Climate camp "oil spill(s)" SOCO sample analysis report

David Hansen made this Freedom of Information request to Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal (Scotland)

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal,

I have been making enquiries into the alleged "oil spill(s)" highlighted in two defamatory press releases issued by Lothian and Borders Police. Initially I enquired of the City of Edinburgh Council and the "oil spills" became one "oil spill". I then moved on to Lothian and Borders Police, who have been helpful in a number of ways while still trying to defend their defamatory press releases.

We have now established that a SOCO attended the "oil spill", took a sample and a laboratory analysis report was prepared. However, the police refuse to provide a copy of this report and have used the "ongoing investigation" excuse to not provide a copy. See http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/cl...

Although there are always delays bringing cases to court, at the moment the Super Glue 3 prosecution is in the courts http://www.superglue3.org/ so at least some "climate camp" investigations have been concluded.

Please assist me with my enquiries into this matter by answering the following questions.

1) Will you provide a copy of the laboratory report, which in http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/cl... the police said you could do?

2) If not, please provide a copy of the guidelines on how long police "investigations" into this sort of alleged incident can be allowed to continue. There must be guidelines. If there were no guidelines then the police could drag on an "ongoing investigation" indefinitely in order to frustrate the law, the law in question being the FOI Act.

Please note that "replies" which involve attachments in proprietary file formats are not acceptable. A reply which is not in plain text format will be deemed to be a refusal to answer. It may be that a copy of any report cannot be provided in text form. In that case please contact me to arrange a suitable format.

Yours faithfully,

David Hansen

FOI Enquiries, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal (Scotland)

Dear Mr Hansen

Thank you for your e-mail dated 10 February in which you requested, under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, a copy of a laboratory analysis report in relation to an oil spill, failing which, a copy of guidelines about the length of time police investigations of this type can continue.

Your request is being passed to the Procurator Fiscal in Edinburgh for attention and we aim to provide you with a full response within 20 working days.

Yours sincerely

FOI Enquiries
Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service

______________________________________________________________________

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Ritchie, Catherine C (L&B Area PA), Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal (Scotland)

Dear Mr Hansen

Your Freedom of Information request was passed to me to arrange for a response.

I have made enquiries in this office in relation to the information you provided on the oil spill but unfortunately I have not been able to find anything here.

Could you provide me with some further information, such as the names of any accused or where the incident took place, which would allow me to narrow the search and hopefully provide you with the information you seek.

Yours sincerely

Catherine Ritchie
Personal Assistant to Morag McLaughlin, L and B Area PF
Procurator Fiscal's Office, Edinburgh
Direct telephone no: 0844 561 4282
Direct fax no: 0844 561 4173
E-mail address: [email address]

______________________________________________________________________

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Dear Ritchie, Catherine C (L&B Area PA),

Thank you for your reply.

There are at the moment no accused.

The date was 23/8/10.

The location was reputedly the City Bypass and Glasgow Road. More precise location(s) of are given in http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/55...

The defamatory press releases are at http://www.lbp.police.uk/press_release/a... and http://www.lbp.police.uk/press_release/a...

Yours sincerely,

David Hansen

Dear Ritchie, Catherine C (L&B Area PA),

For some reason this web site is again asking me to clarify my enquiry, even though I have already done that.

Yours sincerely,

David Hansen

David Hansen left an annotation ()

After sending a followup message and pressing the radio button to say it is a followup message the web site presents a box to type the followup message in! A flaw in the logic perhaps.

Ritchie, Catherine C (L&B Area PA), Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal (Scotland)

Mr Hansen, I now have the following response to your query:

"I can confirm that COPFS has not received a report from L&B Police in connection with the specific incident that you describe. The police investigate allegations of criminal conduct and report cases to the Procurator Fiscal when there is sufficient evidence in law to establish (a) that a crime has been committed; and (b) of the identity of the alleged perpetrator. In Scotland that requires evidence from 2 sources of each of those elements.

Whilst there are no specific guidelines relating to the type of investigation you ask about, we have a joint key performance target to receive 80% reports of criminal behaviour from the police within 28 days of a person being charged with an offence. The police will generally not report a case until the investigation has uncovered sufficient evidence as noted above and the police have sufficient evidence in law to charge a suspect."

Catherine Ritchie
Personal Assistant to Morag McLaughlin, L and B Area PF
Procurator Fiscal's Office, Edinburgh
Direct telephone no: 0844 561 4282
Direct fax no: 0844 561 4173
E-mail address: [email address]

This e-mail (and any files or other attachments transmitted with it) is intended solely for the attention of the addressee(s). Unauthorised use, disclosure, storage, copying or distribution of any part of this e-mail is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy the e-mail, remove any copies from your system and inform the sender immediately by return.

Correspondents should note that all communications to or from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for lawful purposes. Unless expressly indicated, the views or opinions contained within this e-mail do not necessarily reflect those of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

This message has been checked for the presence of computer viruses. Visit www.crownoffice.gov.uk for details of the work of the Department.

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Dear Ritchie, Catherine C (L&B Area PA),

That is a sort of reply to 2), but no reply at all to 1).

It seems clear that the police are using the "ongoing investigation" lie to frustrate the law, and you have absolutely no intention of ensuring that they do comply with the law.

That is not a surprise, it is exactly what I expected from you lot, but if you ever wonder why your organisation is held in low esteem by the public then you should look in a mirror at your activities, including your inaction in this case.

Yours sincerely,

David Hansen

Dear Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal (Scotland),

Judging by your failure to reply it seems clear that you intend not to provide a copy of the report I requested.

Please provide your reasons for not providing a copy.

Yours faithfully,

David Hansen

Mallon, Dana (Edin APF PA), Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal (Scotland)

1 Attachment

Dana Mallon
Personal Assistant to Mr Adrian Cottam, Acting Assistant District
Procurator Fiscal (Summary), Edinburgh & Haddington
(Mon-Thurs)

The Procurator Fiscal's Office
29 Chambers Street
Edinburgh
EH1 1LD

( 08445 613991
Fax: 08445 614173
: : [1][email address]

This e-mail (and any files or other attachments transmitted with it) is
intended solely for the attention of the addressee(s). Unauthorised use,
disclosure, storage, copying or distribution of any part of this e-mail is
not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy the
e-mail, remove any copies from your system and inform the sender
immediately by return.

Correspondents should note that all communications to or from the Crown
Office and Procurator Fiscal Service may be automatically logged,
monitored and/or recorded for lawful purposes. Unless expressly indicated,
the views or opinions contained within this e-mail do not necessarily
reflect those of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

This message has been checked for the presence of computer viruses. Visit
www.crownoffice.gov.uk for details of the work of the Department.

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