Contacts with Shanaz members, 2013-2015

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Cleveland Police.

Dear Cleveland Police,

I am writing for information on police contacts with the local Shanaz organisation. Shanaz was a project set up to facilitate contacts between local women and police.

Please search for and release emails between your police force and the following persons, between the dates Jan 2013 and Jan 2015:

Khatija Barday-Wood
Shiria Khatun
Nabeela Khan
Sofia Mahmood
Nilofer Mohamed

These persons were members of the Shanaz management committee.

Yours faithfully,

Sam Andrews

Freedom of Information, Cleveland Police

This mailbox is for Freedom of Information requests only and all other
mail will be deleted unactioned.

 

For Legal please forward your e-mail to
[1][email address] and for Subject Access please
check the Subject Access section of the Cleveland Police website under the
heading of ‘Advice and Information’ or forward your e-mail to
[2][email address] for all other
enquiries please contact Cleveland Police via 101.

 

References

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1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]

Freedom of Information, Cleveland Police

Dear Mr/Ms Andrews,

Enquiry Ref: 12583/2021

I acknowledge receipt of your request for information dated 29th January 2021.

As set out by the Freedom of Information Act it will be our aim to respond to your request within 20 working days that is by 26th February 2021. In some cases, however, we may be unable to achieve this deadline and would hope to contact you should this be the case.

Although every effort will be made to ensure a response is provided within statutory deadlines, due to current circumstances delays may be unavoidable. We apologise for any inconvenience and will endeavour to process your request as quickly as is practicable.

Please note the ‘working day’ is defined as any day other than a Saturday, a Sunday, or a day which is a bank holiday in any part of the United Kingdom. The first reckonable day is the first working day after receipt.

If you have any questions regarding your request please contact this office.

Yours sincerely,

Ms E McGuigan
Freedom of Information Decision Maker
Directorate of Standards and Ethics
Cleveland Community Safety Hub | 1 Cliffland Way | Hemlington | TS8 9GL
E-mail: [email address]

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dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedom of Information, Cleveland Police

Dear Mr/Ms Andrews

Enquiry Reference: 12583 -21

I write in connection with regards to your request received in this office on 29th January. I note you seek the following:

I am writing for information on police contacts with the local Shanaz organisation. Shanaz was a project set up to facilitate contacts between local women and police.

Please search for and release emails between your police force and the following persons, between the dates Jan 2013 and Jan 2015:

Khatija Barday-Wood
Shiria Khatun
Nabeela Khan
Sofia Mahmood
Nilofer Mohamed

These persons were members of the Shanaz management committee.

Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 places two duties on public authorities. Unless exemptions apply, the first duty at Section 1(1) (a) is to confirm or deny whether the information specified in a request is held. The second duty at Section 1(1) (b) is to disclose information that has been confirmed as being held. Where exemptions are relied upon, Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act requires that I provide the applicant with a notice which: a) states that fact b) specifies the exemption(s) in question and c) state (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.

Cleveland Police can neither confirm nor deny that information is held relevant to your request as the duty in s1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply by virtue of the following exemptions:

Section 24(2) National Security
Section 30(3) Investigations
Section 31(3) Law Enforcement
Section 40(5) Personal Information

Harm in complying with s1(1)(a) – to confirm or not whether information is held
Any release under FOIA is a disclosure to the world, not just to the individual making the request. To confirm or not that information is held pertinent to this request would reveal whether or not named individuals have corresponded with Cleveland Police which could include any type of correspondence, from reporting a crime on the street where they live, about anti-social behaviour at their local park or indeed relating to their role within the Shanaz Network which may cover information relating to the Prevent Strategy.
Prevent is one of four strands of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, known as Contest. The aim of Prevent is to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
Police forces work in conjunction with other agencies and information is freely shared in line with information sharing protocols. Modern-day policing is intelligence led and this is particularly pertinent with regard to both law enforcement and national security. The public expect police forces to use all powers and tactics available to them to prevent and detect crime or disorder and maintain public safety.
The prevention and detection of crime is the foundation upon which policing is built and the threat from terrorism cannot be ignored. It is generally recognised that the international security landscape is increasingly complex and unpredictable. The current UK threat level from international terrorism, based on intelligence, is assessed as substantial which means that a terrorist attack is likely.
In order to counter criminal and terrorist behaviour, it is vital that the police have the ability to work together, where necessary covertly, to obtain intelligence within current legislative frameworks to assist in the investigative process to ensure the successful arrest and prosecution of offenders who commit or plan to commit acts of terrorism.
To achieve this goal, it is vitally important that information sharing takes place between police officers, members of the public, police forces as well as other law enforcement bodies within the United Kingdom. Such as action would support counter terrorism measures in the fight to deprive terrorist networks of their ability to commit crime.
The impact of providing information under FOI which aids in identifying whether or not Cleveland Police has received or corresponded with named individuals who may or may not have been connected to the Shanaz Network, would provide those intent on committing criminal or terrorists acts with valuable information as to where the police are targeting their investigations.
In addition, to confirm or deny whether information is held in this case has the potential to undermine the flow of information (intelligence) received from members of the public into the Police Service relating to the Prevent Strategy thereby undermining National Security and leaving the United Kingdom at risk of more terrorist attack.

