This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Prosecutions for crimes involving the use of a drone in 2017 - Scotland'.

Response and Information Unit 
Crown Office 
25 Chambers Street 
Edinburgh EH1 1LA 
Tel: 0300 020 3000 
Text Relay prefix: 18001 
I Hudson 
BY Email: request-490967- 
Your ref:  
Our ref:  R018662 
28 June 2018 
Dear I Hudson 
Thank you for your email of 13 June where you requested the following information 
under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA): 
1) How many prosecutions took place in 2017 for the use of a drone to 
commit a criminal offence?  These are crimes that would typically be 
prosecuted using the Air Navigation Order legislation. 
2) How many prosecutions took place in 2017 in total of all crimes?  (This is 
just to derive a percentage of drone prosecutions versus all other crime). 

I should firstly explain that 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 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.  
1) How many prosecutions took place in 2017 for the use of a drone to 
commit a criminal offence?  These are crimes that would typically be 
prosecuted using the Air Navigation Order legislation

Having looked at the Air Navigation Orders Legislation I wish to inform you that this 
does not always relate to drones but also included small unmanned aircraft which 
could potentially relate to drones.  However due to the small numbers of these 
charges reported to us we were able to check these individually and I can confirm 
there were 7 charges reported in 2017, which were prosecuted that specifically 
related to drones.  These do not include any charges reported under any other 
statutory or common law provision where a drone was used to commit an offence. 
These charges could be several within one report or individual and could related to 
one or more accused.  
2) How many prosecutions took place in 2017 in total of all crimes?  (This is 
just to derive a percentage of drone prosecutions versus all other crime). 


As stated above our data base is an operating database and we do not  have a 
separate statistical data base, therefore I am unable to provide equivalent figures 
for all crimes prosecuted in 2017 and  that the information you have requested  is  
not recorded by COPFS.  Accordingly, I can therefore  confirm  in  terms  of  
Section 17  of  FOISA  that  COPFS  does  not  hold  the information you have 
I can also confirm  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. 
In  order  to  identify  the all charges that were prosecuted   Crown  Office  staff  
would  be  required  to consider individually each report submitted in relation to 
charges that were prosecuted  and the time taken to complete this task would 
exceed the upper cost limit. 
However, the information you are seeking can more effectively be obtained from the 
Scottish Government Justice Department's Court Proceedings Database, which is 
designed to provide statistical information. They also publish official statistics on 
Prosecutions.  You can contact the Scottish Government Justice Department at 
If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your request has been handled, you do 
have the right to ask us to review it. Your request should be made within 40 working 
days of receipt of this letter and we will reply within 20 working days of receipt. If 
you require a review of our decision to be carried out, please e-mail 
The review will be undertaken by staff not involved in the original decision making 
If our decision is unchanged following a review and you remain dissatisfied with 
this, please note that although generally under section 47(1) of FOISA there is a 
right of appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner, where the information 
requested is held by the Lord Advocate as head of the systems of criminal 
prosecution and investigation of deaths in Scotland, under section 48(c) no 
application can be made as respects a request for review made to the Lord 
Advocate.  The information you have requested appears to fall into that category, 
although ultimately it would be for the Commissioner to decide whether that was the 
case should you refer the matter to him. 
In circumstances where section 48(c) does not apply and the Commissioner 
accepts an appeal, should you subsequently wish to appeal against that decision, 
there is a right of appeal to the Court of Session on a point of law only. 
Yours sincerely  

D. Kelly  
Response and Information Unit