Dear North Yorkshire Police ("NYP"),

On 15th October, 2016 I made a request to Durham Constabulary ("Durham") concerning this matter. The full trail of correspondence can be read here:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

In short, Durham clearly and deliberately conspired with NYP to refuse the request as 'vexatious' by way of section 14 of the Act. It was, on any independent view, seriously improper conduct - and Durham should have been prosecuted by way of section 77 of the Act over it.

That finalisation, and the internal review that upheld it, was overturned by an Information Commissioner's Decision Notice dated 9th October, 2017. Durham were directed to issue a fresh response to the request.

A revised response was provided earlier today by Durham. Essentially, it is now said that no information is held by Durham and all materials were passed back to NYP. (That finalisation, incredible as it is, will very likely be decided, ultimately, before a First Tier Tribunal judge).

Notwithstanding (and, for the moment, taking Durham's response at its face), much the same request is now made of NYP:

1. The operational codename given to the Dales Timber Ltd fraud investigation.

2. The terms of reference given by NYP to Durham for their 'outside force' investigation.

3. (a). The name of the NYP Gold Commander.
(b). The name of the Durham Gold Commander
(Durham have disclosed that a detective sergeant and a detective constable carried out the day-to-day investigation. Information is widely available in the public domain that NYP deployed a detective inspector and a detective constable (both based at Malton PS) to carry out the day-to-day investigation, prior to it being passed to Durham.

4. A copy of both the NYP and Durham Gold books (otherwise known as investigation log, policy log, policy book or Blue Book). It is accepted that this will be redacted to exclude personal information/policing techniques

5. A copy of both the NYP and Durham investigation outcomes/closing reports. It is accepted that this will be redacted to exclude personal information/policing techniques.

6. The amount charged by Durham Constabulary to North Yorkshire Police as the cost of the investigation.

Additional requests for information are:

7. The rank(s) or job title(s) of the NYP officer(s) who liased with Durham, during the finalisation of the information request made by Durham, and disclosed information held by NYP to Durham. Given that there is a high likelihood that these are management ranking officers, there can be little, or no, expectation of privacy. That is coupled with the plausible suspicion of criminal wrongdoing and the huge public interest in such misconduct occuring within a police force.

8. The rank(s) or job title(s) of the Durham officer(s) who liased with NYP during the finalisation of the information request made by Durham, and received information held by NYP. The same comments concerning privacy apply as above at para 7.

9. (a). Copies of emails, correspondence or telephone logs pertaining to the requests at 7. and 8. above. For the avoidance of doubt, this is not personal information that is sought - and neither s40(5)(a) nor s40(5)(b)(i) is applicable. It is information of much wider, and higher, public interest, sought in my role as a journalist, in pursuit of a live investigation, relating to other connected matters, where there is a plausible suspicion of criminal wrongdoing.

(b). Copies of emails, correspondence, meeting notes, briefing notes between the two Gold Comanders that relate to Dales Timber Ltd or its Director or Company Secretary.

10. If the information at para 9. was claimed by NYP to be 'personal information' pertaining to 'Neil Wilby' (an individual, not in his persona as a journalist), then it should be noted that it was not disclosed as part of a data access request finalised by NYP in May, 2017.

11. You are reminded, yet again, of the requirements of section 10 of the Act: Information requests are required to be dealt with PROMPTLY and , in any event, within 20 working days. The latter being regarded very much as a backstop.

12. You are already aware that I am applying all legal means available to have NYP/NYPCC Civil Disclosure Unit (CDU) placed into the Information Commissioner's monitoring scheme, concerning industrial scale breaches of the Act by the CDU, over a very long period (at last back to 2011 as far as can be traced). One more breach may well be the straw that breaks the camel's back, as it were.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Civil Disclosure, North Yorkshire Police

Thank you for your email, please treat this as an acknowledgement of receipt.

Your email will be dealt with accordingly.

Civil Disclosure Unit

Web: www.northyorkshire.police.uk<http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/>

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear North Yorkshire Police (NYP),

Please treat this post on What Do They Know as a request for internal review of the non-finalisation of information request 'Dales Timber Ltd Fraud Investigation'.

It is noted that, yet again, NYP has breached its statutory obligations under section 39A of the Police Act, 1996 (College of Policing's Code of Ethics). Authorised Professional Practice (APP) requires you to respond to information requests promptly. Or, in any event, within 20 working days.

APP also requires that police forces communicate effectively and explain any contemplated delays.

Failure to meet any of those requirements engages, at the very least, neglect of duty, discourtesy/disrespect complaints under the Code. Those complaints should be recorded against either the CDU Manager or Head of Department, or both.

https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-co...

In failing to respond at all, sections 10 and 17 of the Act are also engaged. Section 77 of the Act may also be engaged, as this request concerns wrongdoing by both NYP and Durham Constabulary that, by delaying the disclosure, both forces are seeking to further conceal.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/200...

If proven, that seriously improper conduct may amount to discreditable conduct under the Code of Ethics.

It is also noted that the proportion of my requests (and internal reviews) that are finalised as non-compliant far exceeds the Civil Disclosure Unit average. That can only be construed as deliberate - and goes to the evidence of the persistently vexing, annoying and harassing conduct of the chief constable towards me.

