'If asked' responses

John Smith made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Greater Manchester Police

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 Greater Manchester Police,

Please provide me with all the 'if asked' statements held by GMP's press office staff relating to incidents in January 2013. To clarify, 'if asked' statements are statements given by, or agreed by, senior police officers, which seek to explain incidents that have occured in the Force area or involving Force staff. These statements are provided to media outlets only on request. Please note: My first request was for 'if asked' responses in 2012. My second was for responses between October and December 2012.
I am hoping that narrowing it down to one month may make it easier for you to collect the information.

Yours faithfully,

John Smith

Greater Manchester Police

Dear John Smith,

In regards to the below FOI request, I can confirm that to collate the
information being requested for would still take over 18hrs work.  Having
looked at GMP's previous responses to you (providing advice and
assistance) it was advised that you refine your request by specify a date
(i.e 01/02/12) not a month.

Regards

Caroline Barker
Information Compliance and Records Management Unit
Information Services Branch - Business Operations
Greater Manchester Police
c/o Openshaw Complex, Lawton Street, Manchester M11 2NS

External Tel: 0161 856 2532
Internal Extension: 62532
email: [1][email address]

From: John Smith <[FOI #149676 email]>
To: FOI requests at Greater Manchester Police
<[Greater Manchester Police request email]>
Date: 13/02/2013 09:58
Subject: Freedom of Information request - 'If asked' responses

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Dear Greater Manchester Police,
   
    Please provide me with all the 'if asked' statements held by GMP's
    press office staff relating to incidents in January 2013. To
    clarify, 'if asked' statements are statements given by, or agreed
    by, senior police officers, which seek to explain incidents that
    have occured in the Force area or involving Force staff. These
    statements are provided to media outlets only on request. Please
    note: My first request was for 'if asked' responses in 2012. My
    second was for responses between October and December 2012.
    I am hoping that narrowing it down to one month may make it easier
    for you to collect the information.
   
    Yours faithfully,
   
    John Smith
   
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
   
    Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
    [FOI #149676 email]
   
    Is [Greater Manchester Police request email] the wrong address for Freedom
    of Information requests to Greater Manchester Police? If so, please
    contact us using this form:
    [2]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/contact
   
    Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be
    published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
    [3]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offic...
   
    If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your
    web manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.
   
   
    -------------------------------------------------------------------

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Manchester Police for a less urgent matter call 101.
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Dear Caroline,

thank you for your reply. Can I request 'if asked responses' held on February 12, 2013, then?

Yours faithfully,

John Smith

Greater Manchester Police

Dear John Smith,

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by Greater Manchester Police today.

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act). You will receive a response within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, subject to
the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third
party.
In some circumstances Greater Manchester Police may be unable to achieve
this deadline.  If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised
time-scale at the earliest opportunity.
There may be a fee payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of
the information you request.  If this is the case you will be informed and
the 20 working day timescale will be suspended until we receive payment
from you. If you choose not to make payment then your request will remain
unanswered.

Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to
another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest
possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.
Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please write
or contact The Information Access Team, on telephone number 0161 856 2529

Kind regards

Information Access Team

From: John Smith <[FOI #149676 email]>
To: [email address]
Date: 13/02/2013 13:57
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - 'If asked' responses

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Dear Caroline,
   
    thank you for your reply. Can I request 'if asked responses' held
    on February 12, 2013, then?
   
    Yours faithfully,
   
    John Smith
   
   

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Greater Manchester Police

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr John Smith,

Please see attached document.

Regards

Caroline Barker
Information Compliance and Records Management Unit
Information Services Branch - Business Operations
Greater Manchester Police
c/o Openshaw Complex, Lawton Street, Manchester M11 2NS

External Tel: 0161 856 2532
Internal Extension: 62532
email: [1][email address]

From: John Smith <[FOI #149676 email]>
To: [email address]
Date: 13/02/2013 13:57
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - 'If asked' responses

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Dear Caroline,
   
    thank you for your reply. Can I request 'if asked responses' held
    on February 12, 2013, then?
   
    Yours faithfully,
   
    John Smith
   
   

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Greater Manchester Police,

Hi,

it has now been 13 days since you last updated me. Can you please provide me with this data?

Yours faithfully,

John Smith

Greater Manchester Police

Good morning John

Unfortunately the original case worker for this case is currently off
sick, and the person who has since been passed the case is on annual leave
this week.  As such, we will not be able to finalise this request until
next week.

We sincerely apologise for the delay, and will ensure you receive the
requested information as soon as possible.

