Publication - FOI/EIR release

Forth Road Bridge risk assessments and suicide related questions: EIR release

Published: 17 Oct 2019

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Published:
17 Oct 2019
Forth Road Bridge risk assessments and suicide related questions: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/19/02080
Date received: 6 Sep 2019
Date responded: 8 Oct 2019
Information requested

“1. Details of risk assessments that have been undertaken in regards to suicides and attempted suicides on the Forth Road Bridge from 1999 to date.

2. Details of installations, maintenance repairs and alterations that have been undertaken to the Forth Road Bridge since 1 September 1999 in relation to or in response to suicides or attempted suicides.

3. Reporting of suicides that have taken place on te Forth Road Bridge from 1 September 1999 to present, and, if possible, details about the decrease in suicides since prevention measures were brought in.

4. Minutes of meetings where suicide prevention on the Forth Road Bridge was discussed and/or decided on from 1 September 1999 to date.

5. Your code of practice and/or policies for dealing with suicide attempts from the Forth Road Bridge at present.”

After a clarification request you agreed on 17 September 2019 to reduce the scope of your search to 1 June 2015 to date.

Response

As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations.  We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA. 

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’.  Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.  We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes.  This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

1. The risk assessment plan for the Forth Road Bridge can be found in the attached link http://foi.forthroadbridge.org/media/1062/redacted-fbunit-solut-incident-response-plan-pl-006-rev05.pdf.

2. In July 2019 34 updated Samaritans signs were installed on the east and west footpaths. July 2019. In September 2019 masts were installed on the west footpath at the SW and NW side towers to accommodate two further CCTV cameras.  Since August of this year, increased security patrols have been imposed to assist in helping to detect potential self harm events on the Forth Road Bridge.

3. Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), we are not required to provide information which it does not have.  Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested because suicides are not recorded as this is a Police Scotland matter. You may wish to contact them at foi@scotland.pnn.police.uk

4. There are no records of specific meetings in respect of suicide prevention, however this may have been mentioned in other meetings and it would be manifestly unreasonable to search through 4 years of minutes/emails and other records to locate any mention of suicide/attempted suicide on the Forth Road Bridge. Due to the volume of records which would need to be searched, a 20 working days extension to the response deadline (under regulation 7 of the EIRs) would still not make the request manageable.  For these reasons, we consider that your request is manifestly unreasonable and so we are refusing it under regulation 10(4)(b). 

5. Please refer to the Freedom of Information page of the Forth Road Bridge website using the following link: http://foi.forthroadbridge.org/media/1062/redacted-fbunit-solut-incident-response-plan-pl-006-rev05.pdf.

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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