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COPFS

Contravention of Railways Act 2005 S46 (R015655)

(Under the terms of to section 38(1)(b) of FOISA some personal information has been removed from this published response)

Can the Procurator Fiscal’s Office please confirm how many people have been reported for contravening the Railways Act 2005 S46, in similar circumstances to those described above (engaging in uninvited conversation). How many were offered warnings and how many were subsequently prosecuted after refusing the warning between 2015/16 inclusive.

You have requested data for 2015/16 inclusive. I have interpreted this as a request for data for the financial years 2014/15 and 2015/16.

It may assist to explain that the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) 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 held is structured accordingly. We do not have a separate database, and hold only operational data need for business purposes

In the financial years 2014/15 and 2015/16, COPFS received reports including 66 charges under Section 46 of the Railways Act 2005 which involved disorderly or indecent behaviour or behaving in an offensive manner. This is the category under this section which corresponds most closely with the similar circumstances to the allegation made against you. It is not possible given the limitations of our data system to identify how many actual reports were received.

Of these 66 charges, 14 persons were offered warnings as an alternative to prosecution. Only one warning was not accepted and was subsequently prosecuted in court. Therefore, during this time, there were no other cases where a warning letter was refused and charges amended on the subsequent complaint (the document which requires an individual to plead guilty or not guilty to allegations)

Can the Procurator Fiscal’s office please confirm how many people have been reported for contravening Section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing Scotland Act 2010, in similar circumstances to those described above (engaging in uninvited conversation and refusing to desist). How many were offered warnings and how many were subsequently prosecuted after refusing the warning between 2015/16 inclusive.

Again I have interpreted this as a request for data for both financial years 2014/15 and 2015/16.

Between 2014/15 and 2015/16, 93,871 charges were received which included an allegation Section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing Scotland Act 2010.

You wish data for how many of these were concerning similar circumstances to the allegation against you – engaging in uninvited conversation and refusing to desist. In order to identify this specific information, each of these cases would require to be assessed individually. Section 12(1) of FOISA does not oblige a Scottish public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request for information exceeds a specified financial threshold, which is currently £600. I consider that to conduct a manual search of all relevant cases would exceed the current limit in terms of section 12(1) of FOISA.