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COPFS

Trespass (Scotland) Act 1865 (7/9/2016) (R014033)

Thank you for your request dated 21 August under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for a further breakdown of information previously provided to you in relation to charges which have been reported to COPFS under the Trespass (Scotland) Act 1865; as to how many related to travellers occupying land and how many related to squatters occupying buildings.  Having been provided with the figures for the financial years 2014/15 and 2015/16, you now request a similar breakdown for the financial years 2003-2014.

We do endeavour to provide information whenever possible.  However, 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 provide the full breakdown as requested Crown Office staff would be required to consider individually each report submitted in relation to Section 3 of the Trespass Act 1865 for the time period requested and the time taken to complete this task would exceed the upper cost limit. 

We were able to provide this breakdown in your previous request as the numbers of cases in the two years requested were small enough that we were able to complete the required manual examination of the reports within cost limits, however, the time taken to examine the number of reports involved in the remaining years would exceed the cost limit.

Within cost limits, we can break the figures down into persons camping or occupying land without permission; and persons occupying buildings without permission, but without the further examination of reports as noted above, we cannot provide the full breakdown as requested by you.

I attach a table containing the information which can be provided within cost limits and hope it is of assistance to you.