Background and Introduction
The Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland
1. The Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland was created in December 2003 and was given statutory authority in April 2007 by the Criminal Proceedings etc (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007. It serves as the independent inspectorate for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the sole prosecuting authority in Scotland which is also responsible for investigating sudden deaths and complaints of a criminal nature against the police.
2. The principal functions of the Inspectorate are to inspect the operation of Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and make recommendations for improvement. The Lord Advocate may call upon the Inspectorate to undertake a particular piece of work.
3. The Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland also examines the outcomes and results achieved by Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and promotes good practice. By doing so the Inspectorate makes Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service more accountable and helps where appropriate to raise public confidence in its service delivery. All reports are submitted to the Lord Advocate and are published on the Inspectorate's website at www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Justice/ipis .
4. The remit of this inspection was to examine the arrangements that the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has in place to engage with the community and to consider the extent to which liaison filters into policy, planning and service delivery and whether it is meeting communities' needs.
1. To consider the extent to which the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has implemented its aim of engaging with the community through policy and procedure and how it is monitored.
2. To compare community engagement practices around the country and identify areas of good practice or areas where practice can be improved.
3. To identify if there may be better ways to co-ordinate engagement with local people, communities and agencies.
4. To ascertain whether local people, communities, agencies feel they are able to participate at a level in which they believe can influence decision making and policy development.
5. To evaluate whether diversity within communities is recognised and represented in the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service community engagement process.
6. To consider the impact on community engagement for Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in light of reduced public spending.
5. Our methodology included the following elements:
- Consultation - we held scoping meetings with key leaders
- Interviews - we conducted interviews with staff within Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
- Review of documentation - including current aims, objectives, guidance, etc
- Benchmarking - review of guidance and standards in other government departments
- Observations - we examined processes relating to community engagement including review of Community Engagement Planners and links with media
- Focus Groups - we met with members of community and local groups in three of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Areas
- Letter - we wrote to several community and local groups in one of the Fiscal Areas above due to it's geographical dispersion
6. Our report largely follows the European Foundation of Quality Management ( EFQM) fundamental concepts of excellence and examines community engagement under the following headings:-
- Leadership - Chapter 1
- Policy/strategy - Chapter 2
- Processes - Chapter 3
- Finance - Chapter 4
- People - Chapter 5
- Partnerships - Chapter 6
- Results - Chapter 7
7. Equality issues are considered throughout the report.
8. We thank all the members of communities and groups who contributed to our focus groups and are grateful for the time and attention that staff across the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service afforded this inspection.