Alleged Legal Professional Crimes

Jean James made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Avon and Somerset Constabulary

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

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Avon and Somerset Constabulary,

Under the Freedom of Information Act, will you please disclose, for the years 2005 to 2011 inclusive:

(a) How many allegations of fraud, financial, white collar, or indeed any type of crime implicating, either directly or indirectly, a member of the legal profession have been reported to the force?

(b) How many of these allegations were logged in police records, and assigned a crime report number?

(c) How many of these allegations were referred to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority, Law Society, or any other regulatory body, in lieu of a police investigation?

(d) How many were considered “civil matters”?

(e) How many investigations did the force complete as a result of these allegations?

(f) How many of these allegations were not investigated by the force?

(g) How many of these investigations were completed as paid services under the private hire of the police for the performance of special services under the 1996 Police Act provision?

(h) How many of these investigations resulted in charges being laid i) under the normal course of police duties and ii) under private company hire for the performance of special services?

(i) How many resulted in convictions i) under the normal course of police duties and ii) under private company hire for the performance of special services?

(j) Please detail the type of crime, the year in which the allegation was made, and the year in which the investigation was completed.

(k) Please advise how many police staff have qualifications in forensic accounting, and what those qualifications are.

(l) Please advise how many times private contractors have been hired by the force for the purpose of forensic accounting work during a fraud/white collar crime investigation.

(m) How many of these allegations have culminated in charges being laid against the complainant under the Vexatious Litigants Act 1981?

(n) How many of these allegations have resulted in arrest warrants being issued against the complainant?

Thank you so much. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Jean James

#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Corporate Information Management Department

Force Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road,

Portishead, Bristol, BS20 8QJ

Facsimile 01275 814667

   

Private
Ms Jean James
[FOI #109034 email]      Our Reference   207/12 
        Your reference         
        Date    12th March 2012

       
Dear Ms James,

Thank you for your request for information dated 12th March 2012, relating
to fraud against members of the legal profession. This request will be
dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your request will now be considered and you will receive a response within
the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, subject
to the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third
party. In some circumstances Avon and Somerset Constabulary may be unable
to achieve this deadline. If this is likely you will be informed and given
a revised time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to
another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest
possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in
Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Officer

Freedom of Information Officer
Corporate Information Management Department

Please note;

 1. Requests and responses may be published on Avon and Somerset
Constabulary’s website (within 24 hours), some of which may
contain a link to additional information, which may provide
you with further clarification.
 2. Whilst we may verbally discuss your request with you in order
to seek clarification, all other communication should be made
in writing.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides you with the right to request a
re-examination of your case under its review procedure.

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

1 Atodiad

Corporate Information Management Department

Force Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road,

Portishead, Bristol, BS20 8QJ

Facsimile 01275 814667

Private

Miss Jean James
[FOI #109034 email]      Our Reference   207/12 
        Your reference         
        Date    05 April 2012
       

Dear Miss James

I write in connection with your request for information dated 12^th March
2012 concerning alleged crimes committed by members of the legal
profession.

You specifically asked: “Under the Freedom of Information Act, will you
please disclose, for the years 2005 to 2011 inclusive:

(a) How many allegations of fraud, financial, white collar, or indeed any
type of crime implicating, either directly or indirectly, a member of the
legal profession have been reported to the force?

(b) How many of these allegations were logged in police records, and
assigned a crime report number?
(c) How many of these allegations were referred to the Solicitors’
Regulation Authority, Law Society, or any other regulatory body, in lieu
of a police investigation?

(d) How many were considered “civil matters”?
(e) How many investigations did the force complete as a result of these
allegations?
(f) How many of these allegations were not investigated by the force?
(g) How many of these investigations were completed as paid services under
the private hire of the police for the performance of special services
under the 1996 Police Act provision?

(h) How many of these investigations resulted in charges being laid i)
under the normal course of police duties and ii) under private company
hire for the performance of special services?

(i) How many resulted in convictions i) under the normal course of police
duties and ii) under private company hire for the performance of special
services?

