Danny Dayking

Dear Thames Valley Police,

Could you please state how many ANPR cameras you have control of, or operate in Aylesbury? Plus the location of all ANPR cameras in Aylesbury.

How long do TVP normally store vehicle number plates for?

Yours faithfully,

Danny

Dear Danny

Thames Valley Police acknowledges receipt of this email but is unable to
progress the request further under Section 8 of the Freedom of Information
Act as a full name has not been provided.

Should you wish to provide me with your surname then we will be able to
continue with this request but otherwise it will remain unanswered

Kind regards

Jane Shields

Information Compliance Researcher

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Dear FOI, I'm sorry but i really don't think having my full name, has anything to do with this foi request. It seems you are just making up excuses not to provide the relevant information.

But surname as requested, Dayking. Danny Dayking.

yours sincerely,

Danny

Dear Thames Valley Police,
I have had no acknowledgment back after you asking for my surname. I am not able to add my surname to the main page as this site does not allow it. If I have no confirmation soon, I will close this request and start a new one if I have to.

Yours faithfully,

Danny dayking.

Dear Mr Dayking

Thames Valley Police acknowledges receipt of your email and will respond
further in due course

Regards

Jane Shields LLB
Information Compliance Researcher

Thames Valley Police Currently use the Microsoft Office 2002 suite of applications. Please be aware of this if you intend to include an attachment with your email. This communication contains information which is confidential and may also be privileged. Any views or opinions expressed are those of the originator and not necessarily those of Thames Valley Police. It is for the exclusive use of the addressee(s). If you are not the intended recipient(s) please note that any form of distribution, copying or use of this communication or the information in it is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this communication in error please forward a copy to: [email address] and to the sender. Please then delete the e-mail and destroy any copies of it. Thank you.

Thames Valley Police

Dear Mr Dayking

Reference No: RFI2011000510

I write in connection with the above-referenced Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) request which for clarity I repeat:

Could you please state how many ANPR cameras you have control of, or
operate in Aylesbury? Plus the location of all ANPR cameras in Aylesbury.

How long do TVP normally store vehicle number plates for?

Q1) Thames Valley Police can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any
information in accordance with the following exemptions:

Section 23(5): Information Supplied by or Concerning Security Bodies

Section 31(3): Law Enforcement

Section 24(2): National Security

Section 23 is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement
to articulate the harm or Public Interest considerations with regard to
applying a neither confirm nor deny stance.

Both Section 31 and Section 24 are prejudice based and qualified which
means that the legislators have identified that there is a requirement to
articulate the harm that would be caused in confirming or not that
information is held as well as carrying out a public interest test.

Evidence of Harm

It is formally acknowledged that ANPR cameras are not only used for the
prevention and detection of general criminal activity but they are also
used by Counter Terrorism Units to monitor, investigate and intervene in
terrorist activity, as well as other law enforcement agencies.

In order to counter criminal and terrorist behaviour it is vital that the
police and other agencies have the ability to work together, where
necessary covertly, in order to obtain intelligence within current
legislative frameworks to ensure the successful arrest and prosecution of
offenders who commit or plan to commit acts of terrorism.

In order to achieve this goal, it is vitally important that information
sharing takes place with other police forces and security bodies within
the UK in order to support counter-terrorism measures in the fight to
deprive terrorist networks of their ability to commit crime.

To confirm or deny the exact location of where ANPR cameras are situated
would be extremely useful to those involved in terrorist activity as it
would enable them to map routes not covered by ANPR technology thereby
enabling them to evade detection and surveillance.

Public Interest Considerations

Section 24

Factors favouring confirmation that information is held

The public are entitled to know how public funds are spent and resources
are distributed within an area of policing. To confirm where ANPR sites
are within Thames Valley Police's jurisdiction would enable the general
public to hold the force to account on the way in which they deploy their
ANPR technology. In the current financial climate of cuts and with the
call for transparency of public spending this would enable improved public
debate.

Confirming locations would also show the effectiveness of ANPR cameras in
combating terrorist activities.

Factors favouring denial that information is held

Security measures are put in place to protect the community that we
serve. As evidenced within the harm to confirm where specific ANPR
cameras are sighted would highlight to terrorists details of which
locations would be monitored by ANPR, allowing them to avoid such routes
and therefore subsequent detection. Revealing specific locations would
dramatically weaken the effective use of ANPR as a monitoring tool in the
fight against terrorism on a local and national scale.

Taking into account the current security climate within the United
Kingdom, no information (such as the citing of an exemption which confirms
information is held, or conversely, stating `no information is held')
which may aid a terrorist should be disclosed. To what extent this
information may aid a terrorist is unknown, but it is clear that it will
have a considerable negative impact on a force's ability to monitor
terrorist activity.

Irrespective of what information is or isn't held, the public entrust the
Police Service to make appropriate decisions with regard to their safety
and protection and the only way of reducing risk is to be cautious with
what is placed into the public domain.

The cumulative effect of terrorists gathering information from various
sources would be even more impactive when linked to other information
gathered from various sources about terrorism. The more information
disclosed over time gives a more detailed account of the tactical
infrastructure of not only the force area but also the country as a
whole.

Any incident that results from such a disclosure would by default affect
national security.

Section 31

Factors favouring confirmation that information is held

As stated above there is information within the public domain confirming
that the police use ANPR in relation to the prevention and detection of
terrorism, serious crime, volume crime and fatal and serious injury road
traffic incidents.

