Executive Authority Surveillance

Independent Police Support Group made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Northamptonshire Police

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

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Northamptonshire Police.

Independent Police Support Group

Dear Northamptonshire Police,

In the last 3 years, how many times has an 'executive authority' been authorised to conduct surveillance against police officers.

Please provide details of the misconduct alleged and the outcome of each operation with regards to any sanction imposed.

Yours faithfully,

Independent Police Support Group

Brown Colin, Northamptonshire Police

Dear Sirs

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
Our Ref: 003819/11

I write in reply to your e-mail received 30/08/2011 requesting
information as reproduced below. Can you clarify please what you mean
by 'executive authority'.

Our reference for the request is 003819/11.

Your request is being processed and you may expect a reply within 20
working days, which will be 28/09/2011, (subject to clarification). In
some circumstances we may not be able to achieve this timescale, but if
this is likely to be the case you will be informed at the earliest
opportunity and given a revised timescale.

Yours sincerely

Colin Brown C1199 | Data Protection/FOI Officer
Information Unit, Professional Standards Department
03000 111 222 | Ext 2355
[email address]
Force Headquarters, Wootton Hall, Northampton, NN4 0JQ
In my absence please contact Ext 8003
The contents of this e-mail should be treated as RESTRICTED unless
otherwise indicated.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Independent Police Support Group

Dear Brown Colin,
When surveillance is being conducted. In relation to a crime authority is required. Under RIPA legislation.

If surveillance is being conducted regarding internal misconduct matters Which fall short of the criminal threshold an authority can be made usually by the head of psd to conduct surveillance by way of an 'executive authority' .

We hope this helps.

Yours sincerely,

Independent Police Support Group

Brown Colin, Northamptonshire Police

I am away from the office until Tuesday 13 September 2011. I will reply
to your email when I return. If you need assistance in the meantime please
contact Terri Collis on 2339.

If you are reporting a crime call 03000 111 222 or in an emergency call
999

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Brown Colin,

1 Atodiad

Dear  Sirs

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - REQUEST FOR INFORMATION 
Our Ref: 003819/11

With reference to your e-mail received 30/08/2011 requesting information
as reproduced below;

 In the last 3 years, how many times has an 'executive authority' been
authorised to conduct surveillance against police officers.

    
Please provide details of the misconduct alleged and the outcome of each
operation with regards to any sanction imposed.

Clarified as follows:

When surveillance is being conducted. In relation to a crime  authority is
required. Under RIPA legislation.
    
If surveillance is being conducted regarding internal misconduct matters
Which fall short of the criminal threshold an authority can be made
usually by the head of psd to conduct surveillance by way of an 'executive
authority' .

Northamptonshire Police can neither confirm nor deny that it holds the
information you requested as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 does not apply by virtue of exemption S31(3). 

Section 31, Law Enforcement, is engaged because if information were held,
it would be exempt from disclosure under Section 31(1)(g) and 31(2)(b):

S31(1)Information which is not exempt information by section 30 is exempt
information if its disclosure under the Act would, or would be likely to
prejudice:

(g) the exercise by any public authority of its functions for any of the
purposes specified in subsection (2)

(2)The purposes referred to in subsection (1)(g) to (i) are:

(b) the purpose of ascertaining whether any person is responsible for any
conduct which is improper.

Factors Favouring Compliance with Section 1(1)(a)

Confirming or denying that these powers have been used would increase
public scrutiny of processes designed to hold officers accountable for
inappropriate behaviour.

Factors favouring non-compliance with S1(1)(a)

To confirm or deny any Northamptonshire Police actions in this specialist
tactical area would undermine ongoing investigations, reveal policing
techniques and their levels of use and would also risk the identification
of individuals (given the overall number of police officers).

The Police Service is committed to demonstrating proportionality and
accountability regarding surveillance techniques to the appropriate
authorities.  However, if Northamptonshire Police were to either confirm
or deny that information were held in relation to the use of covert
surveillance tactics (such as Executive Authority) on its officers, the
tactic would either be compromised or significantly weakened.  If the
force denies a tactic is used in one request but then exempts for another,
requesters can determine the ‘exempt’ answer is in fact a technique used
in policing.  The impact could undermine the efficacy of key investigative
tools available to the force’s Professional Standards Department as it
would enable targeted individuals/groups to become surveillance aware. 
This would help subjects avoid detection, and inhibit the prevention and
detection of crime. 

It is therefore my opinion that the balance lies in favour of neither
confirming nor denying that the information exists as compromising tactics
outweigh the factor favouring compliance with S1(1)(a).

I trust you find this information to be satisfactory but if you have any
further queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

Northamptonshire Police provides a review and appeals procedure within the
terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. If you decide to make an
appeal and, having followed the full process you are still dissatisfied,
you will then have the right to direct your comments to the Information
Commissioner who will give due consideration to the matter. See Appendix
'a' attached.

Yours sincerely

Colin Brown C1199 | Data Protection/FOI Officer
Information Unit, Professional Standards Department
03000 111 222 | Ext 2355
[email address]
Force Headquarters, Wootton Hall, Northampton, NN4 0JQ
In my absence please contact Ext 8003

The contents of this e-mail should be treated as RESTRICTED unless
otherwise indicated.
<<appeals procedure.doc>>

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir