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Scotland already has its own distinct legal system. Our justice system and institutions have a long and proud history. Scotland’s justice agencies have demonstrated the benefits of having decisions taken in Scotland relevant to circumstances here.

However, powers over some key justice matters are held by Westminster, including decisions over drug classification, firearms, gambling and road traffic offences. The Westminster also controls how much of the income collected from criminals in Scotland, through fines and proceeds of crime legislation, can be retained to invest in Scottish communities.

Decisions about currently reserved issues like welfare, employment and public services also have a significant impact on the factors that lead people towards crime and make our communities vulnerable to criminals.

With independence, Scotland will have the full range of powers to tackle crime and the causes of crime in a more joined-up way, to make our communities safer.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.