(j) Please detail the type of crime, the year in which the allegation was
made, and the year in which the investigation was completed.

(k) Please advise how many police staff have qualifications in forensic
accounting, and what those qualifications are.
(l) Please advise how many times private contractors have been hired by
the force for the purpose of forensic accounting work during a fraud/white
collar crime investigation.

(m) How many of these allegations have culminated in charges being laid
against the complainant under the Vexatious Litigants Act 1981?

(n) How many of these allegations have resulted in arrest warrants being
issued against the complainant?

Your request for information has now been considered and I am not obliged
to supply the information you have requested.

There are approximately 120,000 crimes per year, which equates to around
720,000 for the requested period. In relation to fraud offences, there are
approximately 4,000 crimes a year, totalling 24,000 for the 6 year period.
In order to try and provide you with the specific information asked for
will require us to manually check each and every one of these records to
try and ascertain, where recorded, if the alleged offender is a member of
the legal profession. Even with a conservative estimate that each file
will take around 5 minutes to review would mean that it would take in the
region of 60,000 hours to review all crimes, and 2,000 hours to review
those relating to fraud. Further searches would then need to be undertaken
in order to establish what information, if any, is held in regard to your
remaining questions. As such, under section 12 of the act this information
is exempt from disclosure as the cost of providing you with the
information is above the amount to which we are legally required to
respond i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds
the “appropriate level” as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and
Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004. It is estimated that it would cost at
least £450 to comply with your request. In accordance with the Act, this
represents a Refusal Notice for this part of your request.

You may wish to refine and resubmit your request so that it reduces the
costs shown above. This can be done by providing specific offences for us
to conduct a search for, reducing the time span for your request to a year
period as opposed to a six and omitting the vocation of the alleged
offender as this will prove almost impossible to achieve.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Officer

Freedom of Information Officer
Corporate Information Management Department

Please note:

 1. Requests and responses may be published on Avon and Somerset
Constabulary’s website (within 24 hours), some of which may
contain a link to additional information, which may provide
you with further clarification.
 2. Whilst we may verbally discuss your request with you in order
to seek clarification, all other communication should be made
in writing.
 3. Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides you with the right to
request a re-examination of your case under its review
procedure (copy attached).

<<A&S Appeals Procedure.doc>>

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear #Freedom of Information Requests,

How much more specific than this can I get?

"How many allegations of fraud, financial, white collar" You already are required to report to the Home Office on an annual basis, "Fraud & Forgery". What figures have you been using?

Yours sincerely,

Jean James

Gadawodd Tom Hodder anodiad ()

Jean,

I think they are saying that they can tell you a total number of crimes in that category, but can't, without extra work, identify those that involved members of the legal profession.

Hence, that's why I think they are suggesting you refine it. That's just my interpretation of it though :)

Gadawodd Jean James anodiad ()

They have to report Forgery and Fraud to the Home Office annually as a category.

Gadawodd Tom Hodder anodiad ()

But do they need to report the amount of that category committed by a lawyer/solicitor? I suspect not, they just report a total number.

I could be completely wrong tho..

Dear #Freedom of Information Requests,

I understand that, when charges are laid, the occupation is recorded. Surely this information must have been extrapolated into a report already?

Yours sincerely,

Jean James

Dear #Freedom of Information Requests,

I understand that, when charges are laid, the occupation is recorded. Surely this information must have been extrapolated into a report already? What was recorded for the years in question?

I suggest that you could start with the following, and work from there.

In addition, forces are required to report crimes by category to the Home Office. In this case, I am asking about white collar crime, and I believe the reporting category is "Fraud and Forgery". What figures were reported to the Home Office for the years 2006 to 2011 please?

Yours sincerely,

Jean James

#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Corporate Information Management Department

Force Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road,

Portishead, Bristol, BS20 8QJ

Facsimile 01275 814667

Private

Jean James
[FOI #109034 email]      Our Reference   207/12 
        Your reference         
        Date    11 April 2012  

Dear Ms James

I write in connection with your request reference 207/12 and your further
communication dated 8^th and 10^th April.

