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Martin, Johnston & Socha Insights

Criminal Law news & updates from Martin, Johnstone & Socha's expert criminal defence solicitors.

The Work of Europol

We reported earlier this month that the UK Government has announced that the UK would renew its membership of international crime agency, Europol.

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UK to Continue Membership of Europol

The UK Government has announced its intention to opt-in to Regulation 2016/794 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Union agency for law enforcement cooperation (Europol).

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Calls for Repeal of Offensive Behaviour at Football Act

MSPs have called on the Scottish Government to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012, claiming that is badly written and unnecessary, reports the BBC.

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Fall in Number of Domestic Abuse Incidents

Figures published recently by Police Scotland have revealed a 3% fall in the number of domestic abuse incidents reported to the police compared to the previous year.

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Tougher Punishments for Young People Filming Knife Crime

In this age of social media, new sentencing guidelines are being drafted to enforce tougher punishments on young people who film instances of knife crime and upload them to online platforms in England &Wales. Within gangs, this has become an increasingly popular method of humiliating victims and asserting dominance - something that the law is attempting to crack down on. This is only one of a number of ‘aggravating factors’ for judges and magistrates to consider when sentencing defendants convicted of possessing a blade or offensive weapon in public, or making threats.

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Calls for More Action to Change Driver Behaviour

New research from RAC Business has highlighted a worrying trend in driving behaviour reported by company car drivers.

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Homicide Numbers Fall to Record Low

Recent figures from Scotland’s Chief Statistician have revealed that the number of homicides in Scotland fell to their lowest on record last year.

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Rise in Counterfeit Goods Seized by EU Authorities

There has been an increase of around five million in the number of counterfeit items seized by customs authorities across the EU in 2015, according to new figures by the European Commission.

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Scotland to See More Electronic Tagging Sentences

The Scottish Government has announced that it intends to expand the use of electronic tags to help reduce reoffending levels and keep communities safe.

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Levels of Recorded Crime Fall in Scotland

Scotland’s Chief Statistician has recently published details on levels of recorded crime in Scotland for the year 2015-16.

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Tougher Penalties for Illegal Mobile Phone Use

New research by the RAC has found that the illegal use of handheld mobile phones by motorists has reached “epidemic proportions”.

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1076 Hits

Arrests Made after ‘Legal High’ Ban

Three months after the introduction of the Psychoactive Substances Act, figures have revealed that 332 retailers are no longer selling psychoactive substances and many arrests have been made.

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Drivers Warned of Consequences of Unpaid Fines

Drivers who fail to pay their fines run the risk of their vehicles being clamped, taken into storage and ultimately scrapped or sold off, according to a warning from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS).

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Money Laundering & Tax Avoidance Concerns at Celtic Shareholder’s Bank

The Herald has recently reported (available here) that Celtic’s biggest shareholder Dermot Desmond is being called on to address concerns that a bank he holds a third of shares in, Latvia’s Rietumu Bank, is connected to money laundering and tax avoidance. The story, which comes hot off the heels of the Annual Report on the exercise of powers to search for and seize cash and realisable property under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (available here), yet again highlights the ever increasing scrutiny of financial crime, both in the UK and abroad.

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1418 Hits

Research Reveals Extent of Card Fraud and Identity Theft

There was a large increase in card fraud losses in the UK in 2015, according to new analysis by analytic software firm FICO.

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962 Hits

Sailors Sentenced over Seizure of Class A Drugs

Two sailors have been sentenced to over 40 years imprisonment between them for their role in the smuggling of more than three tonnes of cocaine aboard an ocean-going tug, the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service has reported. The operation apparently resulted in the largest ever seizure of Class A drugs in the UK.

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Increase in Cars Seized from Uninsured Drivers

Efforts by police to crackdown on uninsured driving have led to a 4% increase in the number of seizures of uninsured vehicles, figures from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) have revealed.

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Many Drivers Risk Using a Smartphone While Driving

More than half of drivers in the 25 – 34 age-group are risking getting charged with motoring offences for texting, using apps or going online on their mobiles when they are behind the wheel, according to a new study by road safety charity Brake.

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Calls for Review of the UK’s Hate Crime Strategy

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has called for a full-scale review of the UK’s hate crime laws and strategies as part of a new national drive to defeat the rise in race hate crime.

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Calls for Tougher Penalties for Criminal Drivers

New research by road safety charity Brake has apparently found strong support for strengthening both the charges and sentences faced by criminal drivers.

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1078 Hits

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