While all areas of business are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, essential services such as courts and tribunals must ensure minimal disruption to the lives of the public. The criminal justice system is an integral part of society, and as a result, has had to adapt and adopt new working methods to continue running.
The COVID-19 outbreak has required organisations all over the world to adapt to new ways of working. The Scottish Criminal Courts are in the same position, and as an essential service, the courts must adopt modern technology to continue to function. However, unlike other businesses, the courts face the distinct challenge of balancing the right to a fair trial, with dispensing justice.
A pilot scheme has been launched in Aberdeen to clampdown on drug dealers exploiting people as suppliers, in what is known as “cuckooing”. After the success of initiatives like Operation Corner in Peterhead and Fraserburgh, Police Scotland are now trying to replicate the criminal strategy in Aberdeen.
#StopItNow is the new hard-hitting campaign from Police Scotland that directly addresses predators who attempt to engage with children online for sexual purposes.
On Monday 21st January 2019, the landmark draft Domestic Abuse Bill was published, aimed at pursuing offenders and supporting victims and their families. The Bill comes after it is revealed domestic abuse costs the country £66 billion a year and is said to provide a ‘once-in-a-generation’ opportunity to transform how the UK responds to domestic violence.
According to the Scottish Government’s statistical report on the criminal justice system, both the rate of reconviction and the average number of reconvictions per person have been slowly decreasing since 2003. The statistics are based on the data of people who were released from custody in 2015-16 or received a non-custodial sentence during that period.