Public Interest Considerations
Section 24(2) National Security
Factors favouring complying with s(1)(1)(a) confirming that information is held
The public are entitled to know how public funds are spent and resources distributed within an area of policing, particularly with regard to how the police investigate terrorist offending. To confirm whether or not information exists would enable the general public to hold Cleveland Police to account in relation to how they gather intelligence relating to the Prevent Strategy.
Furthermore, confirming or denying may improve public debate and assist the community to take steps to protect themselves.
Factors against complying with s1(1)(a) neither confirming nor denying that information is held
Taking into account the current security climate within the United Kingdom, no information which may aid a terrorist should be disclosed. To what extent this information may aid a terrorist is unknown, but it is clear that it will have an impact on a force’s ability to monitor terrorist activity.
The public entrust the Police Service to make appropriate decisions with regard to their safety and protection. The only way of reducing risk is to be cautious with what is placed into the public domain.
The cumulative effect of terrorists gathering information from various sources would build a picture of vulnerabilities within certain scenarios, as in this case confirmation or denial whether or not individuals from an organisation connected to the Prevent Strategy has or haven’t corresponded with named police forces. The more information disclosed over time may provide a more detailed account of the tactical referral of individuals suspected or being vulnerable to radicalisation.

Section 30(3) Investigations
Factors favouring complying with s1(1)(a) confirming information is held
Confirming or denying whether information exists relevant to this request would lead to a better informed general public by identifying that Cleveland Police are proactive in their dealings with members of the public, in both a personal and professional scenario. This fact alone may encourage individuals to provide intelligence in order to assist with investigations and would also promote public trust in providing transparency and demonstrating openness and accountability into areas the police are currently focusing their investigations.
The public are also entitled to know how public funds are spent.
Factors against complying with s1(1)(a) neither confirming nor denying that information is held
Modern-day policing is intelligence led. To confirm or not whether private individuals who may or may not have connections with Prevent via the Shanaz Network could hinder the prevention and detection of crime.

Section 31(3) Law Enforcement

Factors favouring complying with s1(1)(a) confirming information is held

Information relating to the Shanaz Network and its connection with Prevent is published (see above hyperlink) and this in itself favours confirming information is held.

Factors against complying with s1(1)(a) neither confirming nor denying that information is held

Cleveland Police has a duty of care to the community at large and public safety is of paramount importance. If an FOI disclosure revealed information to the world (by citing an exemption or stating no information held) that would assist an offender it could undermine the security of the national infrastructure, by revealing our ‘intelligence’ thereby highlighting vulnerabilities force by force.

By its very nature, by confirming or denying this information is held would undermine the effective delivery of operational law enforcement. Under FOI there is a requirement to comply with s1(1)(a) and confirm what information is held. In some cases it is that confirmation, or not, which could disclose facts harmful to members of the public, police officers, other law enforcement agencies and their employees.

Balance Test

The points above highlight the merits of confirming, or denying, whether information pertinent to this request exists. The security of the country is of paramount importance and the Police Service is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime and protecting the communities we serve. As part of that policing purpose, various operations with other law enforcement bodies may or may not be ongoing. The Police Service will never divulge whether or not information is held if to do so would place the safety of individual(s) at risk or undermine National Security.

Whilst there is a public interest in appropriately and effectively engaging with the threat from criminals, there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding National Security. As much as there is a public interest in knowing that policing activity is appropriate and balanced in matters of National Security, this will only be overridden in exceptional circumstances.

The public entrust the Police Service to make appropriate decisions with regard to their safety and protection and the only way of reducing risk is to be cautious with any information that is released. Confirming or denying whether information is or isn’t held would definitely reveal policing activity and would assist those intent on causing harm. Any incident that results from confirmation or denial would, by default, affect National Security.

Therefore, at this moment in time, it is our opinion that for these issues the balance test for confirming, nor denying, that information is held is made out.

No inference can be taken from this refusal that information does or does not exist.
The Cleveland Police response to your request is unique and it should be noted that Police Forces do not use generic systems or identical procedures to capture and record data therefore responses from Cleveland Police should not be used as a comparison with any other force response you receive.

If you are not satisfied with this response or any actions taken in dealing with your request you have the right to request an independent internal review of your case under our review procedure. The APP College of Policing guidance states that a request for internal review should be made within 20 working days of the date on this response or 40 working days if extenuating circumstances to account for the delay can be evidenced.

We have made every effort to ensure a response was provided within statutory deadlines, however due to current circumstances delays have been unavoidable. If your response was late we apologise for any inconvenience it may have caused.

If we can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact this office.

Yours sincerely

Mrs M Johnson
Freedom of Information Decision Maker
Department of Standard & Ethics | 1 Cliffland Way | Hemlington | TS8 9GL

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn

Public Service | Transparency | Impartiality | Integrity

“Delivering outstanding policing for our communities”

Please do not use social media or email to report crime as we do not monitor these accounts 24/7. Dial 999 in an emergency or visit the contact us section of our website for all reporting options.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir