Spending on the Julian Assange case

John Smith 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 rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Hi,

please tell me how much money have you spent on case of Julian Assange since June 19, 2012 when he took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Also, please tell me what resources you are currently devoting to this case in terms of officers, equipment and any third-party involvement (for example, private security firms.

Yours faithfully,

John Smith

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr. Smith

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2013010003039
I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 28/01/2013.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

"please tell me how much money have you spent on case of Julian Assange
since June 19, 2012 when he took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in
London.    

Also, please tell me what resources you are currently devoting to this
case in terms of officers, equipment and any third-party involvement (for
example, private security firms. "

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
Administration Team 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

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Hi, by law, you should have replied to my request by February 25.

Please reply as soon as possible,

Yours faithfully,

John Smith

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Smith

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2013010003039

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 28/01/2013.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

* please tell me how much money have you spent on case of Julian Assange
since June 19, 2012 when he took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in
London.     Also, please tell me what resources you are currently
devoting to this case in terms of officers, equipment and any
third-party involvement (for example, private security firms.

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.

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.

I am sorry to inform you that we have not been able to complete our
response to your request by the date originally stated, as we are
currently considering whether 'qualified exemptions' apply to the
information you have requested.

For your information we are considering the following exemption(s):-  
Sec.24 National Security and Sec.31 Law Enforcement.

I can now advise you that the amended date for when a response should be
sent is Friday 8th March 2013.  Should there be any further delay, I will
advise you accordingly.

May I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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 0208 721 5361 or at the address at the top of this letter,
quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Steve Griggs
SO6 Information Manager

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 700Case reference: 2013010003039

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 Smith

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2013010003039

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 28/01/2013.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

"Please tell me how much money have you spent on case of Julian Assange
since June 19, 2012 when he took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in
London.

Also, please tell me what resources you are currently devoting to this
case in terms of officers, equipment and any third-party involvement (for
example, private security firms)."

I have responded below to each of the two points of your request.  With
regard to the first point concerning the costs, I have indicated below the
estimated cost of the policing operation.  However, with regard to your
second point concerning the resources deployed at the Ecuador Embassy,
please note that the supply of this information has been refused as
detailed below.

The estimated total cost of policing the Ecuadorian embassy between 19
June 2012 to 31 January 2013 is £2.9 million, of which £2.3 million is
opportunity costs (Police Officer Pay costs that would be incurred in
normal duties) and £0.6 million additional costs (estimated additional
Police Overtime as a direct result of the deployments at the Ecuadorian
embassy).

Section 17 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.

In accordance with the Act, this letter represents a Refusal Notice for
this particular request by virtue of the following exemption:

Section 31(1)(a)(b) Law Enforcement,

Section 31 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides an exemption
for information if disclosure would be likely to prejudice the enforcement
of law.
31(1)(a) Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section
30 is exempt if its disclosure under this Act would, or would likely to
prejudice the prevention or detection of crime.

Harm for Section 31

Whilst the MPS confirm that they do currently deploy officers to the
policing operation outside the Ecuador Embassy, if they were to then
confirm and provide specific details, it could compromise the safety and
effectiveness of this operation. This could lead to an unnecessary
understanding of the type of tactics used for policing operations which
may then be detrimental to other similar operations conducted by the
Metropolitan Police Service.

Public Interest Test

Public interest considerations in favour of disclosing the information for
S31

Disclosure of the resources devoted to this case would show the public
what their public money has been spent on. There is already a large amount
of information in the public domain regarding this high profile case and
disclosure of the requested information would help raise awareness as to
the processes that the Police Service are engaged in.

