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Cases relating to Scottish Independence and/or Referendum

Freedom of Information- Cases relating to Scottish Independence and/or Referendum

Thank you for your request dated 15 April, under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the following information:

"How many cases relating to Scottish independence and/or the referendum have been received/prosecuted by COPFS.

How many cases of online abuse COPFS has prosecuted."

COPFS uses a live operational case management system, specifically designed to receive criminal and death reports from the police and other specialist reporting agencies and to manage the cases for investigation and prosecution purposes. The information held on the system is structured for these operational needs, rather than for statistical reporting or research purposes.

I understand the first part of your request to relate to potential electoral offences.

I can advise you that no electoral offences relating to the referendum have been reported to COPFS as at 15 April 2014.

In relation to the second part of your request, my colleague telephoned and left a message for you, and followed this up on 22 April with an e-mail to you, in order to try to clarify the specific information that you were seeking. As explained in her voicemail message and her e-mail, in accordance with FOISA, it is necessary for a request to identify the information sought. She explained that online abuse is not a term which could be searched for under our electronic case management system and that if you were interested in particular offences, we would require details of the particular types of offence (common law or statutory) that you wished to receive statistical information about. In addition, she explained that because of the way that our systems are structured, it was unlikely that unless the offences themselves related only to offending online, that we would be able to provide information related solely to online offences.

As we did not receive further clarification from you, we have been unable to progress this part of your request.