Res ipsa Loquitor

Dear Avon and Somerset Constabulary,

I am interested to know

- how many computers (desktops, laptops, tablets) are in the Force estate for use by officers and staff?
- which is the prevalent computer operating system across the constabulary (for example Microsoft Windows XP, WIndows7, Windows 10, iOS (Apple), Chrome or other);
- which version of that system is the default;
- regardless which system is the current default, whether there is an intention to move to Windows 10 and if so when and at what estimated cost.

If the force has commenced this move to Windows 10, what approximate proportion of devices are using Windows 10.

I am not seeking any personal information of any kind.

Yours faithfully,

Res ipsa Loquitor (Brian Speedwell)

#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Thank you for your request for information. Your request will now be considered and you will receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act. In some circumstances Avon and Somerset Constabulary may be unable to achieve this deadline if consideration needs to be given to the public interest test. If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

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#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

1 Attachment

 

 

 

 

Corporate Communications Department

Force Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road,

Portishead, Bristol, BS20 8QJ

    

 

Brian Speedwell Our 692/19
Reference
[FOI #578251 email]  
Date 17^th
June
2019

   

 

Dear Mr Speedwell

 

 

I write in connection with your request for information dated 22^nd May
2019.

 

I regret to inform you that Avon and Somerset Constabulary have not been
able to complete its response to your request by the date originally
stated. 

 

I now advise you that the amended date for a response is no later than
18^th July 2019.  This is due to consideration being given to the
application of a qualified exemption, and as such will require further
consideration regarding the public interest test.  I can assure you that
every effort will be made to ensure an appropriate response will be made
within this new timescale.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Becky Berridge

Deputy Freedom of Information Officer

 

Corporate Communications Dept  |  Avon and Somerset Police

[1]www.avonandsomerset.police.uk  |  Follow us on [2]Twitter and
[3]Facebook

 

[4]ASP-Email-Signature-258px-Nov2018

 

 

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#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

2 Attachments

Corporate Communications Department

Force Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road,

Portishead, Bristol, BS20 8QJ

Email [email address]    

 

 

 

 

Brian Speedwell Our 692/19
Reference
[FOI #578251 email] Date 18
July
2019

 

 

Dear Mr Speedwell

 

I write in connection with your request for information dated 22^nd May
2019 under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Specifically you asked:

 

1.    how many computers (desktops, laptops, tablets) are in the Force
estate for use by officers and staff?

2.    which is the prevalent computer operating system across the
constabulary (for example Microsoft Windows XP, WIndows7, Windows 10, iOS
(Apple), Chrome or other);

3.    which version of that system is the default;

4.    regardless which system is the current default, whether there is an
intention to move to Windows 10 and if so when and at what estimated cost.

 

If the force has commenced this move to Windows 10, what approximate
proportion of devices are using Windows 10.

 

 

Our response:

 

 1. Please find the information in the table below:

 

+-----------------------------------------+
|Device |Count |
|-----------------------+-----------------|
|Desktops | 3,824|
|-----------------------+-----------------|
|Laptops | 6,489|
|-----------------------+-----------------|
|Tablets | 411|
|-----------------------+-----------------|
|Toughbooks | 114|
+-----------------------------------------+

 

With reference to questions 2 – 4, this information is exempt from
disclosure by virtue of the following exemptions: 

 

Section 24(1) National Security

Section 31(1) Law Enforcement

 

Sections 24 and 31 being prejudice based qualified exemptions, both
evidence of harm and public interest considerations need to be articulated
to the applicant.

 

Harm

Policing is an information-led activity, and information assurance (which
includes information security) is fundamental to how the police service
manages the challenges faced.  In order to comply with statutory
requirements, the [1]College of Policing Authorised Professional Practice
for Information Assurance has been put in place to ensure the delivery of
core operational policing by providing appropriate and consistent
protection for the information assets of member organisations.

 

To disclose the requested information would identify vulnerable computer
systems and provide actual knowledge, or not, that this software is used
within individual force areas.   In addition, this would have a huge
impact on the effective delivery of operational law enforcement as it
would leave forces open to cyberattack which could render computer devices
obsolete.

 

This type of information would be extremely beneficial to offenders,
including terrorists and terrorist organisations.  It is vitally important
that information sharing takes place with other police forces and security
bodies within the UK to support counter-terrorism measures in the fight to
deprive terrorist networks of their ability to commit crime.

 

To disclose information relating to a certain operating system would be
extremely useful to those involved in terrorist activity as it would
enable them to map vulnerable information security databases.

 

Public Interest Considerations

 

Section 24(1) National Security

 

Factors favouring disclosure

The public are entitled to know how public funds are spent and how
resources are distributed within an area of policing.  Disclosing this
information would highlight forces that use out of date software.  In the
current financial climate of cuts and with the call for transparency of
public spending this would enable improved public debate into this
subject.

 

Factors against disclosure

Security measures are put in place to protect the community we serve.  As
evidenced within the harm in disclosure, disclosure would highlight to
terrorists and individuals intent on carrying out criminal activity any
potential vulnerabilities within Avon and Somerset Police. 

 

Taking into account the current security climate within the United
Kingdom, no information which may aid a terrorist should be disclosed.  To
what extent this information may aid a terrorist is unknown, but it is
clear that it will have an impact on a force’s ability to monitor
terrorist activity. 

 

The public entrust the police service to make appropriate decisions with
regard to their safety and protection and the only way of reducing risk is
to be cautious with what is placed into the public domain. 

 

The cumulative effect of terrorists gathering information from various
sources would be even more impactive when linked to other information
gathered from various sources about terrorism.  The more information
disclosed over time will give a more detailed account of the tactical
infrastructure of not only a force area, but also the country as a whole.

 

Any incident that results from such a disclosure would, by default, affect
National Security.

 

Section 31(1) Law Enforcement

 

Factors favouring disclosure

Providing the requested information would lead to a better informed public
which may encourage individuals to provide intelligence in order to reduce
the risk of police networks being hacked. 

 

Factors against disclosure

Disclosure in this case would suggest that Avon and Somerset Police take
their responsibility to protect information and information systems from
unauthorised access, destruction, etc., dismissively and inappropriately.

 

Balancing Test

 

The police service is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and
detecting crime and protecting the communities we serve.  As part of that
policing purpose, information is gathered which can be highly sensitive
relating to high profile investigative activity.

 

Weakening the mechanisms used to monitor any type of criminal activity,
and specifically terrorist activity would place the security of the
country at an increased level of danger. 

 

In order to comply with statutory requirements and to meet NPCC
expectation of the police service with regard to the management of
information security a national policy approved by the College of Policing
titled [2]National Policing Community Security Policy has been put in
place.  This policy has been constructed to ensure the delivery of core
operational policing by providing appropriate and consistent protection
for the information assets of member organisations. 

 

In addition, anything that places that confidence at risk, no matter how
generic, would undermine any trust or confidence individuals have in the
police service.  Therefore, at this moment in time, it is our opinion that
for these issues the balance test favours non-disclosure.

 

 

 

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Becky Berridge

Deputy Freedom of Information Officer

 

Corporate Communications Dept  |  Avon and Somerset Police

[3]www.avonandsomerset.police.uk  |  Follow us on [4]Twitter and
[5]Facebook

 

 

Please note:

1.     Requests and responses may be published on Avon and Somerset
Constabulary’s website (within 24 hours), some of which may contain a link
to additional information, which may provide you with further
clarification.

2.     Whilst we may verbally discuss your request with you in order to
seek clarification, all other communication should be made in writing.

3.     Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides you with the right to
request a re-examination of your case under its review procedure (copy
attached).

 

 

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