Crown office and procurator fiscal service

Work the ecosystem COPFS is responsible for the prosecution of crime in Scotland, the investigation of sudden or suspicious deaths, and the investigation of complaints against the police.

What COPFS needed

350,000: that is the approximate number of cases that COPFS processes every year. As a result, they generate significant quantities of evidential material in discharging their duty of disclosure to multiple defence agents. Information is normally provided in hard copy and couriered to the agents. There are inherent loopholes – uncertain delivery, maintaining records of information coming in at high volumes. In addition these paper-based processes were inefficient and time consuming for defence agents and Crown Office staff.

The Challenge

COPFS wanted their disclosure practice to evolve in a way that would address the Government’s ICT agenda of Digital Inclusion. In 2007, they reached a definite mandate to improve the disclosure practice for electronic evidence. They wanted to establish a simple, secure, efficient, flexible and more direct disclosure path for electronic evidence that was supported by a robust audit trail.

Our answer

In 2008, we began working with COPFS on the Secure Disclosure of evidence System (SDS). We consulted with a variety of COPFS people (including senior management, area fiscal office representatives, IT operations, and policy and legal experts.) They helped specify, design, implement and fine-tune a workable solution that would support secure electronic disclosure.

A sucess story

The benefits were immediate. There was faster access to disclosure material and reduced costs of paper-handling. This reassured COPFS who agreed on a full rollout of the system from December 2010 at a rate of 30 agents per month. The system has now been rolled out to almost all of the qualifying solicitors in Scotland; there are currently 850 registered users.

Take Lisa and Gillian for example. Both are expert disclosure operatives who can now ‘print’ a binder of evidence material from their line-of-business system. Within minutes of this operation, the information is securely packaged, compressed, uploaded and made available for download by all defense agents who are entitled to access the information.

Why work with us?

We’ve worked successfully with organisations such as yours in the criminal justice sector. We make sure we listen so we can understand not just your business needs but also your people, policy and operations. You can trust us to produce and implement clear, flexible and forward-thinking strategies that support your business needs as they evolve.