAWEB 2 system. The HSE report system is designed to enable the investigation report to be transferred to SRAWEB. Since the report layout is designed by Crown Office for all non-police agencies to use and is based on police reporting format inspectors should follow the guidance below on correct use of headings.
Where an investigation identifies more than one suspect then a single SRAWEB report may be submitted. Each suspect should be listed as accused 1, accused 2 etc.
Prosecutions Reports should follow the following format:
1) The Inspector's Investigation Report which follows the standard SRAWEB format. (LPS 1 amended ) is on the HSE Forms intranet site. The form is divided and headed into Part 1 “SUMMARY” which is for factual findings not opinion and will be disclosed by the Fiscal and Part 2 – ANALYSIS /IDENTIFICATION OF ACCUSED. Part 2 will not normally be disclosed by the Fiscal unless required to by the court or unless it contains relevant information classified as sensitive and which the Fiscal considers should be disclosed. The Report should be signed and dated when complete.
LPS 1 plays an important role in HSE meeting its obligations for revealing relevant material to the prosecutor as required by the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland ) Act 2010.
- The litigation officer will copy and paste the Inspector’s Investigation Report into the SRAWEB 2 submission. There is sufficient space in the SRAWEB submission for most Inspector's Investigation Reports (such as LPS 1 amended).
- Where, in exceptional circumstances, such as a major incident, the Investigation Report is very long, you should discuss the method of submission with the Fiscal. In those circumstances a summary may be appropriate.
- There are fixed headings described below which must be used and not changed, though there is scope for using appropriate subheadings in the section “Remarks” and some are suggested. Inspectors should delete those that are not used.
2) Draft complaint(s). Use LPS 2, which will be copied and pasted by the litigation officer into the SRAWEB submission. It is essential that all draft complaints make use of an existing (ISCJS) charge code where one exists. Inspectors must scrutinise the list of available charge codes to find an appropriate and correct charge. Inspectors should follow the wording of the relevant charge code and refer to the charge code reference number. Charge codes are kept on the community of interest web site. Where there is no appropriate existing charge code, draft a charge and, once the prosecution is approved, an application will be made for a new charge code. Remember we cannot make application until the case is approved and obtaining a code can take up to 6 weeks.
3) Prepare a list of witnesses on form LPS 3, this will be copied and pasted into the SRAWEB submission by the litigation officer.
4) Next are the details of evidence to be adduced on Form LPS 4. This document is not submitted to the Fiscal in SRAWEB but it is an essential tool to enable the approval officer to check evidential sufficiency and approve the prosecution report.
5) Next are details of any previous convictions on Form LPS 5.
6) Next file all witness statements (LPS 9 or LPS 10 (these are now on forms desktop)
6) Next file all productions that support the case, including photographs and expert reports. These should be preceded by the production sheet ( LPS 7) listing the productions and the names of witnesses who will speak to them. NB statements taken under caution from suspects are productions and should be included in this part of the report and identified in the witness statements of the inspectors who carried out the interview.
- 7) Disclosure schedules should be prepared ready for forwarding to COPFS (link to disclosure guidance)
- 8) The Prosecution Report should be filed. There is no need to prepare a second copy until the Fiscal requests a full report either to help their decision to proceed, or for trial preparation. The Investigating Inspector’s Report and all other documents should be saved in TRIM so that the litigation officer can access it.
9) The Investigating Inspector or Principal Inspector by local agreement should prepare letters to be sent to the company, safety representatives, injured person or bereaved family and Victim Information and Advice (VIA) for fatal accidents, as appropriate, informing them that investigation is complete and a Report (do not say Prosecution Report) sent to the Procurator Fiscal. These letters should be undated as they will be dispatched by the litigation officer when the PR is sent to the Fiscal (and not before). It is a matter for local decision as to who should sign the letters.
10) Submit the Prosecution Report to their approval officer for approval (see Approval of Prosecution Reports). The report should be accompanied by a completed EMM Decision Record Form.
11) The approval officer should prepare an approval minute, Form LPS 8 to certify that the proposed case meets the HSE Enforcement Policy and the evidential sufficiency test.
12) The papers (with a note of where the report has been electronically filed) should then be sent to the litigation officer to obtain the charge code if required or to prepare the case for SRAWEB submission.