Congestion Charge ANPR Certificate of Access

The request was partially successful.

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

In 2007, the Home Secretary provided the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London with a certificate providing certain exemptions from the Data Protection Act and its use regarding data produced by the London Congestion Charging zone. This certificate provided the Metropolitan Police with the authority to access data from the Congestion Charging system where that data was a matter of national security.

Please can the Metropolitan Police provide:

1) A copy of this certificate
2) A complete record of the MPS's correspondence with the Information Commissioner's Office regarding the annual reports to the ICO on the use of the certificate
3) The current status of the certificate (revoked, ongoing, under review etc)
4) Details about how the data received under the certificate is kept separate from the MPS's own ANPR camera data (fixed and mobile cameras)
5) Any policy documents regarding the MPS's handling of the Congestion Charge data specifically

I appreciate your assistance in this matter, and please do not hesitate to contact me if any clarification is required.

Yours faithfully,

James Bridle

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Bridle

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2013090000516
I write in connection with your request for information  which was
received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 03/09/2013.  I note
you seek access to the following information:

"Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

In 2007, the Home Secretary provided the Metropolitan Police and Transport
for London with a certificate providing certain exemptions from the Data
Protection Act and its use regarding data produced by the London
Congestion Charging zone. This certificate provided the Metropolitan
Police with the authority to access data from the Congestion Charging
system where that data was a matter of national security.

Please can the Metropolitan Police provide: 1) A copy of this certificate
2) A complete record of the MPS's correspondence with the Information
Commissioner's Office regarding the annual reports to the ICO on the use
of the certificate 3) The current status of the certificate (revoked,
ongoing, under review etc) 4) Details about how the data received under
the certificate is kept separate from the MPS's own ANPR camera data
(fixed and mobile cameras) 5) Any policy documents regarding the MPS's
handling of the Congestion Charge data specifically I appreciate your
assistance in this matter, and please do not hesitate to contact me if any
clarification is required. !

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act).  You will receive a response within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, subject to
the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third
party.  In some circumstances the MPS may be unable to achieve this
deadline.  If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised
time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to
another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest
possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet, which details your right of
complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write
or contact Peter Deja on telephone number [..........]  quoting the
reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Peter Deja
Policy and Support Officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Bridle

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2013090000516

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 03/09/2013.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

* Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), In 2007, the Home Secretary
provided the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London with a
certificate providing certain exemptions from the Data Protection Act
and its use regarding data produced by the London Congestion Charging
zone. This certificate provided the Metropolitan Police with the
authority to access data from the Congestion Charging system where
that data was a matter of national security.  Please can the
Metropolitan Police provide:
* 1) A copy of this certificate
* 2) A complete record of the MPS's correspondence with the Information
Commissioner's Office regarding the annual reports to the ICO on the
use of the certificate
* 3) The current status of the certificate (revoked, ongoing, under
review etc)
* 4) Details about how the data received under the certificate is kept
separate from the MPS's own ANPR camera data (fixed and mobile
cameras)
* 5) Any policy documents regarding the MPS's handling of the Congestion
Charge data specifically I appreciate your assistance in this matter,
and please do not hesitate to contact me if any clarification is
required.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act), we have 20 working
days to respond to a request for information unless we are considering
whether the information requested is covered by one of the 'qualified
exemptions' (exemptions which must be tested against the public interest
before deciding whether they apply to the information in question).

Where we are considering the public interest test against the application
of relevant qualified exemptions, Section 17(2)(b) provides that we can
extend the 20 day deadline.

Section 17(2) provides:

2) Where-
a) in relation to any request for information, a public authority is, as
respects any information, relying on a claim-
i) that any provision of Part II which relates to the duty to confirm or
deny and is not specified in section 2(3) is relevant to the request, or
ii) that the information is exempt information only by virtue of a
provision not specified in section 2(3), and
b) at the time when the notice under subsection (1) is given to the
applicant, the public authority (or, in a case falling within section
66(3) or (4), the responsible authority) has not yet reached a decision as
to the application of subsection (1)(b) or (2)(b) of section 2,
the notice under subsection (1) must indicate that no decision as to the
application of that provision has yet been reached and must contain an
estimate of the date by which the authority expects that such a decision
will have been reached.

I am sorry to inform you that we have not been able to complete our
response to your request by the date originally stated, as we are
currently considering whether 'qualified exemptions' apply to the
information you have requested. As a result we will not be able to respond
within 20 working days.

