Communications with Cheshire Constabulary concerning illegal fox hunting and attacks on anti hunt activists.

Dear Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner,

In recent days there have been adverse reports on the conduct of Cheshire Constabulary concerning their role in policing illegal fox hunting in Cheshire. Please provide information as follows:

1) Supply all communications between the Police and Crime Commissioner and Cheshire Constabulary which cover policing of fox hunting. This to include written communications and transcripts of telephone conversations. These are required for the last two years.

2) What action has the Police and Crime Commissioner taken in relation to unsatisfactory conduct of Cheshire Constabulary as far as fox hunting is concerned?

3) How many complaints have been received about the conduct of Cheshire Constabulary in relation to fox hunting in each of the past five years? How many were investigated and upheld?

Yours faithfully,

Barbara Jones

Police Crime Commissioner, Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner



Dear Sir / Madam,

Thank you for taking the time to contact the Police & Crime Commissioner
for Cheshire. The Commissioner takes great pride in providing a voice for
Cheshire residents and aims to respond to correspondence within 10 working
days.

If you have not already done so please can we ask that you provide your
correspondence details.

Best wishes,

Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire

Website: [1]www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk

Twitter: [2]Follow CheshirePCC

Facebook: [3]Like Cheshire PCC
Register for updates: [4]Cheshire PCC Alert

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This communication is intended for the addressee(s) only. Please notify
the sender if received in error. Internet email is not to be treated as a
secure means of communication. The Constabulary monitors all Internet and
email activity and requires it is used for official communications only.
Thank you for your co-operation.

References

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1. https://smex12-5-en-ctp.trendmicro.com:4...
2. https://twitter.com/CheshirePCC
3. http://www.facebook.com/cheshirepcc
4. https://smex12-5-en-ctp.trendmicro.com:4...

OPCC FOI, Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Ms Jones,

I acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information request that was
received on Thursday 31 January 2019. A response will be provided within
20 working days after the day of receipt.

Kind Regards,
Matt

Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner
[email address] | 01606 364000
Stockton Heath Police Station | Grappenhall Road | Stockton Heath |
Warrington | WA4 2AF

Website: www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk | Twitter: Follow CheshirePCC | Facebook:
Like Cheshire PCC

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OPCC FOI, Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner

1 Atodiad

Dear Ms Jones,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request submitted on Thursday 31
January 2019.

I write in reference to your request under the Freedom of Information Act
2000.

1) Supply all communications between the Police and Crime Commissioner and
Cheshire Constabulary which cover policing of fox hunting. This to include
written communications and transcripts of telephone conversations. These
are required for the last two years.

2) What action has the Police and Crime Commissioner taken in relation to
unsatisfactory conduct of Cheshire Constabulary as far as fox hunting is
concerned?

3) How many complaints have been received about the conduct of Cheshire
Constabulary in relation to fox hunting in each of the past five years?
How many were investigated and upheld?

From our preliminary assessment, we have estimated that it will cost more
than the 'appropriate limit' to consider your request. Section 12 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 makes provision for public authorities to
refuse requests for information where the cost of dealing with them would
exceed the appropriate limit, which for this organisation is £450. This
represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours in
determining whether the organisation holds the information as well as
locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

The estimated cost of processing your request is £1,250 (i.e. 50 hours
work). This charge has been calculated in accordance with section 13 of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Freedom of Information and
Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

The estimated cost is due to the volume of correspondence between the
Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner and Cheshire Constabulary in
relation to question one of your request and the number of different forms
and sources of this correspondence.  All correspondence would need to be
located, reviewed and exemptions applied where relevant (e.g. personal
information, law enforcement).

Should you wish to narrow the scope of your request, we may be able to
provide the information because it would cost less than the appropriate
limit to do so. Any reformulated request the Office of the Police & Crime
Commissioner receives from you will be treated as a fresh request. 

If you are not satisfied with this decision, I attach for your information
the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire's review
procedures.

Kind Regards,
Matt

Matt Walton | Senior Governance & Performance Officer
Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner
[email address] | 01606 364000
Stockton Heath Police Station | Grappenhall Road | Stockton Heath |
Warrington | WA4 2AF

Website: www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk | Twitter: Follow CheshirePCC | Facebook:
Like Cheshire PCC

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Dear Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner's handling of my FOI request 'Communications with Cheshire Constabulary concerning illegal fox hunting and attacks on anti hunt activists.'.

The response you have given is considered to be obstructive in that you have not attempted to reply to questions (2) and (3) which do not appear to require much work. As far as question (1) is concerned, it is claimed that the costs involved will be £1250 which is said to represent one person doing 50 hours of work on it. This equates to £25 an hour at that amount. The usual number of hours worked per week is about 37 and 37 hours times £25 equals £925 per week, or £48100 per year. Please advise what is the job title of the person you would require to do this work and what salary are they on? I should have thought that someone earning less than £48100 per year would be capable of this. Apart from that in these days of computer databases, extraction of material is a simple task.

Please respond to questions (2) and (3) and reply to the above.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Barbara Jones

Police Crime Commissioner, Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Sir / Madam,

Thank you for taking the time to contact the Police & Crime Commissioner
for Cheshire. The Commissioner takes great pride in providing a voice for
Cheshire residents and aims to respond to correspondence within 10 working
days.

If you have not already done so, please can we ask that you provide your
correspondence details.

Best wishes,
Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire

Website: [1]www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk
Twitter: [2]Follow CheshirePCC
Facebook: [3]Like Cheshire PCC
Register for updates: [4]Cheshire PCC Alert

This communication is intended for the addressee(s) only. Please notify
the sender if received in error. Internet email is not to be treated as a
secure means of communication. The Constabulary monitors all Internet and
email activity and requires it is used for official communications only.
Thank you for your co-operation.

