Appointment of Deputy PCC

Neil Wilby made this Freedom of Information request to North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Dear North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner,

I have been attempting to avoid the necessity for making such a request but after six broadcasts in an open space (Twitter) the provision of the information was refused this morning (12th October, 2016).

In one of those tweets, dated 11th October, 2016, I specified that I wanted the answers to my request dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act, 2000.

"- @northyorkspcc Having exhausted all reasonable entreaties for the info to be provided, can you now treat this formally as a #FOIA request?"

Please treat this as an internal review of that information request refusal.

The grounds for complaint are:

1. The request has a serious and proper purpose.

2. It places no time burden on the PCC's staff (other than in them attempting to stall giving answers)

3. There is a clear public interest in disclosure of information concerning the appointment of a high profile unelected public official.

4. It was not (and should have been) made clear from the outset (5th October, 2016) that there was, in fact, no serious intention to supply the information.

5. The refusal to provide the information is part of a wider campaign to frustrate the composition of articles, cause distress and vex, annoy. A matter now complained about many times to the PCC, the Civil Disclosure Unit and the ICO.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby

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Thank you for your request. I have sent it on to our Civil Disclosure team to respond.


Simon Jones
Digital Engagement Officer

Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire
12 Granby Road | Harrogate | North Yorkshire | HG1 4ST
: 01423 569 562 | :  [email address]

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Thanks, Simon.

I'm grateful.

Kind regards


Malone, Ashley,

Dear Mr Wilby


I can confirm that the Civil Disclosure Unit has received your request for
an Internal Review following on from some correspondence via Twitter. Your
request for information has not yet been considered formerly under the
Freedom of Information Act.


We have therefore logged your request under reference number 657.2016-17
and will now consider your request under the Act.


You will receive a formal decision notice in due course.


Ashley Malone

Collar Number 4951

Police Lawyer (Civil Disclosure)


Joint Corporate Legal Services

North Yorkshire Police

Committed to the Code of Ethics

Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number.
If using my collar number please state each number individually.





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Dear North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner,

I refer to the comments made by Ashley Malone earlier today which appear above this message on the correspondence thread.

1. Firstly, Ms Malone is a deponent, and appeared as a witness, in a civil civil claim in which I am claimant and NYPCC is defendant. NYP are defendant in another claim and Ms Malone is similarly a deponent in that also.

2. Her intervention in information requests, made by me, since she made her statement in that claim plainly lack objectivity and independence. It is an ethical and regulatory requirement that a solicitor cannot continue to act where she adopts the cause of a client.

3. The cause of her client in this particular civil claim includes an inherently absurd Defence, made on 15th July, 2016, that states that no information request has EVER been finalised as non-compliant by NYPCC and that all future requests will be compliant.

4. Since she made that witness statement, the finalisations she has provided have all been variously unreasonable, perverse, irrational.

5. Of those six finalisations (they include NYP and NYPCC requests) four have necessitated internal reviews, two have necessitated complaints to the ICO. Part of each and every complaint is the objection to the involvement of Ms Malone in any matters concerning my requests, whilst the proceedings referred to at para 1 are extant.

6. I make allowances for Ms Malone's youth and inexperience but her communications demonstrate an absence of understanding of the Act, applicable guidance and approved professional practice. The fact is: A valid FOIA request was made via Twitter at 5.48am on 11th October, 2016. This is the ICO guidance for requests made via social media:

7. Ignoring it's absurdity (the next PCP meeting is not until 12th January, 2017), a valid response under the Act - by way of social media - was made on 12th October, 2016 by NYPCC.

8. Given the gaps between responses, and the length of time since the initial, informal request via Twitter, Simon Jones was plainly taking advice from a disclosure lawyer.

9. Following that response I have made a valid complaint against what is plainly a refusal under the Act.

10. It would have taken NYPCC less time to finalise the response than to engage in fruitless, futile correspondence as to whether my submissions constituted a request or a review. It would have taken even less time for Simon Jones to say on 5th October, 2016:

(x) applied for D/PCC job, (y) were interviewed.

On any independent view, this would take less than one minute to provide information that is now , it seems, commonly known, in any event (I am aware that it has been leaked from the PCP to a council whistleblower).

11. Notwithstanding what Ms Malone (complete with spelling and factual errors) has written by way of response, the complaint will be referred to the ICO on 9th November, 2016 in the absence of a satisfactory answer to the complaints I have made.

12. Taken in the round, this conduct, it is submitted with increasing force, is part of a wider and persistent campaign by NYPCC (and NYP) to cause distress, vex and annoy. It is also consuming considerable chunks of time and expense on my part. I have already indicated to the district judge (in the presence of Ms Malone), that such distress, and the recovery of costs, expenses and damages, will be the subject of a second, more appropriately framed, county court claim, once the extant proceedings are concluded.

13. Finally, if Ms Malone has anything further to do with any finalisations of requests and internal reviews made by me to NYPCC or NYP, then I will immediately make an application to Huddersfield County Court, reserved to the district judge hearing the claim referred to above, restraining her from doing so.

14. I am writing separately to the PCC to put her on formal notice of this contemplated action, outlined at para 11 and, also, as Ms Malone's employer, seek the PCC's views on how the regulatory and ethical breaches might be remedied.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby

Dear North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner,

It is disappointing that the previous posting on this thread has not been acknowledged or a substantive response provided.

Nevertheless, to give context to this internal review please see the article I have written on the subject of the D/PCC appointment: 'Where there's a Will there's a way'

Once the internal review is finalised the article will be updated accordingly.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby

Simon Jones,

1 Attachment



Please find attached the answer to your freedom of information request, I
also want to explain why your question could not be answered sooner.


In order to retain a level of impartiality, the recruitment process for
the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner was managed by the Office of the
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland. Also, the Police and Crime
Panel have a process of confirming the applicant, before the appointment
is completed.  Consequently the information you were requesting was not
specifically held by ourselves. Our team made an attempt to obtain the
information, unfortunately this was not as straight forward as we had
originally thought.  In addition, we also had to let the Panel’s
confirmation run its course, which as you may know, published it’s written
report on 19 ^ October.


We were under the impression, given the recruitment process was discussed
at the Panel’s confirmation hearing, that the information you requested
would be included in the Police and Crime Panel's report.  As you saw,
unfortunately it wasn't.


I hope this explains that there was no reluctance to provide you with the
information, it was just that the recruitment process had to be completed
before we could release the information.



Simon Jones

Digital Engagement Officer


Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire


Website: [1]

Facebook: [2]

Julia Mulligan on Twitter: [3]

OPCC on Twitter: [4]

12 Granby Road | Harrogate | North Yorkshire | HG1 4ST
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Dear North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner,

The failure to provide any response at all to the request for internal review has now been passed to the Information Commissioner's Office as a complaint.

They will, no doubt, be in touch with you in due course.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby