3 months of MPS ASU Flight Logs

The request was successful.

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

In response to FOI Request 2013090001351 I was informed that the MPS ASU keeps a database containing "flights, time and
general areas, i.e. borough". Would it be possible to release an export from this database, preferably in a .csv format, covering the period 1st March 2013 to 1st September 2013? If on the grounds of cost this period is too long then please shorten as appropriate. I hope this would include trip purpose; time and date; and the area dispatched to.

Many thanks.

Yours faithfully,

James Cheshire

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Cheshire

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2013090002046
I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 23/09/2013.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

I was informed that the MPS ASU keeps a database containing "flights, time
and general areas, i.e. borough". Would it be possible to release an
export from this database, preferably in a .csv format, covering the
period 1st March 2013 to 1st September 2013?

If on the grounds of cost this period is too long then please shorten as
appropriate. I hope this would include trip purpose; time and date; and
the area dispatched to.

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 email
or contact me on telephone number 020 7230 2003 quoting the reference
number above.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Beaumont
SC&O 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 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
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)

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cheshire
 
Freedom of Information Request Reference No:  2013090002046
 
I respond in connection with your request for information which was
received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 23/09/2013.  I note
you seek access to the following information:
 
In response to FOI Request 2013090001351 I was informed that the MPS ASU
keeps a database containing "flights, time and
 
general areas, i.e. borough". Would it be possible to release an export
from this database, preferably in a .csv format, covering the period 1st
March 2013 to 1st September 2013? If on the grounds of cost this period is
too long then please shorten as appropriate. I hope this would include
trip purpose; time and date; and the area dispatched to.
 
EXTENT OF SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION
 
To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted
within Specialist Crime and Operations - Air Support Unit.
 
RESULT OF SEARCHES
 
The searches located information relevant to your request.
 
DECISION
 
Please find attached information pursuant to your request above.
 
The Tab entitled Redacted has been redacted using Section 24(1) and
Section 31(1)(a)(b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act)
 
Section 24 of the Act provides - National security
 
(1) Information which does not fall within section 23(1) is exempt
information if exemption from section 1(1)(b) is required for the purpose
of safeguarding national security.
 
This is a qualified exemption for which I am required to conduct a public
interest test and provide evidence of harm.
 
Section 31 of the Act provides - Law Enforcement
 
(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‚ÄĒ
 
        (a) the prevention or detection of crime,
        (b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,
 
This is a qualified exemption for which I am required to conduct a public
interest test and provide evidence of harm.
 
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.
 
National security is not defined in the Act. However in the case of the
Norman Baker MP v. IC (2007) the House of Lords referred to the decision
in Secretary of State for the Home Department v. Rehman (2001):
 
(i) national security¬† means ‚Äėthe security of the United Kingdom and its
people’
(ii) the interests of national security are not limited to action by an
individual which can be said to be ‚Äėtargeted at‚Äô the UK, its system of
government or its people
(iii) the protection of democracy and the legal and constitutional systems
of the state is a part of national security as well as military defence
(iv) ‚Äėaction against a foreign state may be capable indirectly of
affecting the security of the United Kingdom’
(v) ‚Äėreciprocal co-operation between United Kingdom and other states in
combating international terrorism is capable of promoting the United
Kingdom’s national security’
 
Based on this definition national security encompasses a wide spectrum and
it is our duty to protect the people within the UK.  Public safety is of
paramount importance to the policing purpose and must be taken into
account in deciding whether to disclose any requested information.
 
To disclose all the details of the ASU flights would allow interested
parties to gain an upper hand and awareness of policing decisions used to
safeguard national security. Disclosure under the Act is a release to the
public at large. Therefore, to provide the requested data, this could
potentially be misused proving detrimental to national security.
 
Following a release of information under the Act, the public authority, in
this case the MPS, has no control over what use is made of that
information.  Whilst not questioning the motives of the applicant it could
be of use to those who seek to disrupt law enforcement as it would
disclose our operational capability levels to manage a national security
operations across the London area.  Disclosure would provide the public
with an insight into the police’s operational procedures, however, it
would also provide the people who wish to harm the citizens of London with
the opportunity of disrupting police activity.  This could be to the
detriment of providing an efficient policing service and a failure in
providing a duty of care to all members of the public.
 
Public Interest Test
 
The public interest is not what interests the public but what will be of
greater good if released to the community as a whole. It is not in the
public interest to disclose information, if held, that may compromise the
service's ability to accomplish its core functions of law enforcement and
national security.
 
Factors favouring disclosure for Section 24 - The release of this
information simply relates to national security and disclosure would not
actually harm it. The public are entitled to know how public funds are
spent with.
 
Factors favouring non-disclosure for Section 24 - To release information
regarding the details of the ASU flights would render security measures
less effective. In order to safeguard national security, there is a need
for the MPS to withhold its capability to manage national security
operations at secure sites.  A disclosure of this nature would compromise
ongoing or future operations and investigations which are designed to
protect the security or infra-structure of the UK, thereby increasing the
risk of harm to the public.
 
Factors favouring disclosure for Section 31 - By disclosing the details of
the ASU flights across London, the public would be able to see where
public funds have been spent at this secure site. There is a public
interest in accountability and justifying the use of public money.  For
the MPS to be fully transparent and open, it is appreciated there is a
public interest in providing information pertinent to these flights across
London.
 
Factors favouring non-disclosure for Section 31 - Disclosure of the
requested information would have the effect of compromising law
enforcement as it would tend to disclose the MPS’s operational capability
levels in the event of a terrorist incident.  The MPS would not wish to
disclose this data as by doing so the information could be used to hinder
the MPS from operating effectively and efficiently during such a terrorist
investigation. 
 
Balancing Test
 
The security of the country is of paramount importance and the Police
Service will not divulge information, if to do so would undermine National
Security.  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 various
groups, there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding both
national security and the integrity of police investigations and
operations in the highly sensitive area of the prevention of terrorism and
crime.
 
After weighing up the competing interests I have determined that
disclosing all the details of the ASU would not be in the public interest,
as to do so would expose the management of the MPS’s operational
capability levels.
 
I consider that the benefit that would result from the information being
disclosed does not outweigh non-disclosure of this specific information
relating to the request.
 
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 email
or contact me on telephone number 020 7230 2003 quoting the reference
number above.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
 
Andrew Beaumont
SC&O 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 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
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 [1]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

References

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