Raising awareness of our role and responsibilities as Scotland’s prosecution service is central to building confidence in our commitment to equality. As a result, much of what we do is focused on working with communities and in schools.
A number of DVD's have been produced to explain the role of the procurator fiscal in Scotland and also to highlight issues around hate crime.
A film and teaching pack has been produced with North Lanarkshire Council called Just a Laugh? This short film, which is available to watch below, highlights racism, homophobia and disability hate crime, as well as the impact this has on the victims and their families and also the perpetrators.
The hard-hitting anti-sectarian short film,Them and Us – which featured sectarianism, fire raising, murder and imprisonment – was created in partnership with North Lanarkshire secondary students.
The DVD has been promoted to education authorities and other youth groups across Scotland including Youthlink Scotland. A teaching pack was devised to support this DVD and is in use as part of the Curriculum for Excellence in Scottish schools.
I Am Me is an award winning community project which works in partnership with Police Scotland and COPFS to raise awareness of Disability Hate Crime (recognised as one of the most under report crimes in the UK). It has a number of primary and secondary school training packs available to download from its web site.
This has been developed in partnership with the I Am Me project, Police Scotland and COPFS to offer young people the opportunity to become Keep Safe Ambassadors within both their school and the wider community. Training is provided that encourages young people to recognise bullying and harassment and enable them to report incidents safely. The programme is open to young people in Scotland aged 14-18 years.
This public web site was created by YouthLink Scotland, with support from Scottish Government, and is a "one-stop-shop" for information and advice about sectarianism in Scotland and efforts to tackle it. The site has different portals for children, young people, adults and partner organisations.
COPFS is a member of Stonewall Scotland and is currently ranked 25 out of 400 employers on their Workplace Equality Index. Stonewall Scotland has developed a Champions programme for both primary and secondary schools to support young people who are LGBTI and to help tackle offensive behaviour towards members of LGBTI communities.
The 2020 school speaking competition - Update
The remaining rounds of this year’s school speaking competition have been postponed until later in the year. Due to the ongoing situation with Coronavirus, the safety and wellbeing of all our participants and volunteers remain a top priority. We look forward to welcoming the 2020 participants back in autumn to continue competing.
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service school public speaking competition provides Scottish secondary pupils with an opportunity to demonstrate their speech writing, presentation and debate skills in a national forum.
The competition is a series of debates based on topical equalities focussed topics, accumulating in a national final.
For the competition, S2 and S3 pupils from schools across Scotland are invited to discuss, present and persuade on important topics in public life focussing on equality and diversity. Engaging young people on these topics is an important part of our ongoing national strategy aimed at improving the understanding of these issues.
Since the competition launched in 2012, it has grown to become a prestigious event for the many schools that participate each year. In 2019 164 pupils from 57 schools took part in the competition, all eager to take home the coveted trophy. This year we hope to welcome many more schools.
The competition provides pupils with an excellent platform for them to develop their skills and gain confidence in public speaking. Competing with other schools gives them the opportunity to interact with their peers and engage with equality and diversity issues.
What does the competition involve?
Pupils participate in teams of two and compete against other schools. At each stage of the competition, each pupil is given five minutes to speak about a specially selected topic affecting young people in Scotland. The pupils are then asked questions on their speeches from other competitors, competition judges and audience members.
The teams are scored on their content, delivery, teamwork and the asking and answering of questions.
The first stage of the competition will usually take place in the evening at a local venue and participants will be required to travel to the event.
Teams who are successful at each stage will progress through four rounds of the competition: local heats, local finals, national semi-finals and the national final where three teams will compete at Parliament House in Edinburgh.
Heats and finals are judged by Procurators Fiscal, COPFS members of staff and other key figures and partners in the criminal justice system.
Participate in the 2020 school speaking competition
All Scottish schools are encouraged and welcomed to take part in the annual School Public Speaking Competition.
To participate, schools should provide details of their team(s) by email. Each team must comprise of two pupils from the S2 or S3 year group. Schools can enter as many teams as they would like.