There is a lot of contention over the use of ANPR as a system that is used
to spy and monitor people's activities. Confirming that information is
held would aid with understanding of how ANPR operates and for what direct
purpose, and would stop any incorrect rumours or falsehoods that may
already exist.

Factors favouring confirmation that information is held

The release of this information would compromise any ongoing criminal
investigations, or proceedings, which make use of the data produced by the
camera. In addition, the technology can be used in combating acts of
terrorism but also in the prevention and detection of crime and in the
reduction of death and injury on the roads. Therefore, if it is confirmed
whether or not information is held the capability to prevent such activity
would be compromised and the ANPR's role in delivering effective
operational law enforcement would be compromised. The safety of the
public is of paramount importance to the policing purpose, and an increase
in crime would place the public at risk of harm.

Balancing Test

Irrespective of what information may or may not be held, confirmation or
denial that information is held would reveal whether or not an ANPR camera
is located in Aylesbury and such a disclosure would have a serious
negative impact on the security of the whole of the United Kingdom, as
detailed within the above points, and would be beneficial to offenders.

Weakening the mechanisms used to monitor any type of criminal activity,
and specifically terrorist activity would place the security of the
country in an increased level of danger. ANPR is one of many tools used
to help maintain national security and is not outweighed by the fact that
disclosure would make the general public better informed about the system
and it's use.

It is clear that confirmation that information is held could stop the
misconceptions that ANPR is only used to `spy' on individuals or to ensure
compliance with bus lanes or congestion charging.

Information disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act is made public
to the world when released, and has an impact on all areas of the country,
not just within Thames Valley Police's jurisdiction. Disclosure of ANPR
locations within this area would mean that any subsequent FOI request for
other areas would be treated similarly. A series of disclosures for this
information would mean that terrorists and criminal would be able to build
up a picture of where such technology was deployed throughout the whole
country. Disclosure at a national level would encourage those with
criminal intent to relocate and intensify their activities to areas that
are less well covered by ANPR as they would have a renewed level of
confidence in evading detection.

ANPR needs to be understood as a vital tool in safeguarding the security
of the country and any disclosure that would impact on this must be of a
greater importance to the public. ANPR is an internationally recognised
tool that can significantly reduce volume crime, increase detection rates,
tackle cross-border crime and provide vital intelligence for use in
counter terrorist and serious crime work.

Having considered all the factors, at this moment in time, it is our
opinion that for these issues the balance test favours neither confirming
nor denying that information is held.

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

Q2) ANPR Retention is in accordance with ACPO Guidance which may be viewed
via the following weblink:

[1]http://www.acpo.police.uk/documents/crim...

Please contact me quoting the above reference number if you would like to
discuss this matter further and may I take this opportunity to thank you
for your interest in Thames Valley Police.

Yours sincerely

Jane Shields

Information Compliance Researcher

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.acpo.police.uk/documents/crim...

Dear Thames Valley Police,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Thames Valley Police's handling of my FOI request 'ANPR cameras in Aylesbury'.

I believe that, Thames Valley Police refusal to provide information, about ANPR cameras, loctions in Aylesbury, to be unlawful.

I don't agree with the refusal as, a tribunal ruling has already ordered police forces in Devon and Cornwall, to reveal ANPR locations and the ICO agreed.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/an...

Yours faithfully,

Danny Dayking.

Dear Mr Dayking

Reference No: IR2011000023 / RFI2011000510

I acknowledge receipt of your email dated 07/08/2011 requesting that
Thames Valley Police review its response to your request for information
concerning ANPR Cameras in Aylesbury.

The review will be conducted in accordance to Thames Valley Police's
review procedure and every effort will be made to have a response to you
by the 06/09/2011. However if it becomes clear that the review will not be
completed by this date you will be contacted.

If you wish to discuss this matter prior to Thames Valley Police's
response please contact me.

Malcolm Hopgood | Information Compliance Officer |

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Omar Smith left an annotation ()

I can confirm that, from a reputable media source, the present situation is that this information is required to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information act.
The Guardian describes an escalating dispute between Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and Guardian Government Computing about whether the information requested should be disclosed and on what grounds. From the Guardian article:

"The force was told last month to release the locations of its ANPR cameras, in the latest stage of an FoI application initially made in July 2009. Devon and Cornwall's decision to withhold the information was backed by the Information Commissioner's Office, in a finely-balanced judgment published after an investigation lasting a year.

However, an appeal by Government Computing to the First Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) succeeded. The tribunal, judged by Alison McKenna, ordered that the ICO decision be put aside and that Devon and Cornwall Constabulary release the locations within 35 days."

Pending further developments the current situation states that the information should be released, as the judgement of a First Tier Tribunal judge superceeds that of the Information Commissioner's Office.
The full article is available online:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/government-com...

Dear Mr Dayking

Reference No: IR2011000023 / RFI2011000510

Thank you for your email dated 07/08/2011 in respect of your request for
an internal review regarding our response to your request concerning ANPR
Cameras in Aylesbury.

Having considered your application for an internal review I have now had
the opportunity to fully re-examine our decision considering the refusal
of information under Sections 23, 31 and 24 of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 with our Information Compliance Manager. We are satisfied that
the application of these sections was in accordance with the Act and
therefore uphold our original stance in our response to you dated 2nd
August 2011.

In response to your comment regarding the tribunal ruling with the Devon
and Cornwall police force this case is currently under appeal.

If you are not satisfied with my response, 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
FOIA.

For information on how to make application to the Information
Commissioner, please visit their website at: [1]www.ico.gov.uk

If you wish to discuss this matter prior to any further action on your
part please contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Malcolm Hopgood | Information Compliance Officer

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/

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