FOI Request - RIPSA Powers
1) How many Council employees have the power to authorise the use of RIPSA, and what is their designated grade?
2) How many times had RIPSA powers been used in the years i) April 2012- March 2013 ii) April 2013 - March 2014 iii) 2014 to date of this request. On what dates were the requests made and by whom (for example which departments)?
3) For what purposes was RIPSA used, what type of investigation was being undertaken?Please provide details for the years requested.
4) Over the past 5 years, by each year, how many people have been prosecuted as a result of evidence gathered through the use of RIPSA sanctioned investigations, and how many of these prosecutions have led to convictions?
5)Was RIPSA used in investigations against targets who were i) 18 - 24 year olds ii) Under 18 year olds iii) Under 12 year olds? If yes - how many?
Can this information be provided for the years
• April 2012 - March 2013
• April 2013 - March 2014
• Entire 2014 to date
1) This information is exempt under Section 25 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 as it is otherwise obtainable.
This list is published and can be found at http://www.moray.gov.uk/downloads/file81360.pdf
However, since approval, one post has been deleted ie resource manager. The list of authorised officers is currently being reviewed and it is anticipated that a report will be submitted to the Council in the near future.
2) and 3)
The information sought is also exempt information under Section 25 as it is otherwise obtainable up to March 2014. The Council publishes annual statistics for each financial year which contain the information requested for 2012/13 and 2013/14. The person enquiring should be referred to the published reports for P&R for 15 April 2014 and 4 June 2013. This also gives details of the type of investigations carried out. I have included the link for the most recent report. The others will be available on the Council’s webpages.
With regard to that part of the request which seeks specific dates of applications, the Council holds this information but it is exempt information in terms of Section 35(1) (a) in that it is likely to prejudice substantially the prevention or detection of crime if the specific dates and types of operations are disclosed.
Regarding authorisations in 2014, other than already disclosed to end March 2014 as part of the annual report, this is exempt information which if disclosed would be likely to substantially prejudice the prevention or detection of crime and the prosecution of offenders and is therefore exempt under Section 35 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. The information is also exempt in terms of Section 34(1) in that it relates to investigations conducted by the local authority which may lead to a decision by them to make a report to the Procurator Fiscal to enable it to be determined whether criminal proceedings should be instituted. The exemptions are subject to a public interest test and the Council considers that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it.
4) In 2011/12, all uses led to either penalty notices or fiscal fines being issued. Re 2012/13, two uses resulted in the cases being referred to another authority, one case led to fixed penalty notices being issued, three to convictions, four to warnings and two uses lead to a report to the PF and is still pending.
Re 2013/14, one case was dropped as no evidence was found, two cases were reported to the PF and is pending, four to fixed penalty notices, one to a warning, one to no further action being taken and one is due to be reported to PF."
In relation to 2010/11, one prosecution submitted through evidence gathered through use of RIPSA resulted in a conviction.
In 2009/10, there were 2 prosecutions but no convictions.
5) For 2012/13 there was one target aged 18-24 but none under 18.
For 2013/14, no targets under 25 years.
2014 to date - exempt in terms of Section 35 as this relates to ongoing criminal investigations as detailed above.