Diversion from Prosecution
What is diversion from prosecution?
'Diversion from Prosecution' is a scheme which the Procurator Fiscal may use instead of a court prosecution.
- Under the Diversion from Prosecution scheme, the Procurator Fiscal can refer an accused person to Angus Council Social Work Criminal Justice Service instead of them appearing at court.
- After receiving details from the Procurator Fiscal, a member of the Angus Council Social Work Criminal Justice Service staff will meet the individual and assess whether or not they are suitable for the scheme.
- If accepted on the scheme, offenders must attend appointments with staff from Criminal Justice Services. At the appointments help is given to assist with the issues which may have contributed to offending.
- Diversion from prosecution typically last up to three months, or more if appropriate.
Successful completion of this period of time will lead to a recommendation to the Procurator Fiscal that the individual is not prosecuted. Most people who successfully complete their placements are not prosecuted. However, the decision whether or not to prosecute can only be made by the Procurator Fiscal.
As well as reporting to a member of the Angus Council Social Work Criminal Justice Service staff, individuals subject to diversion from prosecution will be referred to other agencies for assistance in specific areas, for example:
- Mental health difficulties
- Using time positively
- Alcohol issues
- Drug issues
- Benefits and welfare rights
- Issues related to the offence
- Awareness of how crime affects victims
Non-compliance in the scheme
If an individual does not take part in the scheme, the case is returned to the Procurator Fiscal who will decide what further action to take - usually this will mean attendance at court by the individual.