Removal of Police Officers from Lambeth

Vauxhall Conservative Association Organising Secretary 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.

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Vauxhall Conservative Association Organising Secretary

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I understand that 160 police officers should be on duty in Lambeth each day, is that correct? If not what is the figure?

Can you also let me know how many officers which should be on duty in Lambeth each day are taken away to perform duties elsewhere?

Can you let me have the figures for each day of February 2012?

Yours faithfully,

Bernard Gentry

Vauxhall Conservative Association Organising Secretary

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr. Gentry

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012030001883
I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 12/03/2012.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

"I understand that 160 police officers should be on duty in Lambeth each
day, is that correct? If not what is the figure?        

Can you also let me know how many officers which should be on duty in
Lambeth each day are taken away to perform duties elsewhere?        

Can you let me have the figures for each day of February 2012?"

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 the MPS 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.

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.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet, which details your right of
complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

R. Loizou
Policy and Support Officer
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 and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

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
Public Access Office
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.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

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).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Gentry

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012030001883

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 12/03/2012.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

1.        I understand that 160 police officers should be on duty in
Lambeth each day, is that correct?  If not what is the figure?  
2.         Can you also let me know how many officers which should be on
duty in Lambeth each day are taken away to perform duties              
 elsewhere? Can you let me have the figures for each day of February 2012?
EXTENT OF SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION

To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted
at Lambeth Borough Police.

RESULT OF SEARCHES

The searches located information relevant to your request.  

DECISION

Having located and considered the relevant information to your request, I
am afraid that I am not required by statute to release the information
requested. This letter serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17(1) of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).

REASONS FOR DECISION
Section 31 creates an exemption from the right to disclose information if
releasing it would, or would be likely to, cause significant harm to the
functions of a public authority.  In relation to this case, I believe
disclosure of the information which you have requested would be likely to
cause significant harm to our ability to prevent and detect crime, and
would hinder our ability to apprehend and prosecute offenders.  This is
because disclosure of this information would provide the public, including
those with criminal intent, the necessary information to disrupt our
provision of services by exploiting any perceived weaknesses in specific
areas.  Therefore, section 31 of the Act is engaged.
As section 31 is a qualified, prejudice based exemption I am required to
provide you with a harm and public interest test.  Please see below.
Evidence of Harm
In considering whether or not this information should be disclosed, I have
considered the potential harm that could be caused by disclosure.
If officer deployment data were released into the public domain there
could potentially be substantial harm to the Police Service, as it could
inhibit our ability to fulfil our core policing functions. The release of
operational strength over a substantial period of time, in this case for
the month of February 2012, would furnish individuals or groups having the
intent to disrupt police activity with the necessary information to
effectively do just that, thereby hindering current and future operational
activity.  Through disclosure of this information, individuals wishing to
disrupt deployment could work out patterns in the days when we deploy more
officers than others, and through similar requests could work out which
boroughs appeared to be less protected in terms of officer numbers than
others.
This information would consequently increase the capability for criminals,
including extremist networks, to target innocent members of the public.
 If this information were in the public domain those wishing to do so
could, for example, see on which day of the month in Lambeth borough they
would be more likely to be able to commit a crime without being
apprehended or detected due to lower officer numbers.  
Exploitation of any perceived weakness would also be likely to put a
strain on resources, as we would be required to deploy extra officers on
days other than those they would normally be deployed to counteract any
harm which would be likely caused, rather than deploying officers where
and when they are most needed.  This would leave other areas vulnerable to
those who could use the opportunity to commit more crime in the belief
this would not be detected.
Thus, any release of information that would be likely to prejudice a
police services' ability to prevent and/or detect crime can only be viewed
as being harmful to members of the public.
Public Interest Test
Public interest considerations favouring disclosure
The aim of the Freedom of Information Act is to make government bodies
more open and transparent.  Releasing officer deployment data would make
the MPS openly accountable for officer staffing levels, showing that the
police deploy their resources in the most suitable manner with the numbers
available.  
The release of the requested information would also demonstrate to the
public the measures taken by the police to utilise resources where and
when they are believed to be most needed.
Public interest considerations favouring non-disclosure
To release the requested information about deployment levels on specific
dates in a specific borough would be likely to hinder the ability of the
Service to prevent and detect crime, as well as hinder our ability to
apprehend offenders.  If the disclosure of information through FOIA would
be likely to cause harm and have such a negative impact on crime levels,
the public's fear of crime, or public safety it can not be seen to be in
the public interest.
Information regarding police deployment data is a valuable commodity to
individuals (and/or organisations) wishing to commit crime, as it provides
an insight into tactics and resources available to the MPS.  Therefore,
those seeking to commit criminality could counter any future policing
tactics by seeing patterns in our deployments and thus elude justice.
 This will ultimately have a detrimental impact on innocent members of the
public living or travelling within the MPS district - as the levels of
crime would increase, and consequently so would the public's fear.
The publication of the number of officers we have available to us on
certain days could lead to those with criminal intentions taking
'informed' steps to counter policing, thereby potentially reducing police
effectiveness and reducing public confidence.
Releasing the requested information would be likely to leave the MPS
vulnerable to criminals utilising the information for malicious intent,
including potential terrorist threats.  This could lead to an increase in
crime if offenders believed they were less likely to be apprehended in
certain areas and in certain days or months in the future.  This is
particularly the case as this request is for Lambeth borough over a
sustained recent period, enabling people to 'map' periods of officer
deployment in February 2012 and make informed estimates about similar
times during other months.
As crime prevention/detection is in the 'public's interest', any release
of information which would be likely to prejudice our ability to prevent
and/or detect crime could only be viewed as being harmful to the public
interest.
Balancing Test
After weighing up the competing interests I have determined that the
disclosure of the requested information would not be in the public
interest.  I consider that the benefit that would result from the
information being disclosed does not outweigh disclosing information
relating to the number of officers deployed daily and on these specific
dates in Lambeth.  
Although the MPS appreciates that there is a substantial amount of
interest in knowing the level of resources available to us on a 'normal'
day in comparison to those required for example on a day like those during
last summer's disorder, the MPS believes the public interest can be
satisfied by the figures which have already been published (please see the
following link where these figures can be found: HMIC report Demanding
Times 2011)
http://www.hmic.gov.uk/SiteCollectionDoc...