For your information we are considering the following exemptions:

Section 24 National Security
Section 31 Law Enforcement

I can now advise you that the amended date for a response is 29 October
2013.

May I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to make a complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on 0207 161 3583 or at the address at the top of this letter,
quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

David Edwards
Public Access Office
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Thank you for your response. I look forward to another reply by 29th October.

Yours faithfully,

James Bridle

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Bridle
Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2013090000516
I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 03/09/2013.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

* Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), In 2007, the Home Secretary
provided the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London with a
certificate providing certain exemptions from the Data Protection Act
and its use regarding data produced by the London Congestion Charging
zone. This certificate provided the Metropolitan Police with the
authority to access data from the Congestion Charging system where
that data was a matter of national security.  Please can the
Metropolitan Police provide:
* 1) A copy of this certificate
* 2) A complete record of the MPS's correspondence with the Information
Commissioner's Office regarding the annual reports to the ICO on the
use of the certificate
* 3) The current status of the certificate (revoked, ongoing, under
review etc)
* 4) Details about how the data received under the certificate is kept
separate from the MPS's own ANPR camera data (fixed and mobile
cameras)
* 5) Any policy documents regarding the MPS's handling of the Congestion
Charge data specifically I appreciate your assistance in this matter,
and please do not hesitate to contact me if any clarification is
required.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act), we have 20 working
days to respond to a request for information unless we are considering
whether the information requested is covered by one of the 'qualified
exemptions' (exemptions which must be tested against the public interest
before deciding whether they apply to the information in question).
Where we are considering the public interest test against the application
of relevant qualified exemptions, Section 17(2)(b) provides that we can
extend the 20 day deadline.
Section 17(2) provides:
2) Where-
a) in relation to any request for information, a public authority is, as
respects any information, relying on a claim-
i) that any provision of Part II which relates to the duty to confirm or
deny and is not specified in section 2(3) is relevant to the request, or
ii) that the information is exempt information only by virtue of a
provision not specified in section 2(3), and
b) at the time when the notice under subsection (1) is given to the
applicant, the public authority (or, in a case falling within section
66(3) or (4), the responsible authority) has not yet reached a decision as
to the application of subsection (1)(b) or (2)(b) of section 2,
the notice under subsection (1) must indicate that no decision as to the
application of that provision has yet been reached and must contain an
estimate of the date by which the authority expects that such a decision
will have been reached.
I am sorry to inform you that we have not been able to complete our
response to your request by the date originally stated, as we are
currently considering whether 'qualified exemptions' apply to the
information you have requested. As a result we will not be able to respond
within 20 working days.
For your information we are considering the following exemptions:
Section 24 National Security
Section 31 Law Enforcement
I can now advise you that the amended date for a response is 26 November
2013.
I would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.
COMPLAINT RIGHTS
If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to make a complaint.
Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on 0207 161 3583 or at the address at the top of this letter,
quoting the reference number above.
Yours sincerely

David Edwards
Public Access Office
COMPLAINT RIGHTS
Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?
You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.
Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  
Complaint
If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.
Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:
FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]
In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner
After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.
For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Thank you for the notification. The response is now substantially overdue, and I look forward to a full response no later than 26 November
2013.

Yours faithfully,

James Bridle

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Bridle,

I write further to the below. Unfortunately I have not yet been able to complete the request as I had hoped. Since the last update significant progress has been made. I have now completed the information gathering phase, suggested redactions on the majority of the documents and have begun to draft a response. My next steps will involve the completion of the preliminary redactions and the draft response. Following that I will need to circulate the information for approval/finalisation.

I do apologise for the delay in responding to your request however I hope you can understand that this relates to matters of National Security and is therefore a complex and time consuming matter.

I am now working towards a deadline of 19 December 2013.

Regards,

David.

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Edwards,

Thank you for the update. As the request is now significantly overdue, any advance on the 19th December where possible would be much appreciated.

Yours faithfully,

James Bridle

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

10 Attachments

Dear Mr Bridle

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2013090000516

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 03/09/2013.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

* In 2007, the Home Secretary provided the Metropolitan Police and
Transport for London with a certificate providing certain exemptions
from the Data Protection Act and its use regarding data produced by
the London Congestion Charging zone.  This certificate provided the
Metropolitan Police with the authority to access data from the
Congestion Charging system where that data was a matter of national
security.  Please can the Metropolitan Police provide:

1) A copy of this certificate
2) A complete record of the MPS's correspondence with the Information
Commissioner's Office regarding the annual reports to the ICO on the use
of the certificate
3) The current status of the certificate (revoked, ongoing, under review
etc)
4) Details about how the data received under the certificate is kept
separate from the MPS's own ANPR camera data (fixed and mobile cameras)
5) Any policy documents regarding the MPS's handling of the Congestion
Charge data

Before I begin I would like to apologise for the delay in responding to
your request and explain that this was caused by the complex nature of
this matter.

