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COPFS

Sexual Orientation aggravated crime charges (22 July 2016) (R013443)



Thank you for your request dated 16 June 2016 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the undernoted information:

“1. Sexual orientation aggravated crime charges reported to COPFS between 2010-11 to 2015-2016 in numbers.

2. Age breakdown of sexual orientation aggravated crime charges reported to COPFS between 2010-11 to 2015-16 in numbers.

3. Alcohol and drug-related breakdown of sexual orientation aggravated crime charges reported to COPFS between 2010-11 to 2015-16 in numbers.

4. Local authority area breakdown of sexual orientation aggravated crime charges reported to COPFS between 2010-11 to 2015-16 in numbers.

5. Locus of charges breakdown of sexual orientation aggravated crime charges reported to COPFS between 2010-11 to 2015-16 in numbers.

6. Time and day of incidents breakdown of sexual orientation aggravated crime charges reported to COPFS between 2010-11 to 2015-16 in numbers.

7. Breakdown of the sexual orientation that was the subject of offensive conduct in relation to the sexual orientation aggravated crime charges reported to COPFS between 2010-11 to 2015-16 in numbers.

8. Breakdown of the main charges that the sexual orientation aggravations were added to in crime charges reported to COPFS between 2010-11 to 2015-16 in numbers.”

I also refer to your e-mail of 4 July 2015 where you clarified that in respect of point two, you wished the information to be broken down by the age of the accused person and in respect of point 4 you were happy to receive the information through a geographic breakdown by Procurator Fiscal’s Office rather than local authority.

Under Section 25(1) of FOISA, we are not required to provide information in response to a request if it is already reasonably accessible to you.  I can advise that the information you have requested at points 1 and 4 is now published on the COPFS web-site and can be accessed at: http://www.copfs.gov.uk/publications/equality-and-diversity

In respect of part 2 of your request, I attach a table at Annex A providing a breakdown of age of accused, using the age groups used for religious aggravations published in the Scottish Government research that you referred to in your request.

In respect of parts 3, 5, 6 and 7 of your request, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600.  Under Section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under Section 12.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service's case management database is a live, operating database.  It is designed to meet our business needs in relation to the processing of criminal cases, and the information within it is structured accordingly.  We do not have a separate database, and hold only operational data needed for business purposes.

In order to identify the information requested, Crown Office staff would be required to consider individually each report submitted in relation to sexual orientation aggravated crime charges for the time period requested and the time taken to complete this task would exceed the upper cost limit.

In respect of part 8 of your request, I attach a table at Annex B providing all charges where there have been at least 5 charges over the six year period reported with a sexual orientation aggravation.  All other charges have been grouped under “other”.