Equipment used by Armed Police within Avon and Somerset Constabulary

A Baxter 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,

I am requesting the information of what firearms are used by armed officers, and in what situation that some (Specialized weapons, eg: A
sniper rifle) would be used.
I am asking for the make of weapon and the model, and variant if
applicable. (eg: Heckler and Koch G36[c])

With this, I am also asking for the information of vehicles
(Manufacturer and model) used by any officers that are either
routinely armed or armed within special situations.

This information is purely out of interest, and for research into Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

Yours faithfully,

A Baxter

#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 Our Reference 931/14

A Baxter
Your reference  
[1][FOI #227557 email]

  Date 1^st
September
  2014

 

 

Dear A. Baxter,

 

I write in connection with your request for information dated 30^th August
2014  concerning Equipment used by Armed Police within Avon and Somerset
Constabulary.  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.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

C Quartey

 

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

Corporate Information Management Department

Force Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road,

Portishead, Bristol, BS20 8QJ

Facsimile 01275 814667

    

 

Private Our Reference 931/14

A Baxter Your reference  

[1][FOI #227557 email] Date 29 September
2014
 

 

Dear A Baxter

 

I write in connection with your request for information dated 30^th August
concerning firearms. 

 

I regret to inform you that Avon and Somerset Constabulary have not been
able to complete its response to your request by the date originally
stated. 

 

I now advise you that the amended date for a response is no later than
27^th October.  This is due to consideration being given to the
application of a qualified exemption, and as such will require further
consideration regarding the public interest test.  I can assure you that
every effort will be made to ensure an appropriate response will be made
within this new timescale.

 

May I apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your
request.

 

 

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.

 

 

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

Email foirequests@avonandsomerset.police.uk    

 

 

 

 

Private Our Reference 931/14

A Baxter Your reference  

[1][FOI #227557 email] Date 24 October
2014
 

 

Dear A Baxter

 

I write in connection with your request for information dated 30^th August
concerning firearms. 

 

Specifically you asked:

1. I am requesting the information of what firearms are used by armed
officers, and in what situation that some (Specialized weapons, e.g.: A
sniper rifle) would be used.

 

No information is recorded concerning the situations in which firearms are
used. Each incident is assessed by senior officers as the incident
unfolds. The most appropriate firearm for the circumstances will be used.
The use of firearms is governed by the College of Policing Authorised
Professional Practice for Armed Policing. This document provides
information about armed policing operations. I have provided a link for
ease of reference:

 

[2]http://www.app.college.police.uk/app-con...

 

2. I am asking for the make of weapon and the model, and variant if
applicable. (e.g.: Heckler and Koch G36[c])

 

The Constabulary uses the following firearms:

Glock 17 self-loading pistol

Heckler and Koch G36C

Taser X26

Heckler and Koch 37mm L104A12

Heckler & Koch MP5

Remington 870 pump action shotgun

Blaser L 93

Benelli 12 gauge self-loading shotgun

 

3. With this, I am also asking for the information of vehicles
(Manufacturer and model) used by any officers that are either routinely
armed or armed within special situations.

 

Information concerning the vehicles used by armed officers is exempt from
disclosure under Section 31(1)(a)(b) – Law Enforcement.  This is a
prejudice based qualified exemptions and there is a requirement to
evidence the prejudice (harm) in disclosure and consider the public
interest to ensure exempting the information is appropriate. Please find
this below.

 

Harm of Disclosure

To disclose information concerning the types of vehicles used in armed
response could identify the constabulary’s capability and tactics used. If
the public were to be made aware of the types of vehicles used, it would
have a detrimental impact on law enforcement as criminally minded
individuals would be aware of the vehicles and would be enabled to map
police resources.  This would also aid the criminal fraternity to avoid
apprehension and detection. Moreover, identification of the armed response
vehicles makes them vulnerable as there is a greater risk of these
vehicles being targeted for vandalism and/or theft of firearms.

 

As such the officers themselves would be placed in greater danger if
identified and there is of course a significant risk to public safety
should criminals avoid detection and potentially be enabled to target our
armed vehicles for theft.

 

Public Interest Considerations

Factors favouring disclosure

There is a public interest in the community being made aware of all the
facts relating to this area of policing in order to ensure complete
openness and transparency. This information would go some way to ensuring
that debates around these issues are accurate.

 

Factors favouring non-disclosure

To provide information about the make and models of vehicles that are used
by firearms officers would result in tactics being compromised and could
inform the public what vehicles are used in undercover operations. It is
rare that specific tactical details will be disclosed, as to do so will
invariably release law enforcement techniques and place the Police Service
nationally at a tactical disadvantage.

 

Disclosure of this information could allow those vehicles to be
identified, making them a potential target for theft of firearms and also
making the vehicles a target for damage or destruction. The disclosure of
this information would also allow individuals with criminal intent to
target those vehicles in order to divert resources. Release of this
information would jeopardise Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s ability to
prevent and detect crime by identifying specialist units simply by the
type of vehicle they drive which in turn could lead to malicious action by
criminals to prevent this resource being deployed.

Disclosure of this detail could threaten the ability of the constabulary
to protect the public and respond to criminal activity appropriately.

 

Balancing Test

 

When balancing the public interest test the competing arguments for and
against disclosure need to be weighed against each other.

 

In this instance the importance of accountability and transparency with
regards to the vehicles used is recognised, however our ability to
effectively enforce the law and ensure public safety outweighs the
arguments favouring disclosure.  As such we feel the balance falls heavily
in the favour of non-disclosure. 

 

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

C Quartey

 

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