Publication of Operation Riverwood report

Dougal made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

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 llwyddiannus.

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

On 4th February 2013 the Metropolitan Police received a public complaint from the family of Rod Richardson, a young boy who had died in the 1970s. An undercover officer working for the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) had stolen this child’s identity for use in his undercover persona.

This matter was referred to the IPCC. The matter was returned to the Met and was the subject of a ‘local investigation’.

Can you release the final report, or as much of it as is possible without breaching confidentiality and your duty of care to the officer?

Yours faithfully,

Merrick Badger

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Badger

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2017090000437

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 14/09/2017.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

"On 4th February 2013 the Metropolitan Police received a public complaint
from the family of Rod Richardson, a young boy who had died in the 1970s.
An undercover officer working for the National Public Order Intelligence
Unit (NPOIU) had stolen this child’s identity for use in his undercover
persona.

This matter was referred to the IPCC. The matter was returned to the Met
and was the subject of a ‘local investigation’.

Can you release the final report, or as much of it as is possible without
breaching confidentiality and your duty of care to the officer?"

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.  

If you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please contact
us at [email address] or on the phone at 0207 161 3500, quoting the
reference number above. Should your enquiry relate to the logging or
allocations process we will be able to assist you directly and where your
enquiry relates to other matters (such as the status of the request) we
will be able to pass on a message and/or advise you of the relevant
contact details.

Yours sincerely

R. Loizou
Support Officer - Freedom of Information Triage Team
 
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Information Rights Unit
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively, write to or
phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 0303 123 1113

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email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
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Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Badger

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2017090000437

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 14/09/2017.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

'On 4th February 2013 the Metropolitan Police received a public complaint
from the family of Rod Richardson, a young boy who had died in the 1970s.
An undercover officer working for the National Public Order Intelligence
Unit (NPOIU) had stolen this child’s identity for use in his undercover
persona. This matter was referred to the IPCC. The matter was returned to
the Met and was the subject of a ‘local investigation’. Can you release
the final report, or as much of it as is possible without breaching
confidentiality and your duty of care to the officer?'

I am sorry to inform you that we have not been able to complete our
response to your request by the date originally stated.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act), we have 20 working
days to respond to a request for information unless we are considering
whether the information requested is covered by one of the 'qualified
exemptions' (exemptions which must be tested against the public interest
before deciding whether they apply to the information in question).

Where we are considering the public interest test against the application
of relevant qualified exemptions, Section 17(2)(b) provides that we can
extend the 20 day deadline.  Please see the legal annex for further
information on this section of the Act.

For your information we are considering the following exemption(s):

Section 30 - Investigations and proceedings

I can now advise you that the amended date for a response is 09/11/2017.

May I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me via email at [email address], quoting the reference number
above.

Yours sincerely

Brian Wilson
Information Law Advisor

LEGAL ANNEX

Section 17(2) provides:

(2) Where-

a) in relation to any request for information, a public authority is, as
respects any information, relying on a claim-
i) that any provision of Part II which relates to the duty to confirm or
deny and is not specified in section 2(3) is relevant to the request, or
ii) that the information is exempt information only by virtue of a
provision not specified in section 2(3), and
b) at the time when the notice under subsection (1) is given to the
applicant, the public authority (or, in a case falling within section
66(3) or (4), the responsible authority) has not yet reached a decision as
to the application of subsection (1)(b) or (2)(b) of section 2,
the notice under subsection (1) must indicate that no decision as to the
application of that provision has yet been reached and must contain an
estimate of the date by which the authority expects that such a decision
will have been reached.

 
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Information Rights Unit
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make an application to the Information
Commissioner please visit their website at www.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively,
write to or phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  0303 123 1113

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email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
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Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I wrote to you on 14 September asking for the release of the Operation Riverwood report. By law, you should have responded by 12 October unless you were considering exemptions.

On 12 October you wrote saying you were indeed doing just that, but you assured me that the new date for a response was 9 November.

It is now 10 November.

Yours faithfully,

Merrick Badger

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Badger,

Thank you for your correspondence dated 10/11/2017.

As previously advised, the MPS is currently considering the public interest in relation to your request. Enquiries are ongoing and a response will be provided to you as soon as possible and in any case no later than 07/12/2017.

With this in mind, please accept my apologies for the delay and thank you for your patience.

Regards,

Brian.

Brian Wilson | Information Law Advisor | Information Rights Unit | Strategy & Governance | MetHQ
Metropolitan Police Service
MetPhone 783705 | Telephone 020 7161 3705 | [email address]
Address: Information Rights Unit, PO Box 57192, London, SW6 1SF

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I wrote to you on 14/09/17 asking for the release of the Operation Riverwood report. By law, you should have responded by 12/10/17 unless you were considering exemptions.

On 12/10/17 you replied saying you were indeed doing just that, apologising for the delay and assuring me "I can now advise you that the amended date for a response is 09/11/2017".

You made no such response.

