Are police sniffer dogs as good as you make out?

Nik Morris made this Freedom of Information request to Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

The request was successful.

From: Nik Morris

1 March 2011

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Can you please tell me how many stop and searches were carried out
at Sutton train station on February 23 2011?

How many people were identified by police sniffer dogs as having
drugs on their person?

How many people actually had drugs on their person after a search
was carried out?

How many arrests were made and warnings given?

What drugs were found and in what quantities?

What is the estimated cost of the operation?

Yours faithfully,

Nik Morris

Link to this

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

2 March 2011

Dear Mr. Morris

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011030000329
I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 01/03/2011. I note you seek
access to the following information:

"Can you please tell me how many stop and searches were carried out at
Sutton train station on February 23 2011?
How many people were identified by police sniffer dogs as having drugs on
their person?
How many people actually had drugs on their person after a search was
carried out?
How many arrests were made and warnings given?
What drugs were found and in what quantities?
What is the estimated cost of the operation? "

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act). You will receive a response within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, subject to
the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third
party. In some circumstances the MPS may be unable to achieve this
deadline. If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised
time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to
another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest
possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet, which details your right of
complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me at the above e-mail address, quoting the reference number
above.

Yours sincerely

R. Loizou
Policy and Support Officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again ***

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision 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 Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Link to this

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

11 March 2011

Dear Nik Morris

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011030000329

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 01/03/2011. I note you seek
access to the following information:

Question 1: Can you please tell me how many stop and searches were carried
out at Sutton train station on February 23 2011?

Question 2: How many people were identified by police sniffer dogs as
having drugs on their person?

Question 3: How many people actually had drugs on their person after a
search was carried out?

Question 4: How many arrests were made and warnings given?

Question 5: What drugs were found and in what quantities?

Question 6: What is the estimated cost of the operation?

EXTENT OF SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION

To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted
at Sutton Borough Operational Command Unit (OCU).

RESULT OF SEARCHES

The searches located records relevant to your request.

Decision in respect of questions 1 to 5

I have today decided to fully exempt the information being requested by
virtue of section 40(2) personal information.

This letter therefore serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act). Please see the legal annex for
the sections of the Act that are referred to in this letter.

Decision in respect of question 6

I have today decided to confirm that no information is held for this part
of your request and to provide you with additional advice and assistance.

REASON FOR DECISION

Before I explain the reasons for the decisions I have made in relation to
questions 1 to 5 I thought that it might assist you if I outline the
considerations set out by the Act within which a request for information
can be answered. The Act creates a statutory right of access to
information held by public authorities. A public authority in receipt of a
request must, if permitted, confirm if that public authority holds the
requested information and, if so, then communicate that information to the
applicant.

The right of access to information is not without exception and is subject
to a number of exemptions, which are designed to enable public authorities
to withhold information that is not suitable for release. Importantly, the
Act is designed to place information into the public domain, that is, once
access to information is granted to one person under the Act, it is then
considered public information and must be communicated to any individual
should a request be received. Any information released is also placed on
the MPS FoIA Disclosure Log which can be found via this link:
http://www.met.police.uk/foi/disclosure/...

I have considered your original request for information within the
provisions set out by the Act and have decided today that Sections 40(2)
personal information is engaged. However, in order to further explain
the decision I thought I would provide an explanation as to why this
exemption has been applied.

Personal data

Personal data is defined in section 1(1) of the Data Protection Act as
data which relate to a living individual who can be identified- (a) from
those data, or (b) from those data and other information which is in the
possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data
controller, and includes any expression of opinion about the individual
and any indication of the intention of the data controller or any other
person in respect of the individual." Sensitive personal data means
personal data consisting of information that relates to 'the commission or
alleged commission by him of any offence, or any proceedings for any
offence committed or alleged to have been committed by him, the disposal
of such proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings', as
defined by section 2(g) and (h) of the Data Protection Act. The two main
elements of personal data are that the information must 'relate' to a
living person and that the person must be identifiable. Information will
relate to a person if it is about them, linked to them, has some
biographical significance for them, is used to inform decisions affecting
them and has them as its main focus or impacts on them in any way. The
information can be in any form, including electronic data, images and
paper files or documents.