Our response dated 5^th April has already explained why the retrieval of
the information would exceed 18 hours. 

Your recent communication states that you understand that occupation
details can be recorded at charging stage which is correct this however is
not extrapolated into a report and will not of course encompass all
allegations as you initially requested (only those of which led to
charges).  The accuracy of the information will also be reliant on the
officer populating this information which is not a mandatory field.  That
is not to say the information is never recorded, just not in the format
that would allow us to conduct a search within the cost of compliance.

If you would like to receive statistics regarding individuals charged for
offences of fraud and forgery between 2006 and 2011 where recorded, we can
conduct a search of key words such as: solicitor, lawyer, and barrister. 
Please confirm should you wish us to proceed and include any additional
occupations as appropriate.

The constabulary provides the Home Office with crime statistics in respect
of fraud and forgery but as correctly annotated not broken down by
employment type.

Yours sincerely

R Pritchard

Freedom of Information Officer
Corporate Information Management Department

Please note:

 1. Requests and responses may be published on Avon and Somerset
Constabulary’s website (within 24 hours), some of which may
contain a link to additional information, which may provide
you with further clarification.
 2. Whilst we may verbally discuss your request with you in order
to seek clarification, all other communication should be made
in writing.
 3. Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides you with the right to
request a re-examination of your case under its review
procedure (copy attached).

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear #Freedom of Information Requests,

Yes, please do that search.

Yours sincerely,

Jean James

#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Corporate Information Management Department

Force Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road,

Portishead, Bristol, BS20 8QJ

Facsimile 01275 814667

Private
Ms Jean James
[FOI #109034 email]      Our Reference   354/12 
        Your reference         
        Date    8th May 2012
       
Dear Ms James

Thank you for your refined request for information dated 6th May, relating
to individuals charged for the offences of fraud and forgery. This request
will be dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your request will now be considered and you will receive a response within
the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, In some
circumstances Avon and Somerset Constabulary may be unable to achieve this
deadline if consideration needs to be given to the public interest test.
If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised time-scale at
the earliest opportunity.

Thank you for your request.

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Officer

Freedom of Information Officer
Corporate Information Management Department

Please note;

 1. Requests and responses may be published on Avon and Somerset
Constabulary’s website (within 24 hours), some of which may
contain a link to additional information, which may provide
you with further clarification.
 2. Whilst we may verbally discuss your request with you in order
to seek clarification, all other communication should be made
in writing.
 3. Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides you with the right to
request a re-examination of your case under its review
procedure.

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

1 Atodiad

Corporate Information Management Department

Force Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road,

Portishead, Bristol, BS20 8QJ

Facsimile 01275 814667

Private

Jean James
[FOI #109034 email]      Our Reference   354/12 
        Your reference         
        Date    18 May 2012    

Dear Ms James

I write in connection with your request for information dated 6^th May
refining the information requested in your previous request concerning
fraud and forgery offences.

Your refined request asked “ I would like to receive statistics regarding
individuals charged for offences of fraud and forgery between 2006 and
2011 inclusive, where recorded please conduct a search of key words such
as: solicitor, lawyer, and barrister to ascertain if the alleged offender
is a member of the legal profession.”

Between 01/01/2006-31/12/2011 one person was charged with a Fraud or
Forgery related offence whose occupation fell within the occupation
category of 'Legal', this person was a bailiff.  There were a further 339
charges brought for Fraud or Forgery related offences, without occupations
recorded. 

Yours sincerely

R Pritchard

Freedom of Information Officer
Corporate Information Management Department

Please note:

 1. Requests and responses may be published on Avon and Somerset
Constabulary’s website (within 24 hours), some of which may
contain a link to additional information, which may provide
you with further clarification.
 2. Whilst we may verbally discuss your request with you in order
to seek clarification, all other communication should be made
in writing.
 3. Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides you with the right to
request a re-examination of your case under its review
procedure (copy attached).

<<A&S Appeals Procedure.doc>>

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear #Freedom of Information Requests,

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Jean James