Culpable and Reckless Conduct

Culpable and reckless conduct is deliberate conduct that exposes an individual, or the public generally, to significant risk to life or health.

As the name of the crime suggests, the conduct has to be reckless. This means acting with a complete disregard of (or indifference to) the consequences of his/her actions.  You cannot commit this crime accidentally or carelessly.

There is a wide range of conduct that could count as being culpable and reckless. The example that immediately comes to mind (only because I’ve seen it being prosecuted on numerous occasions in Edinburgh Sheriff Court) is drunkenly throwing traffic cones from George IV Bridge into the streets below.

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(The Telegraph referred to the guy above as “Cone prankster”, which misses the point slightly, if you ask me)

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Culpable and reckless conduct can also involve exposing unknowing sexual partners to risk of disease:

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It could also involve denying that you have items on your person that could cause injury to police officers searching you.

There’s no requirement for actual injury to have been caused; the offence is the exposure to risk.

The test is an objective one, so it’s whether the risks inherent in the actions in question would have been clear to the reasonable person.


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