Kind regards
 
Sarah Browne

From: John Smith <[FOI #149676 email]>
To: [email address]
Date: 26/03/2013 09:54
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - 'If asked' responses -
GSA709/13

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Dear Greater Manchester Police,
   
    Hi,
   
    it has now been 13 days since you last updated me. Can you please
    provide me with this data?
   
    Yours faithfully,
   
    John Smith
   
   

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Greater Manchester Police

Dear Mr John Smith

with reference to your FOI request submitted on 13.02.13, this is to
advise that unfortunately, due to staff absences and limited resources,
Greater Manchester Police have not been able to complete your request by
the extended date of 27.03.13.

Searches with the relevant depts are ongoing and we will respond to your
request as soon as possible.

Please do not hesitate to contact me on telephone number 0161 856 2529 if
I can be of any further assistance.

kind regards

Philip Humphreys
Information Compliance & Records Management Unit
Greater Manchester Police
Tel 0161 856 2529
Follow us on twitter @gmpolice

To contact the police in an emergency call 999 or to contact Greater
Manchester Police for a less urgent matter call 101.
For the latest news and information about your Neighbourhood Policing Team
visit www.gmp.police.uk. You can also follow us on Twitter:
www.twitter.com/gmpolice or find us on Facebook:
www.facebook.com/GtrManchesterPolice , Flickr: www.flickr.com/gmpolice or
YouTube: www.youtube.com/gmpolice

This e mail carries a disclaimer, a copy of which may be read at:
   
http://www.gmp.police.uk/emaildisclaimer

Dear Greater Manchester Police,

I completely understand. I would be happy to wait another 10 days.

Yours faithfully,

John Smith

Greater Manchester Police

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Smith

with reference to your recent FOI request please find attached the requested information. Apologies for the delay in responding, as previously advised, and for any inconvenience this may have caused.

kind regards

Philip A Humphreys
Information Compliance and Records Management Assistant
Information Compliance and Records Management Unit
Information Services Branch - Business Operations
Greater Manchester Police
c/o Openshaw Complex, Lawton Street, Manchester M11 2NS
Tel : 0161 856 2529
Ext : 62511
Follow us on Twitter @gmpolice

*NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED*

To contact the police in an emergency call 999 or to contact Greater Manchester Police for a less urgent matter call 101.
For the latest news and information about your Neighbourhood Policing Team visit www.gmp.police.uk. You can also follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gmpolice or find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GtrManchesterPolice , Flickr: www.flickr.com/gmpolice or YouTube: www.youtube.com/gmpolice

This e mail carries a disclaimer, a copy of which may be read at:

http://www.gmp.police.uk/emaildisclaimer

Dear Greater Manchester Police,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews. I am writing to request an internal review of Greater Manchester Police's handling of my FOI request ''If asked' responses'.

Firstly, I asked for 'if asked' statements held on February 12. Instead, GMP has sent me statements created on February 12. This is not the same thing.

In my view 'held' means 'anything that was on the computer/email system of GMP staff, particularly press officers,' as of February 12.

Secondly, GMP has said it would cost them too much to source the information over a month or a longer period. I disagree.

All they would have to do is ask all the press officers to email all the 'if asked' statements they held on their email system to the person replying to the FOI request. That would take 10 minutes.

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

Yours faithfully,

John Smith

Greater Manchester Police

Dear Mr Smith

our ref GSA/709/13

many thanks for your email below.  May I seek clarification of your
request for review as unfortunately it is unclear which parts of the
processing of your request you require a review of.

I note your have made three requests, since 08.01.13,  on this subject
matter, our refs 90/13 in which you sought data for the whole of 2012,
407/13 in which you sought data for Oct 1 to Dec 31 2012 and this most
recent request 709/13 in which you sought data held for 12th Feb 2013.
 Having checked our responses I note 90/13 and 407/13 were both refused
via s12 of the Act and s16 advice was given regarding reducing the
requested time period.

By way of additional clarification I can advise the following:

"If Asked" statements are created by staff within the press office of GMP.
 These statements are held electronically, by incident, call etc recorded
(i.e. not centrally), by date, within that Unit.  Unfortunately the system
used for storing these statements does not allow for the easy retrieval of
statistical or any other data.  For staff within the press office to
retrieve, extract and collate the requested If Asked statements, would
require a manual assessment of each recorded, call, incident etc created
on the electronic system to ascertain if a If Asked statement was created.
 It is this manual process that would take in excess of 18 hours for a 12,
3 or even 1 month period.  This is why in our response to ref 407/13 we
specified a date should be able to be retrieved within the fees limit set
by the Act.