Public interest considerations against disclosure of the information for
S31

Disclosure of the resources devoted to this case would enable the criminal
fraternity to establish the MPS tactical capabilities in managing a case
such as this. Law enforcement tactics would therefore be compromised and
individuals placed at risk. This would hinder the prevention and detection
of crime, undermine the partnership approach to law enforcement and impact
on police resources

Balance test

The Police Service is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and
detecting crime and protecting the communities they serve, and the MPS
will not disclose information, if it might jeopardise these important
functions. Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of
policing operations and providing assurance that the police service is
appropriately and effectively engaging with the threat posed by criminals,
there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding the integrity of
police investigations and operations in this highly sensitive area. As
much as there is public interest in knowing that the MPS are conducting
their investigations correctly and that policing activity is appropriate
and balanced in matters of this function, this will only be overridden in
exceptional circumstances.

It is therefore our opinion that for these issues the balancing test for
disclosing the information, is not made out.

In addition the Metropolitan Police Service can neither confirm nor deny
that it holds any other information relevant to your request as the duty
in s1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply, by
virtue of the following exemptions:

Sec. 23(5) Information from or relating to certain security bodies,
Sec. 24(2) National Security,

Section 23 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides an exemption to
information supplied directly or indirectly by bodies dealing with
security matters.

Section 23(5) Information supplied by, or concerning, certain security
bodies. Section 23 is a class based absolute exemption and there is no
requirement to consider the public interest test in this area

Section 24 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides safeguards for
the purpose of national security. It exempts security information held by
authorities which does not fall within section 23.
24(2) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent
that, exemption from section 1(1)(a) is required for the purpose of
safeguarding national security. This exemption is qualified and prejudice
based and, as such, I am required to evidence any harm and complete a
public interest test

Harm for Section 24

Any disclosure under FOIA is a disclosure to the world at large, and
confirming or denying whether any other information is held regarding
resources used in this case including officers, equipment and third-party
involvement, would prejudice law enforcement and national security.

To confirm or deny the existence of any further information would identify
the possible use of other policing tactics and resources which may or may
not be used during this particular policing operation and could therefore
be used to the advantage of terrorists or criminal organisations. The
release of any Information that undermines the operational integrity of
these activities will adversely affect public safety and have a negative
impact on both national security and law enforcement. Any compromise of
such tactics by forces would substantially prejudice the ability of forces
to police this and future events.  

Public interest considerations favouring NCND for Section 24.

National Security
To confirm or deny whether further information is held would provide an
insight into how the police service interacts with different bodies and
organisations that have responsibilities for the provision of security
services.

It would also enable the public to have a better understanding of
effectiveness of the police and the resources they each have. The
confirmation that further information does or does not exist could allow
the public to make informed decisions about police procedures and the
money spent. This would greatly assist in the quality and accuracy of
public debate, which would otherwise likely be subject to rumour and
speculation.

Public interest considerations not favouring NCND for Section 24

National Security
As the MPS have responsibility for a number of national policing
functions, the confirmation or denial that any other information is held
concerning the police operation at the Ecuador Embassy would potentially
compromise the security at both this embassy and other similar locations.
 Also, it could identify other work which may or may not be undertaken by
other security bodies and organisations that are required to operate in a
covert manner within the Law enforcement environment.

The threat to such locations will not only affect those persons that maybe
subject to a police operation, but also to members of the public that may
attend public areas in the vicinity.

The confirmation or denial that further information is held regarding the
level of police officers and actual resources deployed to particular
operations is likely to provide a valuable indication of the tactics being
used. This will potentially expose any vulnerabilities that could be used
by determined individuals or groups that threaten a location.  This
information is likely to apply not just to current known operations, but
also to future operations where similar tactics and resources may be
deployed.

Balancing Test

The security of the country is of paramount importance and the MPS will
not divulge whether further information is or is not held if to do so
would place the safety of an individual at risk or undermine National
Security. After weighing up the competing interests I have determined that
confirming or denying that any other information is held would not be in
the public interest. I consider that the benefit that would result from
the disclosure that further information is or is not held does not
outweigh the confirmation or denial that information is held relating to
the police operation outside the Ecuadorian Embassy.

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 0208 721 5361 or at the address at the top of this letter,
quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Steve Griggs
SO6 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 700Case reference: 2013010003039

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