All rights of civil, criminal remedy in respect of that course of conduct of harassment are reserved.

Further, and in any event, I continue to press the ICO to place the Civil Disclosure Unit into its monitoring scheme. The regulator is becoming uncomfortable with the amount of adverse social media attention your industrial scale breaches of the Act has attracted.

Yours faithfully

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil _Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Civil Disclosure, North Yorkshire Police

Thank you for your email, please treat this as an acknowledgement of receipt.

Your email will be dealt with accordingly.

PLEASE NOTE: If your query is to address an urgent safeguarding concern then please redirect your enquiry to the Vulnerability Assessment Team on [email address]<mailto:[email address]>
The Vulnerability Assessment Team is available during office hours Monday to Friday.

Civil Disclosure Unit

Web: www.northyorkshire.police.uk<http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/>

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Bates, Robert, North Yorkshire Police

Dear Mr Wilby,

I note your request for an internal review of your FOI request on the basis that the response was late. Our records indicate that the 20th working day is in fact today, this is based upon the following Information Commissioners guidance; https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio..., specifically paras 30 - 35. I can advise that there has been a bank holiday since the date of your FOIA request submission.

I am in a position to provide you with a reply to 8 of your questions today. However we are to issue a PIT extension letter today in respect of question 5.

I write to ask whether you would like the information for 8 of the questions today, or if you would like us to wait until we have a response to the full and complete request following the PIT extension?

Please let me know what your preferred option would be.

Kind regards,

Robert Bates
Collar Number 5480
Legal Officer (Civil Disclosure)
North Yorkshire Police

Committed to the Code of Ethics
 
Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number. If using my collar number please state each number individually.
 
Web: www.northyorkshire.police.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NorthYorkshirePolice
Twitter: www.twitter.com/NYorksPolice

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Bates, Robert, North Yorkshire Police

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Wilby,

Following my previous e-mail, please find attached NYP's PIT extension letter in respect of FOI 0863.2017-18. If you wish for earlier disclosure of the information that is already available then please let me know. I shall be back in office Monday morning to respond to any correspondence.

Kind regards,

Robert Bates
Collar Number 5480
Legal Officer (Civil Disclosure)
North Yorkshire Police

Committed to the Code of Ethics
 
Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number. If using my collar number please state each number individually.
 
Web: www.northyorkshire.police.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NorthYorkshirePolice
Twitter: www.twitter.com/NYorksPolice

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Bates, Robert, North Yorkshire Police

1 Atodiad

Good afternoon,

Please find attached NYP's response to your FOIA request referenced 0863.2017-18.

Kind regards,

Robert Bates
Collar Number 5480
Legal Officer (Civil Disclosure)
North Yorkshire Police

Committed to the Code of Ethics
 
Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number. If using my collar number please state each number individually.
 
Web: www.northyorkshire.police.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NorthYorkshirePolice
Twitter: www.twitter.com/NYorksPolice

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear North Yorkshire Police ("NYP"),

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

I am writing to request an internal review of North Yorkshire Police's handling of my FOI request 'Dales Timber Ltd Fraud Investigation'.

These are the grounds for complaint:

1. At Question 1, the operational code name given to the investigation (Operation Tudor Manor) is noted. Durham Constabulary ("Durham"), in a response to a freedom of information request concerning the Dales Timber Ltd fraud investigation had no record of such a code name. The inescapable conclusion, therefore, is that either the police in Durham, or North Yorkshire, has provided a false response concerning this question. It is clear to anyone reading the below thread, which comprises the request to Durham and their various responses that Durham has repeatedly decorated the truth.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

This is important when considering the other questions that form part of this internal review. Durham and NYP upon their own admission have liaised over both finalisations.

2. At Question 3 (a) and (b), the following points are relevant to the information request and the finalisation under the Act.

(i) There has been an extraordinarily sustained attempt (futile in all the circumstances) to shield the former NYP DCC, Timothy Madgwick, over incompetence and/or wrongdoing. This has been particualry evident in the cases of Operations Cabin, Hyson and Rome. There is ample evidence relating to the latter two investigations both on this What Do They Know website and in the wider public domain.

(ii) This ‘cover-up’, when it extends to a calculated decision not to properly disclose requested materials, is a serious abuse of the Freedom of Information Act and an offence under Section 77 of the Act may well be triggered.

(iii) The campaign has, plainly, been maintained with the response provided to this question: An investigation is given an operational code name only if it meets certain criteria. One of those being that a Gold Commander is in charge of it. In this particular investigation, from documents in my possession, and in interview with the two complainants, it is clear that DCC Madgwick was the Gold Commander. Other documents confirm that DI Ian Wills (now retired) and DC Melanie Spanton (now a serving sergeant) were the other NYP officers.

It follows, therefore, that documents must be held by NYP that show DCC Madgwick was Gold Commander: Unless, of course, they have been purged from the records. There is now a strong suspicion of the latter.