With regard to the first part of your request for review below, in which
you state "Firstly, I asked for 'if asked' statements held on February 12.
    Instead, GMP has sent me statements created on February 12. This is
not the same thing. In my view 'held' means 'anything that was on the
computer/email system of GMP staff, particularly press officers,' as of
February 12."  I believe our previous responses, and the additional
clarification above, address the fact that for manual searches for all
 If Asked statements "held" would take in excess of 18 hours, however
statements created as of that date can and were retrieved within the fees
limit and provided.

I trust this assists however please do not hesitate to contact me on
telephone number 0161 856 2529 if I can be of any further assistance.

If you wish to submit a request for internal review of the processing of
your request please advise accordingly, being as specific as possible as
to the part of the processing you wish a review on - i.e. decision made
regarding disclosure, acknowledgement, lack of assistance etc.

Kind regards

Philip

Philip Humphreys
Information Compliance & Records Management Unit
Greater Manchester Police
tel 0161 856 2529
Follow us on Twitter @gmpolice  
   

From: John Smith <[FOI #149676 email]>
To: FOI requests at Greater Manchester Police
<[Greater Manchester Police request email]>
Date: 04/04/2013 10:36
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - 'If asked'
responses

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Dear Greater Manchester Police,
   
    Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of
    Information reviews. I am writing to request an internal review of
    Greater Manchester Police's handling of my FOI request ''If asked'
    responses'.
   
    Firstly, I asked for 'if asked' statements held on February 12.
    Instead, GMP has sent me statements created on February 12. This is
    not the same thing.
   
    In my view 'held' means 'anything that was on the computer/email
    system of GMP staff, particularly press officers,' as of February
    12.
   
    Secondly, GMP has said it would cost them too much to source the
    information over a month or a longer period. I disagree.
   
    All they would have to do is ask all the press officers to email
    all the 'if asked' statements they held on their email system to
    the person replying to the FOI request. That would take 10 minutes.
   
    A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is
    available on the Internet at this address:
    [1]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/if...
   
    Yours faithfully,
   
    John Smith
   
   
   
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
    [FOI #149676 email]
   
    Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be
    published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
    [2]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...
   
    If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your
    web manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.
   
    -------------------------------------------------------------------

To contact the police in an emergency call 999 or to contact Greater
Manchester Police for a less urgent matter call 101.
For the latest news and information about your Neighbourhood Policing Team
visit www.gmp.police.uk. You can also follow us on Twitter:
www.twitter.com/gmpolice or find us on Facebook:
www.facebook.com/GtrManchesterPolice , Flickr: www.flickr.com/gmpolice or
YouTube: www.youtube.com/gmpolice

This e mail carries a disclaimer, a copy of which may be read at:
   
http://www.gmp.police.uk/emaildisclaimer

References

Visible links
1. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/if...
2. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

Dear Greater Manchester Police,

Thanks for your explanation Philip.

Can you tell me why such a manual assessment of each record is necessary?

I would have thought that the 'if asked' statement would have been recorded as a result of an officer informing a press officer of an incident and then the press officer writing the release and therefore it would be a simple case of checking the document/email for when that statement was written.

yours sincerely,

John Smith

Greater Manchester Police

Dear Mr Smith

many thanks for your email.  I'm sorry if my additional advice and the
information provided in the three responses to your requests has not
clarified how the information is held.  I will endeavour to explain again.

The press office use a computerised system to log a 'transcript' (record
of etc) all calls/incidents etc.  Within the entry for a particular
incident will be a record of calls received relating to that incident,
comments, diary notes etc and If Asked statements.  Unfortunately the
system used is not sufficiently sophisticated for statistical data to be
easily retrieved, indeed it is not a statistical database.

In order for the press office to locate If Asked statements held for a 12,
3 or 1 month period (or longer) the staff would have to manually
interrogate each entry to ascertain if a If Asked was created and is held
- this system being the only location such statements are held.  Therefore
that manual process would take in excess of 18 hours.

I trust this clarifies?

kind regards

Philip

Philip Humphreys
Information Compliance & Records Management Unit
Greater Manchester Police
Tel 0161 856 2529
Follow us on twitter @gmpolice

From: John Smith <[FOI #149676 email]>
To: [email address]
Date: 05/04/2013 14:07
Subject: Re: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - 'If
asked' responses

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Dear Greater Manchester Police,
   
    Thanks for your explanation Philip.
   
    Can you tell me why such a manual assessment of each record is
    necessary?
   
    I would have thought that the 'if asked' statement would have been
    recorded as a result of an officer informing a press officer of an
    incident and then the press officer writing the release and
    therefore it would be a simple case of checking the document/email
    for when that statement was written.
   
    yours sincerely,
   
    John Smith
   
   

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir