Dear Lothian and Borders Police,
I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to which I am entitled under the freedom of information act. In order to assist you with this request, I am outlining my query as specifically as possible. If however this request is too wide or too unclear, I would be grateful if you would contact me as I understand that under the act, you are required to advise and assist requesters.
The information that I am seeking is a full copy (with allowed redactions) of the Lothian and Borders Police Investigation Report in relation to the City of Edinburgh Council, Property Conservation Department which deals with Statutory Notices and which is now in the public domain.
Miss A Milne
Dear Miss Milne
Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 - Enquiry into the Issuing of Statutory Notices by the City of Edinburgh Council
I refer to your email dated 20th December regarding the above, which has been handled in accordance with the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
There have been two enquiries conducted in relation to corruption within the City of Edinburgh Council; one into the privately owned properties and businesses and the other into publicly owned buildings (The Property Care Services). The first, as you are aware, has not resulted in a criminal case but the other is a pending case with the Procurator Fiscal. As such we cannot release anything about this without prejudice to Court proceedings and indeed this has an impact on a few of the redactions we have made in the report enclosed. The exemption which covers the current enquiry is Section 10(5)(b) of the Regulations.
With regard to the privately owned properties (The Property Conservation Service), I must advise that no formal Police Report was submitted to the Procurator Fiscal in relation to this matter, and as a result Section 10(4)(a) of the Regulations applies to this part of your request:
'A Scottish public authority may refuse to make environmental information available to the extent that-
(a) it does not hold that information when an applicant's request is received.'
What I can provide, however, is a redacted copy of the progress report compiled by Lothian and Borders Police in relation to allegations of corruption within the City of Edinburgh Council Property Conservation Service. This is not a formal Police Report, nor should it be considered as such. Further, its scope as a 'progress report' must be borne in mind; its purpose was to review the status of the investigation as at the time it was written.
You will note that some information has been redacted as it is classed as personal information, the release of which is exempt by virtue of Section 11(2) and (3)(a)(i) of the Regulations, as to release it would breach the first principle of the Data Protection Act 1998 relating to the fair and lawful processing of personal information.
Other information has been redacted where it relates to ongoing inquiries which Lothian and Borders Police would not wish to prejudice or undermine by releasing information into the public domain at this time. Again, Section 10(5)(b) of the Regulations therefore applies.
I trust this information is of use. 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 Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004, 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, Force Information Unit Manager, 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.
Force Information Unit
Lothian and Borders Police