Dear police force FOI officer,

Please can you share with me any documents and communications you have exchanged with Ring (the internet doorbell company owned by Amazon), regarding its "Neighbours" app (called Neighbors in the US) or regarding its "Law Enforcement Neighborhood Portal". The timeframe of the search should be limited to between now and 1 September 2019.

If the request would fall foul of section 12 of the FOI Act, please advise me on how best to narrow the scope of my request to obtain the information I seek - either via a narrower timeframe or to select offices/units in the police force.

Yours faithfully,

Adam Vaughan

Info Rights Freedom Essex, Essex Police

1 Attachment

Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above reference
13887.

Under the Freedom of Information Act we are required to reply within 20
working days.  The Act does not specify a limit to the number of
information requests a public authority may receive or the number of
requests or questions an applicant may submit.  However, there are
exemptions in the Act that can apply and these include where the cost of
complying with the request would extend beyond the reasonable cost limit,
(currently 18 hours or £450), or if the request is otherwise manifestly
unreasonable in its scope or nature. 

 

Requests that ask a great many questions, or a number of detailed requests
submitted at the same time, may make it necessary for Essex Police to
refuse the requests wholly or in part. The exemption at section 14 may be
engaged if the burden on the authority is increased through multiple
requests on differing subjects.

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has responsibility for
providing oversight and guidance for the legislation and they have
produced advice for applicants on submitting effective requests.  Further
information can be found on the Commissioner’s website at
[1]www.ico.gov.uk specific information relating to submitting a request
can be found at:
[2]https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/offici...

                                                      

While we process your request, please take the time to consider the ICO’s
advice and whether you feel it may be beneficial to amend or refine your
request. Our team is happy to discuss your request with you and will be
able to provide advice as to what kind of information will be available
from Essex Police.

 

Kind regards,

 

Information Rights | Information Management Department | Information
Rights Section | Essex Police

Telephone 01245 452 647 or 101 extension 150030 | Email
[3][Essex Police request email]
Address: Information Management, Information Rights, Essex Police HQ, PO
Box 2, Chelmsford CM2 6DA

[4]cid:image001.png@01D3E908.EC4D1080

 

Please note, if you require further information or wish to resubmit a
request please refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s
website regarding submission of effective requests
[5]https://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/of...

 

Your right to complain

 

If you feel your request has not been properly handled, or you are
otherwise dissatisfied with the outcome of your request you have the right
to complain.

 

Complaints should be submitted within 20 working days from the date of
this response and should be addressed to the Senior Information Officer at
the above address or by email to:  [6][Essex Police request email]

 

We will conduct a review to investigate your complaint and endeavour to
reply within 20 working days.

 

Please explain which aspect of the reply you are not satisfied with, and
if your complaint concerns the decision to apply an exemption it would
assist the review if you would outline why you believe the exemption does
not apply.

           

If you are still dissatisfied following our review, you have the right
under Section 50 of the Act to complain directly to the Information
Commissioner. Before considering your complaint, the Information
Commissioner would normally expect you to have exhausted the complaints
procedures provided by Essex Police

 

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF or via [7]https://ico.org.uk/

 

show quoted sections

Info Rights Freedom Essex, Essex Police

2 Attachments

Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above
reference.

 

Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) places two duties
on public authorities. Unless exemptions apply, the first duty at Section
1(1)(a) is to confirm or deny whether the information specified in a
request is held. The second duty at Section 1(1)(b) is to disclose
information that has been confirmed as being held. Where exemptions are
relied upon Section 17 of the FOIA requires that we provide the applicant
with a notice which: a) states that fact b) specifies the exemption(s) in
question and c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the
exemption applies.

 

In respect of your enquiry:

 

Please can you share with me any documents and communications you have
exchanged with Ring (the internet doorbell company owned by Amazon),
regarding its "Neighbours" app (called Neighbours in the US) or regarding
its "Law Enforcement Neighbourhood Portal". The timeframe of the search
should be limited to between now and 1 September 2019.

 

Essex Police neither confirms nor denies that it holds information as the
duty in Section 1(1) (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not
apply, by virtue of the following exemptions.