On 10/11/17 I wrote once again, you apologised again and gave me a fresh assurance that "a response will be provided to you as soon as possible and in any case no later than 07/12/2017".

It is now 08/11/17 you have still not given a response.

Once again, it was your choice of deadline, not mine. The only non-self imposed deadline you've had is your obligation under law which, as mentioned, passed before either of the subsequent ones.

Can you tell me what is going on, give a date by which you will give a response and, if possible, a reason why I should believe you this time?

Yours faithfully,

Merrick Badger

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)'s handling of my FOI request 'Publication of Operation Riverwood report'.

On 14/09/17 I asked the Metropolitan Police Service to release their Operation Riverwood report. On the same date the MPS replied "You will receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act." This did not happen.

On 12/10/17 the MPS wrote to apologise for failing to reply within the period stipulated by law, and said "the amended date for a response is 09/11/2017". That date came and went without any commiunication.

On 10/11/17 I wrote to the MPS again and was told "a response will be provided to you as soon as possible and in any case no later than 07/12/2017." That date also passed without any reponse.

On 08/12/17 I wrote once again, pointing out that they had missed their self-imposed deadlines twice in addition to the limit set by law. I asked what was going on and when I might expect an answer. I have received no reply of any kind. This is inexcusable.

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

Yours faithfully,

Merrick Badger

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Badger

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2017090000437

Thank you for your recent correspondence.

As previously advised, the MPS are considering qualified exemptions in
relation to your request.

There is no statutory time limit in relation to the length of time a
public authority may take to consider the public interest in relation to
the application of a qualified exemption. However, the Information
Commissioner’s Office has issued good practice guidance
(https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...)
that indicates that the total time taken to respond to a request should
not exceed 40 working days except in exceptional circumstances.

The circumstances of your request are exceptional to a degree as they
broadly relate to ongoing investigations and proceedings i.e. Operation
Herne and the Undercover Policing Inquiry. The MPS is currently dealing
with multiple requests and/or disclosure issues that are interrelated to
varying degrees.

Furthermore, while public authorities are not permitted to extend the
statutory time limit in relation to absolute exemptions, the requested
information also contains personal data. Therefore, section 40 is also
relevant to your request and the public interest balance in relation to
qualified exemptions.

An additional factor contributing to the delay is that the requested
information is protectively marked ‘Secret’. This reflects the sensitivity
of the requested information and issues relating to undercover policing
more generally, in addition to placing restrictions on the movement and
handing of related documentation.

It is generally recognised that while an investigation or set of
proceedings are ongoing, there will always be a strong public interest in
maintaining the section 30 exemption. Section 30 is a ‘class-based’
exemption and would apply to any ‘class’ of information that has been held
at any time for the purpose of an investigation that the MPS has a duty to
conduct (e.g. Operation Herne). Therefore, section 30 is applicable to the
entirety of your request, albeit subject to a public interest test.

Public authorities are not permitted to apply ‘blanket’ exemptions.
Therefore, it is necessary to assess each item of information within the
scope of your request. The MPS recognises the substantial public interest
factors favouring disclosure in the circumstances of your request and
related enquiries are still ongoing with a view to disclosing as much
information as possible.

Resourcing issues over the Christmas period have also contributed to the
delay in responding to your request. However, at the time of writing, I
believe that a substantive response is likely to be provided to you by
31/01/2018.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for the delay in
responding to your request and thank you for your patience.

Regards,

Brian Wilson
A/Senior Information Law Advisor

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authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
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any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

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Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Badger

Freedom of Information Review Reference No: 2018010000568

I write in connection with your request for a review of the handling
and/or decision relating to  2017090000437 which was received by the
Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on  11/01/2018.  

A review will now be conducted in accordance with the Code of Practice
issued under Section 45 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).
 The reviewing officer will reconsider the original request before
responding to you with their findings.

There is no statutory time limit in relation to the completion of an
Internal Review.  However, the MPS aim to complete Internal Reviews within
20 working days or in exceptional cases, within 40 working days.  This is
based upon guidance published by the Information Commissioner.

If it is not possible to complete the Internal Review within this
timescale you will be informed at the earliest opportunity.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of an Internal Review you may wish to
refer the matter to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

For information on how to make an application to the Information
Commissioner please visit their website at www.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively,
write to or phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  0303 123 1113

Yours sincerely

R. Loizou
Support Officer - Freedom of Information Triage Team

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Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Badger

Freedom of Information Review Reference No: 2018010000568

Further to our earlier correspondence dated 12/01/2018, I am now able to
provide a response to your complaint concerning Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) request reference number: 2017090000437.  

Section 10(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 states:

'Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a public authority must comply with
section 1(1) promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth
working day following the date of receipt.'

In the circumstances of your request, neither the information requested
nor a refusal notice was provided to you within 20 working days.
Therefore, the MPS have not complied with the requirements of section 10
of the Act.

