Astronomical information that is required for legal purposes such as the positions and times of rising and setting of the Sun and Moon and the times of the Hours of Darkness may be supplied in appropriate circumstances in the form of a Section 9 Statement of Witness (Criminal Justice Act, 1967, s.9; Magistrates' Courts Act 1980, ss.5A(3)(a) and 5B; Criminal Procedure Rules 2010, Rule 27.1). Given sufficient warning, these statements will be provided for a fee of £80.00+VAT. If the statement is required in less than 5 working days from the date of the submission of the original request, a fee of £120.00+VAT will be charged, rising to £160.00+VAT where less than 2 days notice is given. In those cases where more complex information is required, the work will be charged at a rate of £80.00+VAT per hour.
The times are given in the 24-hour clock system and are in GMT/BST for the United Kingdom; the use of any other standard-time system must be specified in advance. The geographical co-ordinates of named towns will be taken from The Times Atlas or the Ordnance Survey Gazetteer unless the requester gives a preferred set of coordinates e.g. ordnance survey coordinates, a post code or latitude and longitude. In other cases, on the UK mainland, co-ordinates will be taken from cross-checked sources of online mapping software.
All requests for information should normally be made in writing (by post, fax or e-mail). An estimate of the charge will be sent if necessary. A copy of the conditions of supply of information will be sent to the requester. Once an acceptance of the conditions has been received by this office, the statement will be dispatched. An invoice will be sent under separate cover giving details of the method of payment.
The UK Hydrographic Office does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage arising from the use of data supplied or of any information contained in any communication about the data.
Every endeavour will be made to meet requests for the supply of astronomical data required for publication and other purposes as promptly as possible, but the right is reserved to decline to do so without giving reasons, or to defer the production if necessary to the priorities of HM Nautical Almanac Office or the UK Hydrographic Office.
Please note that HMNAO cannot provide legal statements concerning weather conditions. The Meteorological Office, should be consulted if legal reports or expert witness testimony on prevailing weather conditions are required.