Following receipt of your request searches were conducted within the MPS
to locate information relevant to your request.

EXTENT OF SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION

To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted
with the MPS ANPR Bureau.

RESULT OF SEARCHES

The searches located records relevant to your request.

DECISION

I have today decided to:

* Confirm that the certificate requested is already in the public domain
* Provide you with redacted copies of the annual reports sent to the ICO
and any correspondence held
* Advise you of the current status of the certificate
* Advise you of the details of how the data is kept separate from the
ANPR data originating from the MPS
* Confirm that the MPS follow national policy/guidelines produced by
ACPO which are attached.
* Advise you that MPS policy/guidelines are being created and will be
published in due course
* Apply a partial Neither Confirm Nor Deny (NCND) in respect of any
information we may or may not hold relating to security bodies

DISCLOSURE

* The current status of the certificate (revoked, ongoing, under review
etc)

I can confirm that the current status of the Data Protection Act Section
28 Certificate which allows the transfer for information originating from
TfL ANPR cameras to be transferred to the MPS is ongoing.

* Details about how the data received under the certificate is kept
separate from the MPS's own ANPR camera data (fixed and mobile
cameras)

Once the information is received by the MPS the ownership of that data
transfers to the MPS.  From that point on it is no different from any
other MPS data for example the Commissioner is the Data Controller for the
data within MPS systems when authorised.  

However I can confirm that the data that originates from TfL is kept on a
dedicated server which is only accessible by authorised staff working
within the ANPR unit.  All ANPR data received by the MPS is also fed into
this dedicated server which allows staff at the ANPR unit to search across
the entire data set.  

The MPS originated data is more widely available (i.e. to a greater range
of officers) via networked MPS terminals.  To clarify, officers/staff that
require general access to ANPR data are not able to access the information
obtained from TfL cameras.  Authorised officers/staff from the ANPR unit
have access to the dedicated server which contains TfL and other ANPR
data.  

* National guidelines relating to ANPR data

Please see the attached national guideline which the MPS currently follow
in respect of ANPR data.

INFORMATION AVAILABLE VIA OTHER MEANS

* A copy of the certificate

A copy of the certificate can be found at the following link:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...

Whenever the MPS refers an applicant to information that is already
published or accessible by other means we do so in accordance with Section
21 of the Act.  The links provide you with the requested information
however, the use of Section 21 is technically a refusal as we are
providing you with details of where to obtain the information not
providing the information itself.  

As exemptions have been applied to the requested information this response
serves as a refusal notice in accordance with section 17(1) of the Freedom
of Information Act (the Act).  

Section 17(1) of the Act provides:

(1)        A public authority which, in relation to any request for
information, is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision in
part II relating to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request
or on a claim that information is exempt information must, within the time
for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which-

(a) states the fact,
(b) specifies the exemption in question, and
(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies.

Section 21(1) of the Act provides:

(1)        Information which is reasonably accessible to the application
otherwise than under section 1 is exempt information

In addition to the 2007 certificate I can confirm that an amended
certificate was signed in 2011 which covered the inclusion of the Low
Emission Zone (LEZ) extension camera data.  In order to assist you I have
provided a copy of this certificate.  To clarify the link provides you
with the requested 2007 certificate, the 2011 amended certificate if
attached.

INFORMATION INTENDED FOR FUTURE PUBLICATION

* MPS Guidelines relating to the ANPR data

The Mayor of London's crime manifesto proposed that TfL and the MPS assume
joint responsibility for the TfL ANPR Camera system stating that "This
would give the Met straightforward access, with an explicit purpose for
crime prevention and detection"

The Mayor's proposal is subject to a public consultation (as outlined in
the link below) and I have been advised that following this public
consultation the MPS will publish our guidance on this matter.

Details of the public consultation:
http://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/f...

Information that is intended for future publication may be exempt from
disclosure by virtue of Section 22 of the Act.

Section 22(1)(a)(b)&(c) of the Act provides:

(1)        Information is exempt information if—

(a) the information is held by the public authority with a view to its
publication, by the authority or any other person, at some future date
(whether determined or not),
(b) the information was already held with a view to such publication at
the time when the request for information was made, and
(c) it is reasonable in all the circumstances that the information should
be withheld from disclosure until the date referred to in paragraph (a).