In a recent Information Commissioner's (ICO) decision notice FS50271742
(link provided in Legal Annex) the ICO accepted that every individual has
the right to some degree of privacy. Indeed, this right is enshrined in
Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights which protects the
right to a private and family life. The Commissioner also acknowledges
that expectations are shaped by society where personal information is
often shared freely and widely for example on social networking sites. The
transparency and presumption in favour of disclosure of the Freedom of
Information Act is also part of today's culture. The ICO further states
'In considering the expectations of the data subjects at the time of the
request, the Commissioner will have regard to the extent to which the
information is, or remains, in the public domain, factors he considers
would shape a data subject's reasonable expectations' In this case the
Commissioner concluded that it would be unfair to the individuals
concerned to disclose the withheld information to the world at large and
to do so would contravene the first principle of the DPA.

Processing of data

In order for the exemption provided under Section 40(2) to be engaged,
disclosure of the requested information must have satisfied either the
first or second condition as defined by subsections 3 and 4. In this
instance the disclosure of the requested information would be likely to
lead to the identification of sensitive personal information relating to
the people who had been stopped at Sutton train station on 23rd February
2011. Therefore this would breach principle one of the Data Protection
Act, the duty of data controllers to process personal information fairly
and lawfully.

The processing of personal data must comply with the eight Data Protection
Principles (please see Legal Annex below). The First principle states
that Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and, in
particular, shall not be processed unless-

(a) at least one of the conditions in Schedule 2 is met, and

(b) in the case of sensitive personal data, at least one of the conditions
in Schedule 3 is also met.

For this case I have applied the same test as in EA/2008/0028 in
considering the following two points: (a) could the legitimate interest
pursued by [the applicant] be achieved by means that interfere less with
the privacy of [the data subject] and (b) if the aims could not be
achieved by means that involved less interference whether the disclosure
would have an excessive or disproportionate adverse effect on the
legitimate interests of [the data subject].

(i) the legitimate interests of those to whom the data would be disclosed
which in this context are members of the public (section 40(3)(a))

I can see no legitimate interest being achieved by disclosure of the
details being requested in respect of how many of those people stopped or
searched at Sutton train station on 23 February 2011 were arrested or
warnings given and other details relating to those individuals stopped by
way of a FoIA disclosure.

(ii) prejudice to the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of data
subjects which in this case are the people stopped on the 23rd February
2011 at Sutton train station.

In this case the legitimate expectation of the people stopped on the 23rd
February 2011 at Sutton train station is that their personal information
will not be disseminated within the public domain. Their legitimate
expectation would be that their personal information would be treated
confidentially and not disclosed to the public. In this case by releasing
the information you have requested there is a likelihood of breaching the
Data Protection Act - as there would have been a legitimate expectation of
the those individuals that their personal information would not be
publicly released under an FoIA disclosure. Releasing sensitive personal
information to 'the world' by way of a public Freedom of Information Act
disclosure will almost always infringe the data protection principles
contained in the Data Protection Act (DPA).

After weighing up the competing interests I have determined that the
disclosure of the above information would not be in the public interest.
I consider that the benefit that would result from the information being
disclosed does not outweigh disclosing information. In addition none of
the conditions relevant for purposes of the first principle: processing of
sensitive personal data under Schedule 3 DPA 1998 have been met.

Decision in respect of question 6

Requests for information under the Act are for 'held' information. In
this instance there was no 'estimation' and therefore the requested data
is not held. However to provide you with advice and assistance under
section 16 of the Act I can inform you that officers were deployed as part
of a normal working day and therefore there were no associated costs apart
from any overtime incurred which in this case amounted to approximately
between **300 to **400 depending on the actual rate of pay for each
individual officer.

