Freedom of Information: Domestic Abuse – Dundee
Thank you for your request dated 23 June 2014 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the following information:
How many charges which contained an element of domestic abuse were reported to the Procurator Fiscal at Dundee in each of the following periods the period 2011-2012; 2012-2013; 2013-14 under the following categories?
Serious Assault and Attempted Murder
Rape & Attempted Rape
Other sexual offences
Theft by opening lockfast places
Theft of Motor Vehicle
Crimes against Public Justice
Handling offensive weapons
Breach Of The Peace etc.
Other Misc. Offences;
And what action was subsequently taken in terms of:
We have now completed a search of our systems and I can advise as follows.
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. Due to the way the data is structured on our system, where we are asked to provide statistical information, we provide this by number of charges rather than number of reports. A case report may involve more than one charge.
Where we gather statistical information about domestic abuse charges, we do this by undertaking an electronic search of our systems. Charges involving domestic abuse are normally identified by an electronic marker, and it is charges with this marker that are collated to form the statistical information that we provide about domestic abuse. Electronic domestic abuse markers are normally added by the police to appropriate charges. However, it is ultimately the decision of the Procurator Fiscal whether a charge falls within the definition of domestic abuse, and domestic abuse markers can be added or removed by the Procurator Fiscal. There may be a small number of charges processed by COPFS where domestic abuse markers ought to have been added but have not. There may also be a small number of charges where domestic abuse markers ought not to have been added but have been, either by the police or the Procurator Fiscal.
How many charges which contained an element of domestic abuse were reported to the Procurator Fiscal at Dundee in each of the following periods 2011-2012 and 2012-2013?
I have attached a table at Annex A which provides the number of charges bearing domestic aggravations which bore a domestic aggravation and were reported to the Procurator Fiscal's Office in Dundee in the periods 2011–2012 and 2012-13. We have divided the figures into the categories requested by you and indicated what action was subsequently taken in respect of each.
How many charges which contained an element of domestic abuse were reported to the Procurator Fiscal at Dundee in each of the following periods 2013-2014?
We do endeavour to provide information wherever possible, however, with regard to the information requested for the financial year 2013-14, it is our intention to publish this statistical information in the near future and therefore I consider that the exemption under Section 27(1)(a)(i) of FOISA applies. This Section states that information is exempt information if it is held with a view to it being published by a Scottish public authority at a date not later than twelve weeks after that on which the request for information was made. I would expect the information to appear within twelve weeks of the date of your request.
This is not an absolute exemption and accordingly the public interest test must be applied. I consider that there is a strong public interest in not interrupting pre-planned release of statistical information.