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Parking Fines in Midlothian (R010474)

Freedom of Information: Parking Fines in Midlothian (R010474) 

Thank you for your e-mail of 1 June 2015 in which you requested the following information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA):

“I am unhappy about the growing amount of illegal parking in Midlothian.

Police Scotland have replied to my Freedom of Information request and told me that the number of Parking Tickets issued is as follows:

2012-2013 285 issued

2013-2014 195 issued

2014-2015 163 issued

Of these 643 tickets issued, 96 were passed to COPFS 

Police Scotland tell me that they do not know whether these 96 cases in Midlothian resulted in fines. 

Will you be good enough to find out how many of these 96 case were issued in 2014-2015: and of these 2014-2015 cases, how many resulted in the motorist being fined?” 

Firstly, I should explain that the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscals Service’s case management database is a live, operating database.  It is designed to meet our Department’s business needs in relation to the processing of cases and the information within it is structured accordingly.  We do not have a separate statistical database, and hold only operational data needed for business purposes. 

The level of detail within your request, namely “cases in Midlothian” is not recorded within our database in a way which can be electronically searched. The police report allegations of offences within the Midlothian area to the Procurator Fiscal office in Edinburgh.The Edinburgh Procurator Fiscal office also receives reports from other areas.. Whilst it would be possible to electronically identify charges of this type involving Edinburgh cases, in order to identify cases specifically involving the Midlothian area we would be required to research the post codes included in that geographical area and thereafter perform a manual search of the electronic and/or hard copy case reports pertaining to this type of charge to identify those included in that geographical area.  

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. Given the potential number of cases of this type reported during the period as Edinburgh cases, and I note from your request that you have been informed by Police Scotland that there are 96 from the Midlothian area alone, I hope you appreciate that this exercise would in terms of staff time exceed the upper cost limit referred to above and as a result we are unable to assist with your request.

I should add at this point for your additional information that not all reported cases include a post code and as a result had this exercise not exceeded the upper cost limit, any data we were able to produce would be considered unreliable.