LEGAL ANNEX

Section 1 provides that -

1) A public authority which, in relation to any request for information,
is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision of Part II relating
to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request or on a claim
that information is exempt information must, within the time for complying
with section 1(1), give the applicant 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.

Section 17(1) of the Act provides:

(1) A public authority which, in relation to any request for
information, is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision of
Part II relating to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request
or on a claim that information is exempt information must, within the time
for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant 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.

s.40 (Personal information) of the Act provides:

(1) Any information to which a request for information relates is exempt
information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the
data subject.
(2) Any information to which a request for information relates is also
exempt information if-
(a) it constitutes personal data which do not fall within subsection (1),
and
(b) either the first or the second condition below is satisfied.
(3) The first condition is-
(a) in a case where the information falls within any of paragraphs (a) to
(d) of the definition of "data" in section 1(1) of the [1998 c. 29.] Data
Protection Act 1998, that the disclosure of the information to a member of
the public otherwise than under this Act would contravene-
(i) any of the data protection principles, or
(ii) section 10 of that Act (right to prevent processing likely to cause
damage or distress), and
(b) in any other case, that the disclosure of the information to a member
of the public otherwise than under this Act would contravene any of the
data protection principles if the exemptions in section 33A(1) of the
[1998 c. 29.] Data Protection Act 1998 (which relate to manual data held
by public authorities) were disregarded.
(4) The second condition is that by virtue of any provision of Part IV of
the [1998 c. 29.] Data Protection Act 1998 the information is exempt from
section 7(1)(c) of that Act (data subject's right of access to personal
data).

(Part 1, Section 2 , Data Protection Act 1988) - Sensitive personal
data

In this Act "sensitive personal data" means personal data consisting of
information as to-
(a)the racial or ethnic origin of the data subject,
(b)his political opinions,
(c)his religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature,
(d)whether he is a member of a trade union (within the meaning of the
M1Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992),
(e)his physical or mental health or condition,
(f)his sexual life,
(g)the commission or alleged commission by him of any offence, or
(h)any proceedings for any offence committed or alleged to have been
committed by him, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any
court in such proceedings.

Data Protection Act:

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/Acts1998/ukp...

The Data Protection Act 1998 - Principles

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998...

Schedule 2, Condition 6 of the Data Protection Act provides:
6 (1) The processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests
pursued by the data controller or by the third party or parties to whom
the data are disclosed, except where the processing is unwarranted in any
particular case by reason of prejudice to the rights and freedoms or
legitimate interests of the data subject.
(2) The Secretary of State may by order specify particular circumstances
in which this condition is, or is not, to be taken to be satisfied.

