Dear West Midlands Police,

1. Please confirm the number of reported vehicle thefts in the following area over the last 12 months:

Moyle Drive - B63 2XR
Apperley Way - B63 2PN
Wiltshire Drive - B63 2XU
Pippin Avenue - B63 2PW
Mansell Close - B63 2XT
Ormande Close - B63 2
Brades Close - B63 2XZ
Walmley Close - B63 2YB
Netherend Lane - B63 2PU
Lyde Green - B63 2

2. Please also separately confirm the number of vehicle thefts reported in the the 12 months before this for the same streets.

Yours faithfully,

Craig Harris

Freedom of Information,

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Freedom of Information,

Dear Mr Harris

 

 

 

FOI Request Reference: 020013/18

 

Thank you for your request for information, received 06/11/2018

 

REQUEST

 

1. Please confirm the number of reported vehicle thefts in the following
area over the last 12 months:

 

Moyle Drive - B63 2XR

Apperley Way - B63 2PN

Wiltshire Drive - B63 2XU

Pippin Avenue - B63 2PW

Mansell Close - B63 2XT

Ormande Close - B63 2

Brades Close - B63 2XZ

Walmley Close - B63 2YB

Netherend Lane - B63 2PU

Lyde Green  - B63 2

 

2. Please also separately confirm the number of vehicle thefts reported in
the 12 months before this for the same streets.

 

 

RESPONSE

 

Some information may be available on the following website

[1]www.police.uk

 

West Midlands Police will neither confirm nor deny that we hold any of the
requested information as the following exemptions apply.

 

Section 30(3) Investigations

Section 40(5B) Personal Data

 

These exemptions and explanatory notes are shown here:

 

[2]https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-co...

 

When citing Section 40(5B), there is a requirement to consider whether
disclosure would be fair.  In this case release would not be fair and
therefore Section 40(5B) is classed as absolute and there is no
requirement to consider the public interest.

 

In line with the above, I am required to complete a Prejudice Test/Public
Interest Test (PIT) on disclosure.

 

Section 30 (3)

 

Harm

 

Inappropriate disclosure of information about an investigation can
interfere with that investigation by allowing suspects to change their
behaviour, destroy evidence or prepare alibis based on their knowledge of
the information known (or not known) by West Midlands Police.

 

The Freedom of Information Act makes it a legal requirement that an
authority has to not only provide information, unless it is exempt, but to
also confirm whether or not that information is held, unless to do so
would in itself provide exempt information. In this case to confirm or
deny details of an investigation would provide confirmation of the
existence, or otherwise, of an investigation.

 

Release of information through the Freedom of Information Act removes any
of the legal strictures and assumptions of confidentiality associated with
the due legal process. As a consequence any on-going or subsequent court
proceedings could be jeopardised where release of information regarding an
individual was identified.

 

Considerations that favour confirming or denying

 

Transparency

Disclosing information about investigations would provide a greater
transparency in the investigating process and the actions of a public
authority. It is clear that there is a public interest in public
authorities operating in as transparent a manner as possible, as this
should ensure they operate effectively and efficiently. Confirming the
existence of an investigation could help to ensure that authorities do not
overlook issues which they should investigate or that they have good
reasons for not investigating.

 

Accountability

There is a clear public interest in ensuring that public authorities do
not act outside their authority by investigating matters which fall
outside their remit. By making certain that public authorities confirm or
deny whether information is held in relation to investigations, this
should provide the necessary safeguards and satisfy the public interest in
this matter.

 

Considerations against confirming or denying

 

Fair Treatment of an Individual or organisations

The interest of the public is best served by the non-disclosure of
information which adversely affects the reputation of an individual e.g.
whether they are involved in a police investigation. In this case the
request specifically asks for information about individuals.

 

Public Confidence

The public must be confident that West Midlands Police are committed to
ensuring that information provided by them will only be used for
appropriate purposes and that the confidentiality of any information given
will be maintained. Therefore they should be assured that West Midlands
Police would never confirm or deny the existence or otherwise of
information that would breach confidentiality.

 

Law Enforcement

Where current or future law enforcement role of the force may be
compromised by the release of information, then this is unlikely to be in
the interest of the public.  In this case, for the reasons outlined above,
confirming or denying the existence of an investigation could jeopardise
future police operations and compromise the future prevention and
detection of crime.

 

Efficient and Effective Conduct of the Service

There is an inherently strong public interest in public authorities
carrying out investigations to prevent and detect crime. This ensures that
offenders are brought to justice and that the necessary checks and
balances are in place to safeguard public funds and resources. To allow
the effectiveness of investigations to be reduced, as described in the
harm above, is not in the public interest. West Midlands Police need to be
allowed to carry out investigations effectively away from public scrutiny
until such times as the details need to be made public, otherwise it will
be difficult for accurate, thorough and objective investigations to be
carried out.

 

Legal Proceedings

It would not be in the public interest to confirm or deny the existence or
otherwise of information that may be of assistance to offenders/prevent an
individual from being brought to justice.  The right to a fair trial is of
paramount importance and any disclosure which could enhance media
attention prior to any proceedings could compromise an individual’s right
to a fair trial under the Human Rights Act.

 

Balancing Test

 

For a public interest test, issues that favour release need to be measured
against issues that favour non-disclosure. The public interest is not what
interests the public, or a particular individual, but what will be the
greater good, if released, to the community as a whole.

 

The issues of transparency and awareness are noted. However, on balance it
is considered that the public interest in confirming or denying whether
the information exists is outweighed by the potential impact release would
have on individual’s privacy and on future law enforcement activities.

 

Although confirmation of whether or not the requested information is held
by the public authority might provide a greater transparency in the
investigating process, there are already a number of checks and balances
on authorities to assess whether investigations are conducted
appropriately. There are legal processes in place to ensure that all
parties are given access to all the appropriate information at the time of
any trial and subsequently through court records. In addition if a person
feels that they have been treated inappropriately by the police there are
clear processes in place to ensure that matters are investigated
thoroughly and appropriately.

 

Releasing information outside of such a schedule could undermine the
smooth running of these processes and would impact on future judicial
proceedings. Therefore the wider public interest lies in protecting the
ability of the public authority to conduct an effective investigation and
consider the outcome.

 

Having considered the arguments for and against, the public interest test
favours maintaining the exclusion of the duty to confirm or deny whether
the information exists. West Midlands Police will not disclose information
that could reveal personal information or could compromise the future law
enforcement role of the force.

 

 

 

.

 

 

No inference can be taken from this refusal that the information you have
requested does or does not exist.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

For further information and data on West Midlands Police see our
publication scheme and disclosure log

 

[3]http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/

 

RIGHT OF APPEAL

 

Your attention is drawn to your right to request a re-examination of your
case under West Midlands Police review procedure, which can be found at:

 

[4]http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/revie...

 

Please note that such an appeal must be received within 40 working days of
the date of this correspondence. Any such request received after this time
will only be considered at the discretion of the FOI Unit.

 

If you require any further information, then please do not hesitate to
contact me.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Susan Brown

Freedom of Information Unit

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emergency response, please call 101. In an emergency, dial 999.

 

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This email is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged
or confidential information. If received in error, please notify the
originator immediately. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. Views or opinions
expressed in this email do not necessarily represent those of West
Midlands Police. All West Midlands Police email activity is monitored for
virus, racist, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate activity. No
responsibility is accepted by West Midlands Police for any loss or damage
arising in any way from the receipt or use of this email.

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