BBC Compliance with PACE, Code B, Section 5

Mark made this Freedom of Information request to British Broadcasting Corporation

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

PACE Code B, Section 5, provides investigating authorities with rules that apply to "Search by Consent". It is my understanding, that the BBC under its "TVL" brandname, operates, from time-to-time such searches.

Given the further obligation under PACE S.67(9) for "Persons other than police officers... [to] have regard to any relevant provision of a code", please can you provide any information that the BBC holds, which would help with the following questions:-

1. Does the BBC acknowledge that PACE Code B, Section 5 "Search buy Consent" applies to searches of homes by "TV Licensing" staff?

2. Any supporting documentation that would explain/support/confirm the answer to (1).

3. Assuming that the answer to (1) is affirmative, any documentation that documents the BBC's process for informing or training staff about the provisions of the Code.

4. Any statistics that are available indicating the number and status of home searches conducted annually, for each of the past 5 years.

5. Any other information that concerns the application of PACE, generally, to the activities of "TV Licensing".

Yours faithfully,

Mark on behalf of LicenceFree.co.uk

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mark,

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as detailed in your email below. Your request was received on 1st June 2012. We will deal with your request as promptly as possible, and at the latest within 20 working days. If you have any queries about your request, please contact us at the address below.

The reference number for your request is RFI20120595.

Kind regards

The Information Policy & Compliance Team

BBC Freedom of Information
Room 2252, BBC White City
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TS

www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: [BBC request email]

Tel: 020 8008 2882
Fax: 020 8008 2398

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Dear FOI Enquiries,

I note that the BBC has failed to repond to my request within the time limit normally required by law.

Please can you advise your present target date for completion?

Yours sincerely,

Mark on behalf of LicenceFree.co.uk

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mark,

Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to your Freedom of Information request (RFI20120595).

We are in the final stages of collating a response and hope to reply to you by the end of the week - Friday 6 July.

We will of course endeavour to respond as soon as possible and will keep you informed should we anticipate further delay.

Yours sincerely,

The Information Policy and Compliance Team

BBC Information Policy and Compliance
Room 2252, White City
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TS, UK

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: mailto:[BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2883
Fax: 020 8008 2398

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FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mark

I write to explain that we are not yet in a position to respond to your Freedom of Information request (RFI20120595).

Please accept my apologies for the continued delay and for any inconvenience that this may cause.

We hope to respond to you this week, no later than Friday 13 July. Please be assured that we will endeavour to reply as early as possible and we will of course keep you informed should we anticipate further delay.

Yours sincerely,

The Information Policy and Compliance Team

BBC Information Policy and Compliance
Room 2252, White City
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TS, UK

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: mailto:[BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2883
Fax: 020 8008 2398

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FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

2 Attachments

Dear Mark

                

Please find attached the BBC’s response to your Freedom of Information
request RFI20120595

 

Yours sincerely

 

BBC Information Policy and Compliance

Room 2252, White City

201 Wood Lane

London W12 7TS, UK

 

Website: [1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi

Email: [2]mailto:[BBC request email]

Tel: 020 8008 2883

Fax: 020 8008 2398

 

 
[3]http://www.bbc.co.uk
This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal
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If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system.
Do not use, copy or disclose the information in any way nor act in
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Please note that the BBC monitors e-mails sent or received.
Further communication will signify your consent to this.

References

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Dear FOI Enquiries,

Thank you for your response to my FOI request.

I would like to challenge the accuracy of your response on a point of law, namely that "Dudley vs Debenhams" established some key principles that the BBC does not seem to be addressing.

Please can you advise how that might be done?

Yours sincerely,

Mark on behalf of LicenceFree.co.uk

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mark

 

Thank you for your further email.  I was sorry to read of your
dissatisfaction. 

 

If you are not satisfied that we have complied with the Act in responding
to your request, you have the right to an internal review by a BBC senior
manager or legal adviser. Please contact us at the address above,
explaining what you would like us to review and including your reference
number.

 

If you are not satisfied with the internal review, you can appeal to the
Information Commissioner. The contact details are:

 

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow SK9 5AF

 

Telephone: 01625 545 700

Website: [1]http://www.ico.gov.uk/

 

Yours sincerely,

 

The Information Policy and Compliance Team

 

BBC Information Policy and Compliance

Room 2252, White City

201 Wood Lane

London W12 7TS, UK

 

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/foi

Email: mailto:[BBC request email]

Tel: 020 8008 2883

Fax: 020 8008 2398

 

 

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Mr Akhtar left an annotation ()

Hi Mark,

The reply reference section 67(9) from the BBC is simply inaccurate. I have a letter from the Home Office (Tereza May no less) who confirms that it applies to any one charged with a duty of investigating or charging offenders are required to adhere to PACE. Clearly the BBC is charged with investigating non payers which I believe is a criminal offence, but would in any case be covered under investigating.

There is a court case which I think is very relevant:

Joy v Federation Against Copyright Theft [1993] Crim LR 588

Hope that helps.

Regards
Mac

Mark left an annotation ()

Thanks.

As you can see, the BBC's FOI people have avoided commenting on a point of law. I suppose I shall have to complain the the BBC Executive.

Mark.

Mark Salter left an annotation ()

Requesting an internal review would be the next step, although of course raising the issue with the BBC Exec as well could be a good idea too.

If you still do not receive the information then the ICO will be able to help with your complaint.

Mr Akhtar left an annotation ()

Hi,

If you really want to get into this; simply:

PACE book notes should be kept in PACE Books (black note books) with sequentally numbered pages the same or similar to those that are used by the police.

The issuing of pace books should be recorded and once used should be securely archived. The archiving should have a file in itself for terieval purposes.

The originals are retained by police for at least 7 years if not indefinately. It is standard practise for the originals to be kept at least 7 years irrespective of electronic copies.

The BBC appear not to be fulfilling a legal obligation. PACE also requires for recordings to be made at interviews.

Regards
Mac

Mark left an annotation ()

I bundled this and several other legal breaches into an Open Letter that I sent to the BBC Executive and copied various Newspapers and MPs.

The response was slightly more muted than I would have hoped for, but the DCMS is presently investigating the issue.

Mark.