Assaults against police officers

The request was partially successful.

Dear Lothian & Borders Police,

I am conducting some research into assaults on police officers and I am looking for some information with regards to this. I was wondering if you could provide details of the following:

(1) the number of incidents as a force you have recorded where an police officer has been assaulted in the line of duty
(2) the number of these incidents the force have issued alternative methods of justice (e.g. Fixed Penalty Notice)
(3) the number of these incidents the force have reported to the procurator fiscal

It would be most helpful if you could provide information in relation to incidents treated as assaults at common law and also in terms of Police (Scotland Act 1967, s. 41(1)(a)

All the above information would be for the last complete 12 month period that you have information available for.

Yours sincerely,
Alistair Sloan

Lothian and Borders Police

Dear Mr Sloan

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION;
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

Thank you for your email received 15 February 2010 regarding assaults
against police officers.

I will answer each question in the order that they have been asked;

(1) the number of incidents as a force you have recorded where an police
officer has been assaulted in the line of duty The following figures are
from the last 12 months, (from the date your request was received 15
February 2010), and are taken from crime reports using the definitions
contained in the Police (Scotland) Act 1967;

Serious Assault = 3
Minor Assault = 547

(2) the number of these incidents the force have issued alternative
methods of justice (e.g. Fixed Penalty Notice) Lothian and Borders
Police do not issue alternative methods for offences that relate to
police assault. All crimes of this nature are reported directly to the
Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (The Courts) for them to
issue a court disposal.

(3) the number of these incidents the force have reported to the
procurator fiscal With reference to each of the Serious Assault crime
reports, all three have been reported to the Crown Office and Procurator
Fiscal Service. Unfortunately, in order to answer this question for
minor assaults, would require a manual search of the Crime Reports
(547). This exercise would put the cost of retrieving the information
considerably over the limits laid down in the Freedom of Information
(Scotland) Act and as such is exempt under section 12: "Excessive Cost".

It should be noted, the above figures relate to crime reports created,
rather than individual crimes. For example, if an individual was
identified as assaulting several police officers, a crime report would
be created in relation to every officer assaulted. Therefore the number
of reports will be higher than the number of accused involved.

If you have any questions about the above or I can help in any other
way, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me again. However,
under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, you have the right
to appeal if you are dissatisfied with the way in which we have dealt
with your enquiry. This should be done within 40 working days of
receiving this email. If you wish to appeal please contact Rachel
Watson, Head of Force Information Unit, Lothian and Borders Police,
Police Headquarters, Fettes Avenue, Edinburgh, EH4 1RB. Please note
that subsequent to this internal review there is a right of appeal to
the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road,
St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS.

Yours Sincerely

Paul Wallace
Force Information Unit
Lothian and Borders Police

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