I have made enquiries with the Information Manager (IM) with
responsibility for your FOIA request and note that they wrote to you on
11/01/2018 apologising for the delay. They also gave you an estimated date
by which you should receive a response (31/01/2018).
.
As a response to your request is currently outstanding, I am unable to
complete a full internal review in relation to your request. However,
should you be dissatisfied with the MPS response to your request, you may
request an internal review in relation to the decision.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise on behalf of the MPS
for any inconvenience caused by the time taken to respond to your Freedom
of Information Act request. The progress of your request will continue to
be monitored and the issues you have raised have been recorded, enabling
us to provide a more efficient and effective service in the future.

Yours sincerely

Yvetet Taylor
Information Manager

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email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
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any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
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this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
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Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Having had you ignore your own deadlines for response of 09/11/17 and then 07/12/17, and then ignore an email asking for an explanation, on 12/01/18 Yvette Taylor, Information Manager informed me of ‘an estimated date by which you should receive a response (31/01/2018)’.

I find myself unsurprised that this, too, has been and gone not only without a proper response but also without any comment, explanation or estimate of when I may finally receive an answer.

It is almost three months since the first of your self-set deadline dates.

I have registered a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office.

Yours faithfully,

Merrick Badger

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Badger

Thank you for your email dated 01/02/18.

On 2/2/17 I emailed Mr Wilson asking him to provide you with an update as the estimated deadline for providing you with a response has passed, however, he is currently away from the office. He is due back tomorrow. I will ask him to contact you as a matter of urgency.

Kind Regards

Yvette Taylor - Information Manager - Freedom of Information Team, Information Rights Unit (IRU)
STRATEGY & GOVERNANCE, MetHQ
Metropolitan Police Service
MetPhone 780074 | Telephone 020 7161 0074 | E-Mail: [email address]   
Address - Information Rights Unit, PO Box 57192, London SW6 1SF

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NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Recipients of this email should be aware that all communications within and to and from the Metropolitan Police Service are subject to consideration for release under the Data Protection Act, Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations. The MPS will consider information for release unless there is are valid and proportionate public interest reasons not to, therefore, sensitive information not for public disclosure must be highlighted as such. Further advice can be obtained from the Information Rights Unit - 0207 161 3500.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Having ignored three of your self-set extended deadlines, on 5 February you assured me that Brian Wilson would be asked to contact me as a matter of urgency. That was over a month ago and I have heard nothing.

On 20 February the Information Commissioners Office wrote to you, reminding you of your responsibilities and asking you to respond to me within 10 working days. You have ignored that as well.

When will I get a response?

Yours faithfully,

Merrick Badger

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Badger

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2017090000437

Further to my previous correspondence dated 11/01/2018, enquiries in
relation to your request are ongoing and I believe that the circumstances
of your request are exceptional for the reasons previously stated.

At the time of writing, I anticipate that a substantive response will be
provided to you by Friday 16th March 2018 or shortly thereafter.

Once again please accept my apologies for the delay and thank you for your
patience.

Yours sincerely

Brian Wilson
A/Senior Information Law Advisor

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the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
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legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

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Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Badger,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2017090000437

Further to my earlier correspondence, unfortunately I am unable to provide
you with a substantive response today.

I am now away from the office until April. However, I have arranged for
someone to progress this and hopefully send you a substantive response as
soon as possible.

If for any reason a response has not been provided to you within the next
2 weeks, I am confident that a response will be provided to you in the 1st
week of April upon my return.

Once again please accept my apologies for the delay.

Yours sincerely

Brian Wilson
Senior Information Law Advisor

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the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

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Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Having missed your legal obligation deadline and three subsequent deadlines that you set yourself, I find myself unsurprised that you have now missed your fourth self-imposed deadline of 16th March.

As you are probably aware, the Information Commissioner's Office has examined this case and found that you have breached sections 17(3) and 10(1) of the Freedom of Information Act.

The Commissioner requires you to issue a substantive response to my request - either disclosing the requested information or issuing a refusal notice which includes the outcome of any public interest considerations - by 19 April. Failure to comply may result in the Commissioner making written certification of this fact to the High Court pursuant to section 54 of the FOIA and may be dealt with as a contempt of court.

As well as finding above that you are in breach of the FOIA, the Commissioner has also made a record of the delay in this case. This may form evidence in future enforcement action against you should evidence from other cases suggest that there are systemic issues within the MPS that are causing delays.

Yours faithfully,

Merrick Badger

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Badger

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2017090000437

Please find attached the MPS response to your request for information
dated 14/09/2017 in which you asked for the final report in relation to a
public complaint (Operation Riverwood).

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise once again for the
delay in responding to your request.

Yours sincerely

Brian Wilson
Senior Information Law Advisor

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

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Gadawodd Edward Williams anodiad ()

Excellent work from the requestor.

Gadawodd Saifur Rahman anodiad ()

Merrick Badger (Dougal),

I applaud you in your work in pushing the Met to publish this information. It's a disgrace how they were grossly overdue with their response.