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FOI

FOI Register

COPFS Register of Freedom of Information & Environmental Information Requests 


A Register of FOI & EIRs which have had information provided in a full or partial response for the 2018-2019 calendar year:

FOI Register @ 10 December 2018

A copy of a FOI or EIR response listed in the Register can be requested by emailing COPFS FOI Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Register will be updated on a Monday (apart from Public Holidays).Your comments on this service are welcome.  

COPFS FOI & EIR Publishing Policy

COPFS FOI Guidance

If you are unsure about what information you are looking for, or about how to ask for information, please email or write to us and we will help you.

You do not have to explain why you want information but it might help us in giving you the information you want.More guidance: Freedom of Information (FOI): at a glance
It costs you nothing but we might have to charge for photocopying and postage and we will always tell you what that cost is before going ahead.

More detailed information is published in our Publication Scheme.
We must - reply or respond to you within 20 days – that is the rule in the Freedom of Information Scotland Act. If we think there might be a delay we will let you know.

Environmental Information Regulations requests have the same deadline but we can extend this up to 40 working days if your request is complex.
FOI gives you the right to request and receive any information held by public authorities.

We can give you information about:
  • COPFS administration
  • complaints against the police
  • criminal prosecution
  • deaths in Scotland
  • proceeds of crime
  • prosecution policy
  • prosecution statistics.
Please note COPFS does not have a statistical database and we only have operational data needed for our business needs.
We cannot give you information which includes:

  • personal information
  • information about a third party
  • information held by other organisations 
  • or clearly any information we do not hold - but we will try and suggest someone who can help you.
Sometimes we might not be able to give you information for a variety of reasons including:

  • where it will cost more than £600 to locate, retrieve and provide it
  • or, repeated requests for the same information.
More information on what might be refused and why can be found on the Scottish Information Commissioner’s website: Why might my request be refused?
We cannot give you information which is held by other public authorities who are also part of the Scottish criminal justice system but we will suggest who might be able to help you. This includes:

  • the Scottish Government; for
  • legislation
  • prosecution statistics:

You can obtain statistical information about prosecutions from the Scottish Government Justice Department's Court Proceedings Database: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

  • Police Scotland
  • Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS); for
  • the outcome of a court case
  • sentencing
  • the cost of a trial
  • Scottish Prison Service; for
  • prisoner release dates.

This Scottish justice flowchart will help you decide who to contact for the information you need: Justice Flowchart

 

You may also find information on our statistics page useful.

Responses 2018

COPFS Register of Freedom of Information & Environmental Information Requests 


A Register of FOI & EIRs which have had information provided in a full or partial response for the 2018-2019 calendar year:

FOI Register @ 22 October 2018.

Click here for responses published in 2018 before the first publication date of the FOI Register. 

 

A copy of a FOI or EIR response listed in the Register can be requested by emailing COPFS FOI Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

The Register will be updated on a Monday (apart from Public Holidays).

Your comments on this service are welcome.

Register of Interests

The Civil Service Code, which applies to all civil servants, requires that they should not put themselves in a position where duty and private interests conflict, nor make use of their official position to further those interests.

As a public servant, an employee has a particular duty to ensure that their public position is not, and raises no reasonable suspicion of being, abused in their own personal interest.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service holds a formal Register of Interests which extends to all members of staff. 

The Interests are defined as:

  • Business interests (including directorships) not only of the employee but also  close family members
  • Shareholdings or other securities/financial interest which the employee or members of their close family hold
  • Any political interest or interest/membership in an organisation, club or society where there is the potential for a conflict of interest to arise as a result of official position


It is held on behalf of the Lord Advocate in order to guard against conflict of interest in prosecutorial decision making.  It is designed to ensure that impartiality can be demonstrated in relation to any individual making prosecutorial decisions or involvement in the preparation or presentation of any case.

The Register is not published. To provide information about the personal interests of prosecution staff could compromise the security of individual staff members, undermine their ability to do their job and create conflict with our obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Guidance on requesting personal information

pdfData Protection Act Guidance Manual

Please note, the Guidance Manual is currently under review to update it in relation to the Data Protection Act 2018.  

Requesting personal information under the Data Protection Act 2018 for data held by COPFS about criminal cases

Requesting personal data

1.  How to request personal data

2.  Guidance

 

Requesting information about deaths for family research

In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, it is our practice not to retain personal information in cases for longer that we require it for business purposes.

Case retention periods are set out in Chapter 6 of our Records Management Manual.

Please note that we do not retain information about death cases, which have not been the subject of criminal proceedings, for longer than five years.

 

Requesting your own personal information

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) came into full force on 1 January 2005. The Act aims to increase openness and accountability in government and across the Scottish public sector by ensuring that people have the right to access information held by Scottish public authorities. The following guide provides a general introduction to FOISA and explains how COPFS handles requests for information.

For more information, visit our Data Protection page.

 

Statistical information

Normally information required to respond to requests for statistical information will be provided by the Management Information Unit in the Crown Office, rather than by individual Procurator Fiscal offices. Such data is normally obtained from the COPFS case management system. This is a live, operational database designed to meet COPFS business needs, in relation to the processing of criminal cases and the information is structured accordingly. COPFS does not have a separate statistical database and holds only operational data needed for business purposes, eg to prepare court documentation; to send and receive electronic information regarding court appearances and results; to cite witnesses; to deal with issues relating to disclosure of information to the defence etc.

Please note that where the number is below five we are unlikely to be in a position to provide exact information due to our competing obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998.

You can obtain statistical information about prosecutions from the Scottish Government Justice Department's Court Proceedings Database, which is designed to provide statistical information. This database contains information about cases prosecuted in all courts and can provide information either at the level of the specific offence or by certain broader groupings of offences (eg crimes of violence, crimes of dishonesty, offences involving drugs etc). You can contact the Scottish Government Justice Department at mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Justice flowchart FoI - external