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Diversion from Prosecution Scheme

The Diversion from Prosecution Scheme involves joint working between the Procurator Fiscal (PF) and the Criminal & Youth Justice Service. Support is offered to individuals who are considered to be at very low risk of offending, or whose offences are apparently not part of a regular pattern of behaviour.

When the PF's office receives a Police Report in relation to an alleged offence, a decision has to be made about the action that should be taken. The normal options are:

  • Taking no action
  • The giving of a warning by the PF
  • Use of Diversion from Prosecution
  • Use of other Procurator Fiscal measures (e.g. Fiscal Fine)
  • Prosecution of the case in court

If the PF considers that there may have been particular problems that contributed to the offence being committed, they may make a referral to the Criminal & Youth Justice Service for a Diversion from Prosecution assessment. The C&YJ worker will arrange to meet with the person, and will complete the assessment, which will identify issues and ways of dealing with these. Following a report to the Procurator Fiscal, a formal offer of Diversion may be made by the PF. If the person engages with Diversion, the case will not normally go to court.

Support with specific areas of difficulty may be provided by the Criminal & Youth Justice Service or by another organisation (for example, a counselling agency).