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Diversion from prosecution


Diversion from prosecution is a formal decision by the Procurator Fiscal to divert an individual aged 16 or over away from prosecution in favour of social work support or another form of support or treatment. 

Diversion schemes provide an opportunity for those accused of relatively minor offences to be dealt with outwith the court system.

It aims to prevent individuals entering the criminal justice system prematurely, to stop the cycle of offending and to address any underlying factors. 

The following are priority target groups for diversion from prosecution:

  • Young people (16 and 17 year olds)
  • Females
  • Individuals with mental health issues or learning disabilities
  • Individuals with alcohol or drug misuse issues that contribute to their problematic behaviour

Page last updated:
20 Aug 2020

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