Therefore, any further breakdown, such as that requested, could cause
significant harm to the MPS as described above, and this can not be seen
to be in the interest of the public in terms of policing.  Therefore, the
balance falls in favour of non-disclosure at this time and the information
is exempt.
Legal Annex
Section 17(1) of the Act provides:
(1)        A public authority which, in relation to any request for
information, is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision in
part II relating to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request
or on a claim that information is exempt information must, within the time
for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which-
(a) states the fact,
(b) specifies the exemption in question, and
(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies.
Section 31(1)(a)(b) of the Act provides:
(1)        Information which is not exempt information by virtue of
section 30 is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would,
or would be likely to, prejudice—
(a) the prevention or detection of crime,
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to make a complaint.  

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on 020 87213610 or at the address at the top of this letter,
quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Bibi Karim
Information Manager

In complying with their statutory duty under sections 1 and 11 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed information, the
Metropolitan Police Service will not breach the Copyright, Designs and
Patents Act 1988. However, the rights of the copyright owner of the
enclosed information will continue to be protected by law.  Applications
for the copyright owner's written permission to reproduce any part of the
attached information should be addressed to MPS Directorate of Legal
Services, 1st Floor (Victoria Block), New Scotland Yard, Victoria, London,
SW1H 0BG.
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 and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

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
Public Access Office
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.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

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).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Vauxhall Conservative Association Organising Secretary

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 'Removal of Police Officers from Lambeth'.

The reason for refusal is that it would assist criminals to know where police resources are below the stated level. It is absurd to say that criminals or anyone else is not aware of the shortage of police officers in Lambeth.

Indeed Safer Neighbourhood Panel Chairs are well aware of these figures already.

The issue here is one of public interest and confidence in the statements being given out by the police.

If as I have been reliably informed a large proportion of police officers in Lambeth are being withdrawn on a daily basis to carry out duties elsewhere then the people of Lambeth have a right to know that. Indeed if that is happening it is unclear how the MPS can fulfill its committment to the people of Lambeth which is based on a full compliment of police.

It is also the case that these figures are known to a number of people already and in no way can be considered confidential.

It is also the case that I have not asked for current or future information but historical information going back to Feb 2012.

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

Yours faithfully,

Bernard Gentry

Vauxhall Conservative Association Organising Secretary

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Gentry

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012040000075

I write in connection with your request for a review of the original MPS
decision relating to Freedom of Information request ref:2012030001883.  

Your request for a review will now be considered in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).  You will receive a response to
your request for a review of the original MPS case within a timescale of
20 working days.  In some circumstances the MPS 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.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet, which details your right of
complaint.

Yours sincerely

Brian Wilson
FOIA Complaints Officer
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 and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

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
Public Access Office
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.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

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).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Vauxhall Conservative Association Organising Secretary

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

More then 20 days have passed since I asked for a review.

Can you please let me know if you are going to provide the information requested?

Yours faithfully,

Bernard Gentry

Vauxhall Conservative Association Organising Secretary

Gadawodd Vauxhall Conservative Association Organising Secretary anodiad ()

As no response has been received I have made a complaint to the Information Commissioner.

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Gentry

Freedom of Information Internal Review Reference No: 2012040000075

I write in connection with your correspondence dated 30/03/2012 requesting
that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) review its response dated
29/03/2012 to your request for information relating to Freedom of
Information Request reference number 201203001883.  I have numbered your
queries as follows:  

1. I understand that 160 police officers should be on duty in Lambeth each
day, is that correct?  If not what is the figure?  
2. Can you also let me know how many officers which should be on duty in
Lambeth each day are taken away to perform duties elsewhere? Can you let
me have the figures for each day of February 2012?

DECISION

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has completed its review and has
decided to:
·        Vary the decision

In relation to question 1, this information is not held.

There is not a set figure for the number of officers that should be on
duty each day.  Although the core response teams have a minimum staffing
level, the number of officers that should be on duty in Lambeth varies
each day depending upon a range of factors such as the anticipated demand.

Information in relation to question 2 is exempt subject to the provisions
of:
·        Section 17(1)
·        Section 31(1)(a) & (b)

REASON FOR DECISION        

Please see the legal annex for the sections of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 that are referred to in this letter.

I believe that the MPS response dated 29/03/2012 correctly identified the
public interest factors relevant to your request. Therefore, I have
re-considered the balance of the public interest in relation to your
request.

It is pertinent to note that the public interest is not what interests the
public but what will be of greater good, if released, to the community as
a whole.

Balance of Public Interest

The strongest argument for disclosure is the consideration of ensuring
that the MPS are transparent and accountable.  The strongest argument
favouring non-disclosure is the prevention and detection of crime and the
apprehension/prosecution of offenders.

The Freedom of Information Act is designed to place information into the
public domain. Therefore, once access to information is granted to one
person under the Act, it is then considered to be public information and
must be communicated to any individual upon request.  In accordance with
this principle, the MPS adopts an applicant and motive blind approach when
responding to requests for information and routinely publishes information
disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act on the MPS Internet site
(http://www.met.police.uk/foi/disclosure/...).

Freedom of Information Act requests (and related complaints) are
considered on a case-by-case basis.  However, when considering the harm in
disclosure, the Information Commissioner and Information Tribunal has
previously accepted the potential for multiple information requests
relating to the deployment of police resources to assist criminals in
ascertaining or inferring the focus of law enforcement resources and thus
potentially enabling them to adapt their behaviour to evade detection or
alter their perception of risks involved.

Although question 2 is limited to a single month, the basic rationale in
relation to any disclosure decision is likely to be the same in relation
to similar requests relating to different boroughs and/or months.
 Therefore, if it is appropriate to disclose the information requested in
relation to Lambeth and for each day in February 2012, the month
immediately prior to your request, similar information in relation to
different boroughs and time periods would also be considered appropriate
for disclosure, all things being equal.

With this in mind, it is legitimate to consider the harm that would be
caused by a series of disclosures relating to similar requests for
information over a period of time which would effectively require
disclosing the information requested for each day for the whole of the MPS
on a monthly basis.  This is in addition to any other factors that are
specific to the information requested.

The public interest would not be served by disclosing information in
response to speculation or assertions. For example, if disclosure were
justified when assertions were made about the policing resources deployed
in a particular area/time period there would be nothing to stop similar
assertions being made in relation to other areas/time periods.  

There are no significant factors that would justify disclosing information
in relation to your request that would not also apply to similar requests
for information.  As a consequence, I have given equal weight to the harm
that would result from disclosing the information requested and the harm
that would result from the disclosure of similar information in relation
to different time periods or boroughs.

This is in addition to the arguments provided to you in relation to your
original response which broadly outlined the harm in disclosure.

Individuals and groups with criminal intent are known to monitor police
deployments and other information in the public domain to facilitate the
planning of criminal activity.
The information requested is could be used either in isolation or combined
with other information that is available in the public domain or
accessible via other means by groups such as terrorists, organised
criminals and individuals engaging in public disorder.

