Climate camp "oil spill" laboratory report

David Hansen made this Freedom of Information request to Lothian and Borders Police

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 successful.

Dear Lothian and Borders Police,

In a series of FoI enquiries you provided some information about the alleged "oil spill(s)" caused by climate campers on 23/8/10. "Oil spill(s)" which you rushed to the mass media with, in order to defame the campers, but which you have been very reluctant to back up with evidence.

In http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/cl... you refused to provide a copy of the analysis report regarding the "oil spill". You claimed there was an "ongoing investigation".

At your suggestion I asked the Fiscal bunch about the report http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/cl... and they said that they did not have a copy of it.

Given that all the "climate camp" cases were in court earlier this year please assist me with my enquiries by answering the following questions:

1) How many "ongoing investigations" are there currently with regard to climate camp?

2) Is there still an "ongoing investigation" into the "oil spill"?

3) If there is not an "ongoing investigation" please provide a copy of the analysis of the sample(s).

Please note that "replies" which involve attachments in proprietary file formats are not acceptable. A reply which is not in plain text format will be deemed to be a refusal to answer. It may be that the report cannot be provided in text form, in which case an Acrobat file would be fine.

Yours faithfully,

David Hansen

Lothian and Borders Police

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Dear Lothian and Borders Police,

"This email is privileged, confidential and subject to copyright. Any unauthorised use or disclosure of its content is prohibited."

Too bad, it is on the web for anyone to look at if they wish.

Yours faithfully,

David Hansen

Lothian and Borders Police

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Hanson,

Thank you for your email which has been dealt with under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. Please find the answers to your questions below:

1) How many "ongoing investigations" are there currently with regard to climate camp?

There are no active investigations ongoing with regard to Climate Camp at this time (13.10.11)

2) Is there still an "ongoing investigation" into the "oil spill"?

The person or person(s) responsible for spillage of oil on the A720, South Gyle Broadway and Gogarburn roundabout, Edinburgh, on Monday 23 August 2010 have not been identified or traced. The case remains unsolved.

3) If there is not an "ongoing investigation" please provide a copy of the analysis of the sample(s).

Please find attached the analysis report which relates to the oil. You will note that the names of the officer requesting the report, and the chemists completing it, have been redacted/blacked out. This is because this information is, in these circumstances, considered to be personal data and is exempt under section 38 (1) (b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. These individuals do not occupy a high profile or public facing role and therefore I do not consider there to be any public interest in releasing their names into the public domain.

I hope this is of assistance to you; however, if you have any questions about the above or I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me again. However, under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, you have the right to appeal if you are dissatisfied with the way in which we have dealt with your enquiry. This should be done within 40 working days of receiving this email. If you wish to appeal please contact Rachel Watson, Head of Force Information Unit, Lothian and Borders Police, Police Headquarters, Fettes Avenue, Edinburgh, EH4 1RB. Please note that subsequent to this internal review there is a right of appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS.

Kind regards,
Sarah Hughes-Jones
Force Information Unit
Lothian and Borders Police

show quoted sections

Dear Lothian and Borders Police,

Thank you for eventually supplying a copy of the report, and a summary of the investigation.

I note the chronology, and I record it here for reference.

On 23/8/10 the "oil spill(s)" are spotted. Shortly afterwards Lothian & Borders Police rushes to defame the campers with two press releases, which are widely reported. At the time of these two press releases Lothian & Borders Police had no idea what had been spilt, who spilt it and whether the spill(s) were accidental or deliberate.

On 7/10/10, more than a month after the defamatory press releases, Lothian & Borders Police bothers to submit samples to the laboratory.

On 27/10/10 the chemist writes the report.

On 29/10/10 the senior chemist reviews the report. Thus the earliest that Lothian & Borders Police could have known what was spilt was 29/10/10, more than two months after the defamatory press releases.

That does not strike me as an urgent investigation. Quite the reverse, but the "ongoing investigation" had the great advantage of allowing Lothian & Borders Police to avoid being examined about its defamatory press releases.

It is still not known who spilled the oil, or whether it was deliberate or accidental.

Conclusions

1) Both press releases were known to be false when they were issued. At the time they were released Lothian & Borders Police did not know what had been spilt, who had spilt it and whether this was accidental or deliberate. The phrase sexing-up is highly appropriate.

2) Lothian & Borders Police run a propaganda operation, not an information operation. I imagine those responsible for this bit of propaganda are delighted with the outcome. A lie is twice round the world before the truth has got its boots on. It has taken more than a year since the defamatory press releases to get to the truth.

3) If Lothian & Borders Police had an ounce of integrity it would apologise to climate camp, asking the media for the apology to be given the same prominence as the original propaganda.

4) Lessons have probably been learnt from this, but these will not be lessons which make such lies less likely in future.

Yours faithfully,

David Hansen

Lothian and Borders Police

Thank you for emailing Lothian and Borders Police.  This office, Force
Information Unit, operates Monday to Friday 8am - 3.45pm.  Please note
that your email will not be dealt with outwith these hours. 

If you require an immediate response please dial 0131 311 3131.  If it is
an emergency please dial 999.

Thank you.

This email is privileged, confidential and subject to copyright.  Any
unauthorised use or disclosure of its content is prohibited.  The views
expressed in this communication may not necessarily be the views of
Lothian and Borders Police.

P Please, consider your environmental responsibility. Before printing
this e-mail ask yourself: "Do I need a printed copy?"

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