PO Box 9
Tel: 01924 296006
Our Ref: 2903/19
Dear N. Wilby, RE: Internal review of FOI 1452/19
I am in receipt of your request for an internal review of the response provided under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.
I have been asked to review the response as an independent person who was not involved
with the original request and subsequent response.
Your request 1452/19 asked for the following information:
A. Operation Waffle edge (this was spawned from the widely reported Operation Thatcham
cash-for-crash joint investigation by WYP, the Ministry of Justice and the Motor Fraud
Please disclose the following information, by way of the Act, concerning Waffleedge, an
investigation carried out by the Professional Standards Department of WYP in, or around,
2012 or 2013:
1. Date of first entry in policy book (or log).
2. Date last action is recorded in policy book (or log).
3. Name of Gold Commander
4. Name of Silver Commander.
5. Terms of reference (redacted to exclude any personal information).
6. Any electronic data held by WYP that can be retrieved by using the search term
'Insurance Fraud Consultants Ltd'.
7. Any electronic data that can be retrieved by using either of the search terms 'QV
Investigation Services' or 'QV Forensics' or 'qvforensics.com'
Operation Wafflehead was referred to a number of times by the parties and the judge, in
open court, on 8th February, 2019 at Bradford Combined Court Centre. At the conclusion of
those proceedings, I was given permission by HHJ Neil Davey QC to address him from the
press seats on the matter of reporting. He stated, unequivocally, that he did not intend to put
any restrictions in place and what was heard that day could be fully reported. Which is, of
course, my intention.
Having obtained the Order dated 13th February, 2019 consequent to those proceedings, and
re-checked my own notes taken on the day, there are no residual matters in issue
concerning this investigation that would impede disclosure, by way of the Act.
B. Other data held by WYP, believed not to be connected to either Operation Thatcham or
Waffleedge but, more broadly, concerning insurance fraud.
You have requested an internal review:
I am writing to request an internal review of West Yorkshire Police's handling of my FOI
request 'Operation Waffle Edge (or Waffleedge)'.
1. To assist the reviewer, this is a report of the proceedings published after the most recent
hearing of the civil claim referred to in the request, in which Operation Waffleedge is
referenced. On the basis of submissions to the court, by counsel for WYP, there can be no
reasonable basis for a NCND response. http://neilwilby.com/2019/04/08/court-set-to-hear-5-million-civil-claim-against-police
Having reviewed your original request and the response provided I am satisfied that the
NCND has been appropriately applied and supported throughout the public interest test. I
have laid out my additional considerations below.
Although this was a ‘public’ hearing, as with other court cases the window of opportunity has
now passed. Information that is heard in court then quoted via unofficial sources is not in the
public domain from an official source. This information is caught during a ‘window of
opportunity’, therefore is not a formal acknowledgement into the public domain. A
confirmation or denial by West Yorkshire Police through Freedom of Information would
therefore be revealing ‘new’ information.
Please see the ICO guidance below; https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1204/information-in-the-public-domain-
Section 40(5) Confirming or denying if any information is held in relation to this request
would in turn make public, personal information of West Yorkshire Police employees that
may or may not still work within force. Confirming or denying an individual’s role in relation to
this request would enable them to be linked to other roles within their West Yorkshire Police
career. Providing this confirmation or denial would contravene principle 1 of the Data
Protection Act 2018; lawfulness, fairness and transparency.
Questions 1, 2 and 5 are in relation to investigative material that may or may not be held
therefore, the duty in S1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply by
virtue of Section 30(3).
The duty in S1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply by virtue of
Section 31(3) in relation to the confirmation or denial of a specific operation and the roles
that may or may not have been a part of that.
Therefore I do not uphold this section of your complaint.
2. Questions 6 and 7 are perfectly valid under the Act, in my respectful submission. They are
plainly expressed and clearly indicate the information sought for disclosure.
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this
I am satisfied that questions 6 and 7 are valid under the Freedom of Information Act and
uphold this element of your complaint.
In light of this a search has been conducted using the search terms ‘Insurance Fraud
Consultants Ltd’, ‘QV Investigation Services’, ‘QV Forensics’, ‘qvforensics.com’. This search
returned only correspondence in relation to this request, and therefore West Yorkshire Police
do not hold any information in relation to those questions.
If you are dissatisfied with the internal review decision made by West Yorkshire Police, you
may make an application to the Information Commissioner for a decision on whether the
request for information has been dealt with in accordance with the requirement of the Act.
For information on how to make an application the Information Commissioner please visit
their website at www.ico.gov.uk.
Alternatively, you can contact their helpline or write to them at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
FOI Help line: 0303 1231113