For example, the United Nations ‘Report of the Working Group on Countering
the Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes’ cites 2 recent examples of
terrorist attacks that were facilitated by access to information available
on the Internet and states:

‘15. Three States wrote that they considered data mining on the Internet
to be an important use of the medium by terrorists or for terrorist
purposes. The Al-Qaida terrorist manual captured in Afghanistan notes that
'using sources openly available, it is possible to gather at least 80
percent of all information acquired about the enemy''.

The UK Threat Assessment of Organised Crime also highlights the value of
information regarding law enforcement resources where it states:

‘they (serious organised criminals) value, in particular, information on
law enforcement operations, intentions, techniques and capability’.
 
‘Organised criminals will monitor and respond quickly to law enforcement
actions and techniques’

The UK Threat Assessment of Organised Crime document is currently
unavailable online.  However, parts of the sections quoted above are also
referred to in paragraph 16 of ICO Decision Notice FS50142321.
www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/decisio...

The London riots in August 2011 is a high profile recent example that
demonstrates that individuals may engage in criminal activity in response
to their perception of the risk of being caught which is in part formed by
knowledge of the deployment of police officers at a point in time.  This
example also demonstrates how additional strain can be placed upon police
resources. The significance of this point is heightened at a time when the
police service is being required to adapt to a 20% reduction in funding by
2015.  All thing being equal, this would reduce the ability of the MPS to
adapt to the negative consequences of disclosure.  Furthermore, there is
likely to be an opportunity cost associated with any steps any step taken
to mitigate any harm that would result from disclosure which may adversely
affect other areas of policing.

There are also a number of alternative ways in which the legitimate public
interest may be served.  The MPS is accountable to the Mayor’s Office of
Policing and Crime (MOPAC).  The MPS are also subject to audits conducted
by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).  The legitimate
public interest in disclosure could also be served by disclosing the
information requested at a lower level of detail than that requested as
this may significantly reduce the harm in disclosure and alter the balance
of the public interest in relation to disclosure.

Access to information is essential to democratic discourse and open and
informed debate.  The disclosure of information facilitates transparency
and accountability and may increase citizens’ empowerment and
participation in society.  However, for the reasons explained above and in
the original MPS response to your request, I believe that the balance of
the public interest in this instance favours non-disclosure.  Therefore,
the information requested is fully exempt subject to the provisions of
section 31(1) and section 17(1).

Advice and assistance

I am able to provide you with some information relating to the month of
February as a whole.  This level of detail is sufficient to mitigate the
harm in disclosure whilst also serving the legitimate public interest in
disclosure.

The average number of police officers on duty each day in Lambeth BOCU in
February 2012 was 566.  This is the total number over the course of each
day, not the number on duty at any one time.

There were 986 instances of Lambeth Officers being on Aid in February
2012.  This equates to an average of 34 officers per day.

This information has been obtained from CARMS (Computer Aided Resource
Management System) and may not include the number of officers that were
planned to perform a duty elsewhere with less than 18 hours notice due to
the way in which this information is recorded.

You may also be interested in ICO Decision Notice FS50142321 which relates
to the harm in disclosing information relating to drug seizures at UK
ports.  One of the arguments, accepted in the circumstances of the case,
was the potential for multiple information requests to assist criminals in
ascertaining or inferring the focus of law enforcement resources and thus
potentially enabling them to evade detection.
www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/decisio...

I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise for any
inconvenience that may have been caused by the delay in providing you with
a full response to your complaint.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to contact the Information
Commissioner with your complaint.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on 0207 161 3705 or at the address at the top of this letter,
quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Brian Wilson
FOIA Complaints Officer

LEGAL ANNEX

Section 17(1) (Refusal of a request) of the Freedom of Information Act
2000 states:

(1) A public authority which, in relation to any request for information,
is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision in part II relating
to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request or on a claim
that information is exempt information must, within the time for complying
with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which-

(a) states the fact,
(b) specifies the exemption in question, and
(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...

Section 31(1)(a) & (b) (Law Enforcement) of the Freedom of Information Act
2000 states:

(1) Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is
exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be
likely to, prejudice-

(a) the prevention or detection of crime,
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...
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 and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

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
Public Access Office
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.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

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 Vauxhall Conservative Association Organising Secretary anodiad ()

I have complained again to the IC office about the failure to provide the information requested.