References

Visible links
1. https://smex12-5-en-ctp.trendmicro.com/w...
2. https://twitter.com/CheshirePCC
3. http://www.facebook.com/cheshirepcc
4. https://smex12-5-en-ctp.trendmicro.com/w...

OPCC FOI, Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Ms Jones

Letter confirming the outcome of internal review

I refer to your email of 31st January 2019 where you requested information about communications between the Police and Crime Commissioner and Cheshire Constabulary regarding hunting, and to our response of 27th February 2019. This response advised you that it would cost more than the "appropriate limit" set out in the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to respond to your request.

Further to your request for a review of our response on 2nd March 2019, I have now conducted such a review and the decision has been upheld for the following reasons:

1.The rate of £25 per hour used to calculate the cost of responding to your request is a rate prescribed under Regulation 3(4) of the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, and is therefore the correct rate to use. It should be noted that the rate is based on the "true cost of an employee" not merely their salary, so will include on-costs such as pension, premises, equipment, training, administration and management (i.e. the additional expenditure required for each staff member within an organisation). A rate of £25 per hour therefore equates to an employee earning between £20,000 and £30,000 once on-costs are taken into account.

2.I have met with the PCC's Head of Policy and Partnerships, who is the OPCC Strategic Lead for fox hunting, and he agrees with the estimate that it will take at least 50 hours to locate, retrieve and review this information. This is primarily due to the volume of correspondence between the PCC and Cheshire Constabulary during the last two years regarding the policing of hunting, and the variety of different media and lines of communication used. I am therefore satisfied that the time estimate is sensible and realistic, and that the charge calculated for replying to your request is correct.

3.Guidance provided by the Information Commissioner's Office states that where a public authority intends to rely on the appropriate limit set out in Section 12 of the Act, the public authority should not provide any information requested to the requestor at that stage. This is because it would deny the requestor the right to express a preference as to which parts of the request they would like to receive which can be provided within the appropriate limit. Our response of 27th February states that a narrower request for information would be considered and treated as a fresh request. In your email of 2nd March you have indicated that you would like a response to questions (2) and (3) contained in your email of 31st January 2019. I can confirm that these can be responded to within the appropriate limit and will arrange for this to be done as soon as possible.

I am sorry that you feel that the OPCC has been obstructive in relation to this matter. The staff member who dealt with this request has acted in accordance with legal guidelines and good practice. When responding to Freedom of Information requests, public authorities have to be mindful of how they use their resources given that they are funded by the public purse, and the appropriate limit is applied to ensure that public authorities do not have to spend an unreasonable level of time and resource on such responses. Public authorities need to treat all requests in a fair and consistent manner regardless of the subject matter, and therefore exceeding the appropriate limit in relation to your request would set a precedent for future FOI requests received by the PCC.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office,

Wycliffe House, Water Lane,

Wilmslow, Cheshire

SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely,

Gareth Burroughes
Head of Governance

Website: www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk
Twitter: Follow CheshirePCC
Facebook: Like Cheshire PCC
Register for updates: Cheshire PCC Alert

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OPCC FOI, Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner

1 Atodiad

Dear Ms Jones,

Following the outcome of the internal review of your Freedom of
Information request submitted on 31 January 2019, in accordance with
section 1(1)(a)&(b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the response
(to Q2 and Q3) of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for
Cheshire is below.

2) What action has the Police and Crime Commissioner taken in relation to
unsatisfactory conduct of Cheshire Constabulary as far as fox hunting is
concerned?

Where matters relate to allegations of police misconduct regarding
Constabulary Officers and Staff (other than the Chief Constable) this is
the responsibility of the Chief Constable who delegates this to the
Constabulary Professional Standards Department who undertake this in line
with legislation.

Following issues being raised regarding the policing of hunting activity
either directly with the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) or via the
Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner, the PCC commissioned a review
to be undertaken by an independent organisation. The resultant report has
been published on the PCC website. Following this a special scrutiny board
was held on Monday 25 February 2019 which was open to the public to attend
and observe. The Chief Constable has been asked to develop an action plan
to deliver against the recommendations of the report and the additional
actions identified at the 25th February 2019 meeting. This will be
monitored within the PCC’s established scrutiny board arrangements.

3) How many complaints have been received about the conduct of Cheshire
Constabulary in relation to fox hunting in each of the past five years?
How many were investigated and upheld?

The information requested (in relation to 2015, 2016 and 2017) is already
available to you by other means and is, therefore, exempt in accordance
with Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This information
has previously been published by the Office of the Police & Crime
Commissioner and is publicly available via the following link:
[1]https://www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/media/19...

The information request in relation to 2014 and 2018 is not held by the
Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner. As detailed above, all
complaints in relation to Cheshire Constabulary Officers and Staff
(excluding the Chief Constable) are dealt with by the Constabulary
Professional Standards Department in line with legislation.  In accordance
with section 16(1) of the Act (Duty to Assist), I can suggest that the
information requested (in relation to 2014 and 2018) may be held by
Cheshire Constabulary. Please note that I have not forwarded your request,
although Cheshire Constabulary may be contacted directly via
[email address].

If you are not satisfied with this decision, I attach for your information
the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire's review
procedures.

Kind Regards,
Matt

Matt Walton | Senior Governance & Performance Officer
Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner
[email address] | 01606 364000
Stockton Heath Police Station | Grappenhall Road | Stockton Heath |
Warrington | WA4 2AF

Website: www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk | Twitter: Follow CheshirePCC | Facebook:
Like Cheshire PCC

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