SCHEDULE 3 CONDITIONS RELEVANT FOR PURPOSES OF THE FIRST PRINCIPLE:
PROCESSING OF SENSITIVE PERSONAL DATA
1The data subject has given his explicit consent to the processing of the
personal data.
2(1)The processing is necessary for the purposes of exercising or
performing any right or obligation which is conferred or imposed by law on
the data controller in connection with employment.
(2)The [F1 Secretary of State] may by order-
(a)exclude the application of sub-paragraph (1) in such cases as may be
specified, or
(b)provide that, in such cases as may be specified, the condition in
sub-paragraph (1) is not to be regarded as satisfied unless such further
conditions as may be specified in the order are also satisfied.
3The processing is necessary-
(a)in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject or another
person, in a case where-
(i)consent cannot be given by or on behalf of the data subject, or
(ii)the data controller cannot reasonably be expected to obtain the
consent of the data subject, or
(b)in order to protect the vital interests of another person, in a case
where consent by or on behalf of the data subject has been unreasonably
withheld.
4The processing-
(a)is carried out in the course of its legitimate activities by any body
or association which-
(i)is not established or conducted for profit, and
(ii)exists for political, philosophical, religious or trade-union
purposes,
(b)is carried out with appropriate safeguards for the rights and freedoms
of data subjects,
(c)relates only to individuals who either are members of the body or
association or have regular contact with it in connection with its
purposes, and
(d)does not involve disclosure of the personal data to a third party
without the consent of the data subject.
5The information contained in the personal data has been made public as a
result of steps deliberately taken by the data subject.
6The processing-
(a)is necessary for the purpose of, or in connection with, any legal
proceedings (including prospective legal proceedings),
(b)is necessary for the purpose of obtaining legal advice, or
(c)is otherwise necessary for the purposes of establishing, exercising or
defending legal rights.
7(1)The processing is necessary-
(a)for the administration of justice,
[F2 (aa)for the exercise of any functions of either House of Parliament,]
(b)for the exercise of any functions conferred on any person by or under
an enactment, or
(c)for the exercise of any functions of the Crown, a Minister of the Crown
or a government department.
(2)The [F3 Secretary of State] may by order-
(a)exclude the application of sub-paragraph (1) in such cases as may be
specified, or
(b)provide that, in such cases as may be specified, the condition in
sub-paragraph (1) is not to be regarded as satisfied unless such further
conditions as may be specified in the order are also satisfied.

Link to Information Tribunal Decision Notice EA/2008/0028:

http://www.informationtribunal.gov.uk/DB...(EA-2008-0028)%20-%20Decision%2015-01-09.pdf

Link to ICO Decision Notice FS50271742:

http://www.ico.gov.uk/tools_and_resource...

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to make a complaint. Should
you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please contact me
on 0207 161 3605 or at the address at the top of this letter, quoting
the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Mike Lyng Quality and Assurance Advisor
Sent on behalf of Sutton Borough OCU

In complying with their statutory duty under sections 1 and 11 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed information, the
Metropolitan Police Service will not breach the Copyright, Designs and
Patents Act 1988. However, the rights of the copyright owner of the
enclosed information will continue to be protected by law. Applications
for the copyright owner's written permission to reproduce any part of the
attached information should be addressed to MPS Directorate of Legal
Services, 1st Floor (Victoria Block), New Scotland Yard, Victoria, London,
SW1H 0BG.
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again ***

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision 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 Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Link to this

From: Nik Morris

12 March 2011

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Please can you tell me where I asked for personal information? I
believe I did not. I'm asking for figures and not names. Your reply
stinks of hypocrisy. How can you mention the Human Rights act, and
at the same time stop and search people who have the right to
privacy. That's just typical of the police today. One rule for you
and another for the rest of us.

So I ask again.

How many people were indicated as having drugs on their person?

How many people actually had drugs on their person?

Did you give out records of "ALL" the searches or just the ones
that were found with drugs?

I've asked this type of question before to another police force.
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/user/nik_m... They answered. Why
won't you?

I believe it's because you've done something untoward or failed in
your duties in some way.

You don't have the information I've requested do you?

I believe this matter should be looked at again and request an
internal review.

Yours faithfully,

Nik Morris

Link to this

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

18 March 2011

Dear Mr Morris

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011030002495

I write in connection with your letter dated 12 March 2011 requesting that
the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) review its response to your request
for information relating to:

* Original FOI case number 2011030000329.

The review will be conducted in accordance to the MPS's complaints
procedure. The MPS endeavour to respond to your complaint by 11 April
2011.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Thank you for your interest in the MPS.

Yours sincerely

S. Strong
FOIA Policy Research & Complaints Officer

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again ***

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision 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 Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Link to this

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

11 April 2011

Dear Mr. Morris

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011030002495

Further to our email of 13 March 2011, I am now able to provide a response
to your complaint concerning:

* FOIA request number 2011030000329.

I am aware you originally requested the following:

"1) Can you please tell me how many stop and searches were carried out
at Sutton train station on February 23 2011?
2) How many people were identified by police sniffer dogs as having
drugs on their person?
3) How many people actually had drugs on their person after a search
was carried out?
4) How many arrests were made and warnings given?
5) What drugs were found and in what quantities?
6) What is the estimated cost of the operation?"