 

Section 31 Law Enforcement

Section 24 National Security

 

Any disclosure under FOI is a release to the public at large. Whilst not
questioning the motives of the applicant, confirming or denying that any
other information relating to the covert practise of this surveillance
technique would show criminals what the capacity, tactical abilities and
capabilities of the force are, allowing them to target specific areas of
the UK to conduct their criminal/terrorist activities. Confirming or
denying the specific circumstances in which the Police Service may or may
not deploy the use of this surveillance technique would lead to an
increase of harm to covert investigations and compromise law enforcement.
This would 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.

 

The threat from terrorism cannot be ignored. It is generally recognised
that the international security landscape is increasingly complex and
unpredictable. Since 2006, the UK Government has published the threat
level, based upon current intelligence and that threat has remained at the
second highest level - severe, except for two short periods during August
2006, June and July 2007, and more recently in May and June this year
following the Manchester and London terrorist attacks, when it was raised
to the highest threat, critical. The UK continues to face a sustained
threat from violent extremists and terrorists and the current threat level
is set at severe.

 

It is well established that police forces use covert tactics and
surveillance to gain intelligence in order to counteract criminal
behaviour. It has been previously documented in the media that many
terrorist incidents have been thwarted due to intelligence gained by these
means.

 

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for S24

The public are entitled to know how public funds are spent and by
disclosing this information the public would be able to see where money is
being spent and know that forces are doing as much as they can to combat
terrorism.

 

Factors favouring neither confirming or denying of S24

To confirm or deny that this information is held  would render security
measures less effective which would compromise ongoing or future
operations to protect the security and infrastructure of the UK. The risk
of harm to the public would be elevated if areas of the UK which appear
vulnerable were disclosed which would also provide the opportunity for
terrorist planning. Ongoing or future operations to protect the security
and infrastructure of the UK would be compromised as terrorists could map
the level of counter-terrorist activity across the country, providing them
with the knowledge of individual force capability and vulnerability of
individual force areas.

 

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for S31

To confirm or deny that this information is held would make members of the
public more aware of the threat of terrorism and allow them to take steps
to protect themselves and families. Improved public awareness may lead to
more intelligence being submitted to police about possible acts of
terrorism as members of the public will be more observant to suspicious
activity which in turn may result in a reduction of crime. The Home Office
regularly publish national statistical data on terrorism.

 

Factors favouring neither confirming or denying of S31

The confirm or deny that the requested information is held could
compromise law enforcement tactics which would hinder the Police force’s
ability to prevent and detect terrorist crimes. The threat of terrorism
will increase as more crimes are committed as a result of terrorists
gaining knowledge about the capabilities of individual forces and
therefore the public will be placed at a greater risk. A fear of crime
will be realised as terrorists identify vulnerable areas and target and
exploit these areas resulting in the public being in fear of more
terrorist activity occurring. In addition confirmation that there have
been any successful terrorist attacks in a given area may lead to the
residents taking matters into their own hands with regard to people they
suspect of being involved in terrorism as they may feel the threat to be
more imminent. There would be an impact on police resources from the
disclosure of information relating to terrorist attacks and arrests, as
vulnerable forces may need to increase their resources to reassure and
protect the community.

 

Balance Test

 

Confirming or denying whether any information is or isn’t held relating to
the covert use of this surveillance technique technology would limit
operational capabilities as criminals/terrorist would gain a greater
understanding of the police’s methods and techniques, enabling offenders
to take steps to counter them. It may also suggest the limitations of
police capabilities in this area, which may further encourage
criminal/terrorist activity by exposing potential vulnerabilities. This
detrimental effect is increased if the request is made to several
different law enforcement bodies. In addition to the local criminal
fraternity now being better informed, those intent on organised crime
throughout the UK will be able to map where the use of certain tactics are
or are not deployed. This can be use information to those committing
crimes. It would have the likelihood of identifying location-specific
operations which would ultimately compromise police tactics, operations
and future prosecutions as criminals could counteract the measures used
against them.

 

Any information identifying the focus of policing activity could be used
to the advantage of terrorists or criminal organisations. 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.

 

No inference can be drawn from this refusal that information is or isn’t
held.

 

Thank you for your interest in Essex Police.

 

Information Rights Team

Information Management Department

Information Rights Section

E-Mail: [1][Essex Police request email]

 

[2]cid:image001.png@01D3E908.EC4D1080

 

Please note, if you require further information or wish to resubmit a
request please refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s
website regarding submission of effective requests
[3]https://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/of...

 

Your right to complain

 

If you feel your request has not been properly handled, or you are
otherwise dissatisfied with the outcome of your request you have the right
to complain.

 

Complaints should be submitted within 20 working days from the date of
this response and should be addressed to the Senior Information Officer at
the above address or by email to:  [4][Essex Police request email]

 

We will conduct a review to investigate your complaint and endeavour to
reply within 20 working days.

 

Please explain which aspect of the reply you are not satisfied with, and
if your complaint concerns the decision to apply an exemption it would
assist the review if you would outline why you believe the exemption does
not apply.

           

If you are still dissatisfied following our review, you have the right
under Section 50 of the Act to complain directly to the Information
Commissioner. Before considering your complaint, the Information
Commissioner would normally expect you to have exhausted the complaints
procedures provided by Essex Police

 

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF or via [5]https://ico.org.uk/

 

 

From: Info Rights Freedom Essex
Sent: 19 November 2019 14:11
To: Adam Vaughan <[FOI #621052 email]>
Subject: FOI 13887 - All Communications with Ring

 

Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above reference
13887.

Under the Freedom of Information Act we are required to reply within 20
working days.  The Act does not specify a limit to the number of
information requests a public authority may receive or the number of
requests or questions an applicant may submit.  However, there are
exemptions in the Act that can apply and these include where the cost of
complying with the request would extend beyond the reasonable cost limit,
(currently 18 hours or £450), or if the request is otherwise manifestly
unreasonable in its scope or nature. 

 

Requests that ask a great many questions, or a number of detailed requests
submitted at the same time, may make it necessary for Essex Police to
refuse the requests wholly or in part. The exemption at section 14 may be
engaged if the burden on the authority is increased through multiple
requests on differing subjects.

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has responsibility for
providing oversight and guidance for the legislation and they have
produced advice for applicants on submitting effective requests.  Further
information can be found on the Commissioner’s website at
[6]www.ico.gov.uk specific information relating to submitting a request
can be found at:
[7]https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/offici...

                                                      

While we process your request, please take the time to consider the ICO’s
advice and whether you feel it may be beneficial to amend or refine your
request. Our team is happy to discuss your request with you and will be
able to provide advice as to what kind of information will be available
from Essex Police.

 

Kind regards,

 

Information Rights | Information Management Department | Information
Rights Section | Essex Police

Telephone 01245 452 647 or 101 extension 150030 | Email
[8][Essex Police request email]
Address: Information Management, Information Rights, Essex Police HQ, PO
Box 2, Chelmsford CM2 6DA

[9]cid:image001.png@01D3E908.EC4D1080

 

Please note, if you require further information or wish to resubmit a
request please refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s
website regarding submission of effective requests
[10]https://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/of...

 

Your right to complain

 

If you feel your request has not been properly handled, or you are
otherwise dissatisfied with the outcome of your request you have the right
to complain.

 

Complaints should be submitted within 20 working days from the date of
this response and should be addressed to the Senior Information Officer at
the above address or by email to:  [11][Essex Police request email]

 

We will conduct a review to investigate your complaint and endeavour to
reply within 20 working days.

 

Please explain which aspect of the reply you are not satisfied with, and
if your complaint concerns the decision to apply an exemption it would
assist the review if you would outline why you believe the exemption does
not apply.

           

If you are still dissatisfied following our review, you have the right
under Section 50 of the Act to complain directly to the Information
Commissioner. Before considering your complaint, the Information
Commissioner would normally expect you to have exhausted the complaints
procedures provided by Essex Police

 

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF or via [12]https://ico.org.uk/

 

show quoted sections