ATM Thefts by Engineer

Tim McCormack made this Freedom of Information request to Post Office Limited Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was refused by Post Office Limited.

Dear Post Office Limited,

In reply to my Freedom of Information Request – FOI2023/00450 you stated that the Police investigated the thefts by the Wincor Engineer but did not prosecute him.

You used the words

"Post Office does not hold the information you have requested. Post Office
understands that although the Police carried out an investigation into allegations
made against a Wincor Engineer potentially carrying out thefts when attending
branches for service calls, there was no subsequent prosecution and so no final
ruling on what, if anything, was stolen"

a) Please provide me with the documentation that allowed you to assert "Post Office understands the Police carried out AN investigation".

b) Which Police Force was involved and a Crime Report number so I can check with them

c) Who raised this matter with the Police - Wincor, BOI, POL or the affected SPMR?

d) There was a significant loss at several Post Offices that hosted a BOI ATM that were visited by the same Wincor Engineer. If there was no theft by the Wincor Engineer then under the terms of the SPMR contract that loss would have had to be made good by the SPMR and he would have had to make good the shortage to POL not BOI. Please provide details of the branches that were investigated by the Police so I can ensure that all of the them suffered no loss as a result of what POL stated definitively as an "ATM Theft by an engineer". With regard to your previous reply on this matter this is NOT relevant information for BOI or WINCOR to be concerned with and will not break any confidence with them.

Not a question but you should point out to whoever is providing you with answers that the use of the words 'allegations', 'potentially' and 'if anything' are in compete contradiction to a written minute of a POL meeting attended by your legal team that stated as a matter of fact "ATM theft by an engineer' - no mention of alleged or potentially.

Yours faithfully,

Tim McCormack

information.rights@postoffice.co.uk, Post Office Limited

Our ref: FOI2023/00527

Dear Tim McCormack,

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 7th
September. Your request is being considered under the terms of the Freedom
of Information Act 2000.

The Act requires that a response must be given promptly, and in any event
within 20 working days. We will therefore reply at the latest by 5th
October.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Regards,

Data Protection and Information Rights Team

100 Wood Street,

London,

E C2V 7ER

Dear [email address],

As I have mentioned previously I understand that you only relay answers to my requests from appropriate sources within your organisation but perhaps you might act as a bit of a filter for some of these responses you receive.

Here's a clue as to why the response you provided to a previous request does not make sense.

You said a police investigation was opened. Well that means someone somewhere was pretty confident that this Wincor Engineer was stealing.

You mention multiple branches being affected (which does tie in to the information I have) so that rules out an SPMR being the complainant as they would have had no knowledge of other thefts.

So it has to be either Wincor, BOI or POL who called in the Police and they certainly would not have done that if they were not certain that this engineer was guilty.

There are many reasons why Police Investigations do not result in a prosecution e.g. when POL accuse someone of theft then drop the matter when the alleged criminal promises not to mention Horizon errors .

As a go-between between some party in POL and me I do hope you can see that what you are being asked to tell me stinks of a cover up and the last time POL tried to cover up one of their failings it didn't go well for them.

Yours sincerely,

Tim McCormack

information.rights@postoffice.co.uk, Post Office Limited

Dear Tim McCormack

We are writing in respect of your information request, FOI2023/00527. At
present our view is that your request falls within the scope of the
qualified exemption at section 31 of the Freedom of Information Act ("
FOIA"), relating to law enforcement.

As permitted by section 10 of the FOIA, Post Office Limited (" Post
Office") requires further time to consider the public interest test in
relation to this exemption. An extension is permitted until such time as
is reasonable in the circumstances. Having considered the FOIA Code of
Practice, Post Office considers that an extension of 20 working days is
appropriate in this instance and will therefore aim to respond to you by
2nd November.

With kind regards

Data Protection and Information Rights Team

100 Wood Street,

London,

EC2V 7ER

[1][email address]

Post Office Limited is committed to protecting your privacy, information
about how we do this can be found on our website at
www.postoffice.co.uk/privacy

References

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information.rights@postoffice.co.uk, Post Office Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Tim McCormack,

Please find the response attached relating to your Freedom of Information
request.

With kind regards,

Data Protection and Information Rights Team

100 Wood Street,

London,

EC2V 7ER

Dear Post Office Limited,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Post Office Limited's handling of my FOI request 'ATM Thefts by Engineer'.

In your response to me you state:
We hold internal documents written by members of the Post Office Security Team
at the time in 2013-14 and that provide a summary of the situation. However, this
information falls under the exemption in section 31(1)(a) of the FOIA, which relates
to the prevention or detection of crime. This exemption is engaged because
providing the information will prejudice the prevention of crime by facilitating the
possibility of a criminal offence being carried out.

In applying this exemption, we have had to balance the public interest in
withholding the information against the public interest in disclosure. We recognise
that there is a public interest in disclosure of information relating to these
allegations of criminal activity held by the Post Office, as this provides transparency
about the situation and how it was handled by Post Office.

On the other hand, there is a strong public interest in withholding information
concerning this specific case as the information held within them could be used as
the basis of criminal activity. The information held provides details about how ATM
machines function, and disclosure of the information could be used for nefarious
means, which in turn could lead to criminal activity taking place. This is clearly not in
the public interest.

I would like POL to release to me the internal documents that you mention that were written by the security team. You state that these reports contains details of how ATM machines function. I know how they function so I don't need that part so please feel free to redact it (if it actually exists).

You state that there is public interest in the way Post Office handled this matter originally. There is also a growing public interest in how you are dealing with this matter now and it gives rise to some great concern that you did not handle the matter at all well originally. There were at least three thefts from ATMs by allegedly the same Wincor Engineer. I presume one of them was somewhere in the City of London and the other two I know to be in Wakefield and Edinburgh. You appear to have admitted that you or Wincor did not raise a crime report in Scotland or Yorkshire.

If POL are serious about putting this matter behind them and resolving the issues of the past to make sure they will not happen again I urge you to provide me with the information requested which is clearly in the public interest and that of the Inquiry who I will notify of this.

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

Yours faithfully,

Tim McCormack

Dear [email address],

You don't appear to have acknowledged my request for an internal review of this FOI request.

Yours sincerely,

Tim McCormack

information.rights@postoffice.co.uk, Post Office Limited

Dear Tim McCormack,

Thank you for contacting us with your request for an internal review.

Apologies for the delay of acknowledgement. Please be assured that this
has been assigned to a caseworker (our ref: IR2023/00637).

If you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Regards,

Data Protection and Information Rights Team

100 Wood Street,

London,

EC2V 7ER

information.rights@postoffice.co.uk, Post Office Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Tim McCormack,

Please find attached the outcome of your Internal Review request.

Kind regards,

Data Protection and Information Rights Team

100 Wood Street,

London,

EC2V 7ER