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Casework Manager, Susan Badham - Humberside Police complaint

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Dear Independent Office for Police Conduct,

An IOPC decision letter of 25 April 2019 relates to an appeal against Humberside Police's decision (Investigation outcome ) in respect of a complaint ref: CO/632/18

PART ONE

The IOPC outcome contains the following in respect of the complainant's appeal grounds:

"In relation to specific appeal points (appeal points have been summarised by theme where necessary for clarity):
.....................
e) You consider that an appropriate line of enquiry for the complaint investigation would have been to establish whether the letter had ever been sent (given that the recipient at the incorrect address stated they never received it). You believe that this may be the case and that the incorrect address may have been added as a “red herring”. You speculate that this may be because the electronic properties of the original letter allegedly produced on 12 September (as opposed to the PDF version sent to you) would show that it had been prepared on a later date. In your view the [Investigating Officer] could have checked this even if the original caseworker had left because the letter, with its electronic properties, would still be on the system.

I have obtained an image showing the electronic properties of the original letter and it shows that the letter was produced before the 12 September. This demonstrates that the letter was not prepared at a later date. In itself this does not support or undermine your view that the letter may not have been sent. However in the absence of any other evidence that shows that the normal process was not followed further investigation of this possibility would not have been proportionate. "

Q.1 Did Humberside police send the IOPC Casework Manager, Susan Badham, an image showing the electronic properties of the original letter

Q.2 If yes to Q.1, please disclose the image

PART TWO

What is required is the actual file to independently verify the properties and the claim (an image is insufficient proof). If Humberside Police sent the letter electronically to the IOPC when it was purportedly sent to the wrong address then the IOPC would not need to rely on an image (this can easily be forged), the IOPC would have had the file itself. If the letter had not been sent electronically but by Royal Mail, equally good evidence would be held by the IOPC (the hard copy). Either way, the force was under a duty to provide the outcome to the IOPC.

Q.3 Did Humberside Police send the letter to the IOPC when it was purportedly sent (by post) to the wrong address on 12 September 2018 (electronically and/or by post)?

Q.4 If yes to Q.3, please disclose the date

Yours faithfully,

Bert Derby

!Request Info, Independent Office for Police Conduct

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!Request Info, Independent Office for Police Conduct

1 Attachment

Dear Requester

We have received your request for information via the WhatDoTheyKnow website and due to the similarities in nature and style to a number of other requests we have recently received, we have reasons to suspect that ' Bert Derby' is an alias and that you are using the FOIA to try to further personal matters.

Section 8(1)(b) of the FOIA requires that a request for information includes the real name of the requester otherwise the request is deemed invalid.

Before we can progress your latest request, and solely for the purposes of clarification, we therefore require proof of your identity so that we can be satisfied that this is in fact a legitimate request for information by ' Bert Derby'.

Guidance is attached that outlines the type of documents that you may provide to verify your identity. You should use a personal email address to send proof of identity and quote reference number 1007978.

Once you have provided proof that 'Bert Derby' is your real name, we will be happy to progress your request.

Yours sincerely

FOI and DPA Team
Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) PO Box 473 Sale Manchester
M33 0BW

Tel: 0300 020 0096

www.policeconduct.gov.uk

Follow us on Twitter at: @policeconduct

Find out how we handle your personal data.

We now regularly publish practical advice and guidance for handling complaints in our magazine FOCUS

show quoted sections

Dear !Request Info,

"we have reasons to suspect that ' Bert Derby' is an alias and that you are using the FOIA to try to further personal matters."

The Freedom of Information Act provides a key tool for exposing bad practice (and criminal misconduct) by public authorities which is the objective in this case therefore your view that I am using the FOIA to try to further personal matters is irrelevant.

In any event, the Information Commissioner considers it good practice to respond to a request from an applicant whom the public body suspects has submitted it under a pseudonym (unless there is a valid reasons not to do so). A requester would only wish to hide their identity if he wanted his own personal data to circumvent paying the fee that public bodies sometimes charge for complying with a Subject Access Request (SAR). This information does not fall in a category of personal information and would be considered by the Commissioner in this case to be good practice to respond to the request.

Yours sincerely,

Bert Derby

!Request Info, Independent Office for Police Conduct

This is an automated email please do not respond to it.

Thank you for your email.

If you have made a request for information to the IOPC, your email and any attachments will be assessed, logged and forwarded onto the appropriate department to prepare the response.

FOI & DPA Team

!Request Info, Independent Office for Police Conduct

Dear Requester

As explained in our original email, on receipt of your proof of identity we will progress your request. As it stands we believe that you are not using your real name which makes your request invalid and we will therefore not respond.

You should also be aware that we will not provide information about, nor comment upon, personal cases relating to individuals under the FOIA. Your request clearly has a personal context and you will have been informed of the channels available to you to challenge an IOPC decision. Using the FOIA to try to further communications about a personal matter is not appropriate. We would also refer you to the ' House Rules' of the WhatDoTheyKnow website which state: "Use WhatDoTheyKnow only to request specific information, not for general correspondence with public authorities, and certainly not for correspondence about your own personal circumstances."

I trust this explains our position.

Yours sincerely

FOI and DPA Team
Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)
PO Box 473
Sale
Manchester
M33 0BW
Tel: 0300 020 0096
www.policeconduct.gov.uk 
Follow us on Twitter at: @policeconduct
Find out how we handle your personal data.
We now regularly publish practical advice and guidance for handling complaints in our magazine FOCUS

show quoted sections

Dear !Request Info,

Quote:
"Your request clearly has a personal context and you will have been informed of the channels available to you to challenge an IOPC decision."

I assume from the above that the avenue you refer to as being available to someone who disagrees with an IOPC decision is the option to appeal to the high court (judicial review). A public body making a decision that a complainant deems challengeable on a point of law is one thing but is quite another when the authority deliberately misapplies the law in order to cause a person further injustice. There is a clear distinction, the latter involves public officials failing to act impartially, fairly etc., amounting to a betrayal of public trust and will therefore be a criminal matter requiring the involvement of the police.

To reiterate what I said earlier; "the Freedom of Information Act provides a key tool for exposing bad practice (and criminal misconduct) by public authorities which is the objective in this case therefore your view that I am using the FOIA to try to further personal matters is irrelevant."

Yours sincerely,

Bert Derby

!Request Info, Independent Office for Police Conduct

This is an automated email please do not respond to it.

Thank you for your email.

If you have made a request for information to the IOPC, your email and any attachments will be assessed, logged and forwarded onto the appropriate department to prepare the response.

FOI & DPA Team

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Bert Derby please sign in and let everyone know.