(iv) The known hierarchy (as set out clearly in documentary evidence held by me) in the Durham investigation also supports the existence of a Gold group: DCC Michael Banks was in overall charge for Durham; C/Supt Jane Spraggon led the investigation; a detective sergeant and a detective constable were despatched to NYP’s Fraud Unit in Malton for a briefing. Ms Spraggon was, at the material time, Head of Crime and Justice. The recent discovery of her involvement, and present role in the force, has assisted considerably in other lines of enquiry, and requests for disclosure, concerning my investigation into the Dales Timber Ltd ‘cover-up’.

This plainly demonstrates that either (a) Durham have lied to NYP in providing information to them. Or (b) NYP have lied in the finalisation of this request. Or, of course, both have lied to a greater or lesser degree.

In the short term, NYP are required to record a Code of Ethics complaint concerning honesty and integrity against the disclosure officer finalising this complaint, and the head of the civil disclosure unit (who is certain, given the antecedents, to have approved this finalisation).

3. At Question 4, for all the reasons set out above at para 3, the requested information MUST have existed at the time the investigation concluded. No detail is provided by NYP in finalising this request as to the nature and extent of the searches carried out or which business areas of the force were contacted.

In the meantime, the only conceivable inference to be drawn, using the balance of probabilities as the appropriate test, is that records have been purged. Which again, of course, engages section 77 of the Act.

4. At Question 5(a) you have responded by saying there was no closing/final report drawn up by NYP. I hold documentary evidence that a report (of sorts) was provided to the fraud suspects by DCC Madgwick. It is also clear from interview with the victims that a report finalising the matter was in preparation by DI Wills and DC Spanton. That emerged in a meeting between the detectives and the Millers at the victims’ home. At that meeting it was also confirmed by the two detectives that a fraud had taken place. But, as the document upon which a forged signature was found to be present was a copy (a very good one as it happens), the matter could not be taken further. The forger was said to be one of the two known suspects.

As before, the only conceivable inference to be drawn, using the balance of probabilities as the appropriate test, is that this/these record(s) have been purged by NYP. Which again, of course, engages section 77 of the Act. The list of suspects would, presumably, be small.

5. At Questions 7, 8 and 9 you state that no information is held. That, on any independent view is inconceivable given the vexed history of this matter - and the clear evidence of communication (and collusion) between the two forces whilst attempting to defeat both requests.

No detail is provided by NYP in finalising this request as to the nature and extent of the searches carried out, or which business areas of the force were contacted.

In the meantime, and once more, the only conceivable inference to be drawn, using the balance of probabilities as the appropriate test, is that records have been purged. Which yet again, of course, engages section 77 of the Act.

6. Taken in the round, this is a most unattractive way for two police forces to finalise disclosure requests. Regrettably, NYP has a lengthy and unappealing history of similar behaviour to take into account.

Taken even at its lowest, the conduct is both unlawful and unethical and it is right and proper that the officers concerned with the requests, and their chief constables, should face appropriate investigation. Preferably, by a force (or regulator) unconnected to either of Durham or NYP.

Finally, this What Do They Know thread will be forwarded to the Criminal Investigations Unit at the Information Commissioner's Office so that any alleged offences do not become statute barred.

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

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Civil Disclosure, North Yorkshire Police

Thank you for your email, please treat this as an acknowledgement of receipt.

Your email will be dealt with accordingly.

PLEASE NOTE: If your query is to address an urgent safeguarding concern then please redirect your enquiry to the Vulnerability Assessment Team on [email address]<mailto:[email address]>
The Vulnerability Assessment Team is available during office hours Monday to Friday.

Civil Disclosure Unit

Web: www.northyorkshire.police.uk<http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/>

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Civil Disclosure, North Yorkshire Police

Good morning Mr Wilby

Thank you for your email.

Please accept this email as acknowledgement to your request for an internal review for FOI 0863.2017-18.

Kind regards

Sarah Saunders
Collar Number 4868
Administrative Assistant (Civil Disclosure)
Joint Corporate Legal Services
North Yorkshire Police HQ
Alverton Court
Crosby Road
Northallerton
North Yorkshire
DL6 1BF

Tel: 0160 9643526

DX 68810 Northallerton 2

Committed to the Code of Ethics
Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number. If using my collar number please state each number individually

Web: www.northyorkshire.police.uk
Facebook: facebook.com/NorthYorkshirePolice
Twitter: twitter.com/NYorksPolice

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Fryar, Liz, North Yorkshire Police

1 Atodiad

Good afternoon,

 

Please see attached response to your request for an internal review
(863.2017-18),

 

Kind Regards

 

Liz

 

Liz Fryar

Collar Number 4437

Legal Officer – Civil Disclosure

Joint Corporate Legal Services

North Yorkshire Police

 

Please note my normal working days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and
Friday.

 

Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number.
If using my collar number please state each number individually.

 

[1]www.northyorkshire.police.uk

 

Committed to the Code of Ethics

 

THIS EMAIL AND ANY ATTACHMENT(S) MAY BE SUBJECT TO LEGAL PROFESSIONAL
PRIVILEGE - PLEASE DO NOT DISCLOSE THE CONTENT TO ANYONE ELSE WITHOUT
ASKING JOINT CORPORATE LEGAL SERVICES

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

 

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