DECISION

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has completed its review and has
decided to set aside the original decision.

REASON FOR DECISION

Since the original response was provided to you, Sutton borough
operational command unit made the decision to publish some information
about the operation at Sutton train station in order to make the public
aware of their priorities and how they have been doing.

Therefore the answers to questions 1 and 4 are already in the public
domain and can be disclosed to you. Please see the link below:

http://cms.met.police.uk/met/boroughs/su...

As explained in the article, there were 48 stop and searches at Sutton
train station on 23 February, which resulted in 2 arrests and seven
cannabis warnings being issued.

In addition, I can now confirm to you the following:

Question Two

Each of the 48 individuals stopped were identified by the sniffer dogs as
having drugs in their possession.

Question Three

9 out of the 48 people stopped on this day had drugs on their person, one
of which was later found to be in the possession of a legal drug (see
further details below). Each individual found to have drugs on their
person was either arrested or given a cannabis warning - details of which
were provided in the article.

Many individuals stopped also admitted to having recently taken or been in
the presence of drugs, which would account for the reason they drew the
attention of the sniffer dogs used in the operation on that day.

Question Five

All drugs which were found were cannabis, in personal quantities.

It is MPS policy when an officer is dealing with a person found in
possession of cannabis to use common sense. in light of the prevailing
circumstances, to assess whether the quantity of drugs constitutes just
personal possession. If this is the case, then the amount of drugs is not
quantified by weight; this would only be the case when considering
instances where supplying cannabis is suspected. Therefore, the amount of
drugs found would be described in generic terms, e.g. 'a small quantity of
herbal cannabis in a self-seal bag'.

In addition, another white powdered substance was believed to be a Class
'A' drug, but was later identified to be legal.

Question Six

The MPS has upheld the original decision provided to you in relation to
question six of your request. It can be confirmed that no estimate was
recorded by the MPS as the operation was part of usual day-to-day policing
activities. However, although you were provided an overtime estimate of
between **300 and **400, this in fact has now been calculated to be the
lower figure of **288.

Additional matters

Each FOIA request received is assessed for harm on a case-by-case basis.
Any information requested which is held is evaluated to ascertain whether
there would be any prejudice in disclosure or whether disclosure would be
likely to breach any of the data protection principles.

In relation to your original request, it was believed the disclosure would
be likely to lead to the identification of the individuals stopped at the
station on that day. A description of how this may occur was outlined to
you in the response from Mike Lyng. Disclosure of information, even
statistics, which may lead to the identification of individuals should be
carefully considered. This is particularly important when we consider
that any disclosure under the Act is considered a disclosure to the world.
This is highlighted by the MPS Disclosure Log, and even the
Whatdotheyknow.com website.

In respect of your request, timing is important. Since the response was
issued to you a decision was taken to proactively disclose various details
of the operation undertaken at Sutton train station on that day. As a
result it is believed there is less harm in disclosing further details in
relation to the request - which ultimately could be gleaned from the
disclosure already made on the website. This is why the decision has now
been taken to provide you with the requested information held.

I hope that this response has demonstrated the MPS commitment to
accountability and transparency, whilst highlighting our commitment to
protecting the personal information of the people with which we come into
contact every day.

Legal Annex

Section 17(1) of the Act provides:

(1)A public authority which, in relation to any request for information,
is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision of Part II relating
to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request or on a claim
that information is exempt information must, within the time for complying
with section 1(1), give the applicant 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.

Section 21(1) of the Act provides:

(1)Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant otherwise
than under section 1 is exempt information.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to contact the Information
Commissioner with your complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me at the address at the top of this letter, quoting the reference
number above.

Yours sincerely

Shannon Aldridge
Quality and Assurance Advisor
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again ***

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision 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 Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

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