Force Disclosure Unit
Wiltshire Police HQ
Ermine Amies – by email
Tel 101 ext 62005
Date: 26th February 2021
Our ref: FOI 2021 / 008
Reply contact name is: Nick Penny
I write in connection with your request for information dated 4th February 2021 concerning
Stonewall / Stonewall Diversity Champions.
I am required by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to handle all requests in a manner that is
blind as to the identity and motives of the requestor. Any information released as a response to a
request is regarded as being published and therefore in the public domain without caveat.
Your request for information has now been considered and I am not obliged to supply the
information you have requested in it’s entirety.
Please provide any information that you hold answering to any of the following descriptions:
1. Any application you made in 2019 or 2020 to be a “Stonewall Diversity Champion” or to be
included on Stonewall’s “Workplace Equality Index,” including any attachments or
appendices to those applications. Please redact personal details if necessary.
2. Any feedback you received in 2019 or 2020 from Stonewall in relation to either application
3. Any other communication you have received from Stonewall in 2019 or 2020 unless
privileged or otherwise exempt from disclosure (but if you claim privilege or exemption in
relation to any material, please say in broad terms what the material is and the basis on
which you claim to be entitled to withhold it).
4. Full details of any equality impact assessment you carried out connected with any of these
applications (including any equality impact assessment carried out prior to an earlier
application of the same kind, if no further assessment was done).
5. Details of the total amount of money you paid to Stonewall (i) in 2019; (ii) in 2020, whether
or not as payment for goods or services.
6. Whether you intend to continue your membership of any Stonewall scheme in the future,
and if so which.
The information that you are requesting for Question 3 of your request is exempt under Section
30 - Investigations and proceedings carried out by Public Authorities.
Section 30 is a qualified exemption and as such there is a requirement to articulate the harm and
conduct a test of the public interest in respect of disclosure.
Please see below for the full application of Section 30.
Overall harm in disclosure
During 2020, Wiltshire Police has been in contact with Stonewall with regards to seeking advice in
respect of policy updates being undertaken by the Force, most notably around our Transgender
Policy. This remains an ongoing piece of work.
If Wiltshire police were to disclose any information in respect of this piece of work before it is
finalised it could be highly prejudicial to the successful implementation of this policy and as a
consequence, it could potentially put individuals at increased risk whilst also undermining any
trust or confidence individuals (and Partner Agencies) have in the Police Service.
Public Interest in Favour of Disclosure – Section 31
Disclosure of the information you request would enhance public knowledge about how Wiltshire
Police manage Diversity – the public has a right to know where the resources of Wiltshire Police
are focused. Additionally, disclosure would offer greater transparency on the subject matter and
enable the public to scrutinize our Policies and ensure that all individuals are treated in the same
manner irrespective of their race / colour / sexual orientation / religious status and so on.
Public Interest in Favour of Non Disclosure – Section 31
Disclosure of the ongoing discussions that are being had with Stonewall regarding the content
and amendments propsed to our Transgender Policy would seriously compromise the effective
development of this Policy update.
If this information were in the public domain, this and any future Policy amendments of a similar
nature could be seriously undermined, with disclosure identifying – amongst other things - the
current limitations or inconsistencies in the existing policy and strategies of the police.
This in turn would compromise Wiltshire Police’s ability to carry out its core duties and it could
also affect the ability of our partner agencies to engage with Wiltshire Police in confidence. In
addition to this, disclosure would likely affect the confidence of members of the public to report
matters to the police and to willingly engage with us if ongoing development work around policy
was placed in the public domain prior to it being finalised.
The Police Service is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime and
protecting the communities we serve and the residents that live within it. Whilst there is a public
interest in the transparency of policing operations and investigations and providing assurance that
the police service is appropriately and effectively protecting the public from both criminals and
discrimination, there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding policing strategies and this will
only be overridden in exceptional circumstances.
The Police Service relies heavily on the public providing information to assist in criminal
investigations and has a duty to protect and defend vulnerable individuals. The public has an
expectation that any information they provide will be treated with confidence. Anything which
places that confidence at risk, no matter how generic, would undermine any trust or confidence
individuals have in the Police Service.
In addition, the effective delivery of operational law enforcement and the safety of individuals is of
paramount importance to Wiltshire Constabulary, as is their duty to ensure that the prevention
and detection of crime is carried out, the effective apprehension or prosecution of offenders is
achieved and public confidence is maintained.
In this instance, the public interest firmly lies in favour of non-disclosure of the information
In respect to the remainder of your request, the answers to your other questions are as follows :-
Wiltshire Police have not made any applications in 2019 or 2020 although we do have a
NO EIA have been carried out.
Wiltshire Police intend to retain our membership with Stonewall going forwards, although
the type of membership held will always be under consideration.
Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires the Wiltshire Police, when refusing to
provide such information (because the information is exempt) to provide you the applicant with a
notice which: (a) states that fact, (b) specifies the exemption in question and (c) states (if that
would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.
The exemption applicable to the information requested is:
Investigations and proceedings carried out by Public Authorities
In accordance with section 17 of the Act, this letter represents a Refusal Notice for this particular
I am satisfied that all the relevant information has been passed to me and been considered in the
light of your request within the time constraints applicable under the legislation.
Wiltshire Police would like to thank you for the interest that you have shown in the Force.
Disclosure Decision Maker
Wiltshire Police offers a re-examination of your case under its review procedure.
Force Disclosure Unit
Wiltshire Police HQ, London Road, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 2DN
Telephone 101 ext 62005
Freedom of Information Request Appeals Procedure
Who Can Ask for a Review
Any person who has requested information from Wiltshire Police, which has been dealt with under
the Freedom of Information Act, is entitled to complain and request an internal review, if they are
dissatisfied with the response they received. 2.
How to Request a Review
Requests for review of a Freedom of Information request must be made in writing to the:
Force Disclosure Unit
Wiltshire Police Headquarters,
London Road, Devizes,
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The reference number, date of the request and details of why the review is being requested must
be included. Requests for review should be brought to the attention of the Force Disclosure Unit
within 20 working days of the Force’s response to the original FoI request. 3.
Receipt of a request for review will be acknowledged in writing to include confirmation of the
reasons for the review. The review will be conducted by another Decision Maker, who is
independent from the original Decision Maker. The Force Disclosure Unit will set a target date for
a response. The response will be made as soon as is practicable with the intention to complete
the review within twenty working days. In more complex cases the review may take up to 40
The Independent Decision Maker will conduct a review of the handling of the request for
information and of decisions taken, including decisions taken about where the public interest lies
in respect of exempt information where applicable. The review enables a re-evaluation of the
case, taking into account the matters raised by the complaint. 4.
Conclusion of the Appeal
On completion of the review the Independent Decision Maker will reply to the complainant with
the result of the review. If the complainant is still dissatisfied following the review they should
contact the Information Commissioner to make an appeal. The Information Commissioner can be
contacted via the following details:
Information Commissioner's Office
Tel: 01625 545 700
Fax: 01625 524 510