I  can confirm that this information is held by the MPS with a view to
it's publication.  The publication date has not been determined and I
would like to draw your attention to the Information Commissioner's Office
guidance on this matter which is available at the link below.  The
guidance acknowledges that the date of publication of material may be less
certain in respect of reference to other related events.  In this instance
the related event is the completion of the public consultation.

Information Commissioner's Office guidance on the application of section
22 of the Act:

http://www.ico.org.uk/for_organisations/...

I can also confirm that the Mayor's manifesto was published well before
your request was received and I have been advised the intention to publish
the guidelines was also in place prior to your request.

Finally I have decided that it is reasonable to withhold the information
as it is both sensible and in line with standard procedures to disclose
information at the appropriate time rather than ahead of relevant public
consultation.

This exemption is class based and qualified therefore I am not required to
provide a prejudice test, however the exemption is dependant on the
outcome of a public interest test.  

Public Interest Test - Factors favouring disclosure

Disclosure of the draft MPS guidelines would provide the public with
details of what the organisation believes will be best practice in regards
to the ANPR data.  It will enhance transparency within the organisation
and would show that robust procedures are in place to ensure that the use
of ANPR data is proportionate and appropriate and in keeping with relevant
legislation.

Public Interest Test - Factors against disclosure

At present the guidelines are being drafted and they will be greatly
influenced by the outcome of the public consultation.  Disclosure of the
part completed guidelines would place information into the public domain
that is incomplete and has not been ratified.  Such as disclosure could
only serve to misinform the public ultimately having a detrimental effect
on public debate.  

Furthermore it is not in the public interest to dedicate time and
resources into preparing for the disclosure of a partial document during a
consultation process when that process will fundamentally shape the final
document

Public Interest Test - Balance Test

Having considered the factors both for and against the disclosure of the
guidelines I have decided that the public interest lies in withholding the
information at this stage.  In reaching this decision I have taken into
consideration the fact that the positive public interest factors will be
met by the disclosure of the guidelines once the public consultation has
been completed.

REDACTED INFORMATION

* A complete record of the MPS's correspondence with the Information
Commissioner's Office regarding the annual reports to the ICO on the
use of the certificate

The searches located 6 documents that were sent to the Information
Commissioner's Office.  These consist of 5 annual reports and a briefing
note.  I have been informed that these reports are usually sent to the ICO
with a compliments slip and therefore almost no other items of
correspondence were located during my searches.  

 To clarify, in respect of the second part of your request, I have
considered the following documents for disclosure.

1) Annual reports - The first, second, third, fourth and fifth annual
report to the Information Commissioner on the Operation of the Data
Protection Certificate relating to ANPR Data.
2) Briefing Note to the Information Commissioner's Office.
3) Correspondence - One email to the Information Commissioner's Office
relating to the Data Protection Certificate - more specifically, relating
to the fourth and fifth annual reports.

I would like to explain that some of these reports are only held in a
manual format and we only hold the draft version of the first annual
report.

The information redacted has been withheld in accordance with the
following exemptions:

Section 24 - National Security
Section 31 - Law Enforcement
Section 38 - Health and Safety
Section 42 - Legal Professional Privilege

I will now outline why these exemptions apply and provide you with
prejudice and public interest tests where necessary.

Section 24(1) - National Security

This section of the Act provides:

(1)        Information which does not fall within section 23(1) is exempt
information if exemption from section 1(1)(b) is required for the purpose
of safeguarding national security

The Information Commissioner's Office provide guidance on the application
of this exemption and I have considered this guidance and how it relates
to this request.

This ICO guidelines state that "In broad terms section 24(1) allows a
public authority not to disclose information if it considers releasing the
information would make the UK or its citizens more vulnerable to a
national security threat".  

This exemption is both prejudice based and qualified therefore I am
required to outline the potential prejudice that would be likely to occur
from disclosure as well as consider the public interest.

When considering the prejudice test I have noted that the ICO guidance
states "Although there has to be a real possibility that the disclosure
would undermine national security, the impact does not need to be direct
or immediate".

Prejudice Test

The certificate that allows for the transfer of ANPR data from TfL to the
MPS is provided under section 28 of the Data Protection Act.  This section
relates to National Security and therefore it will be of no surprise that
information contained within the ICO annual reports will also be linked to
National Security.  

If the information identified as falling within the remit of this
exemption is disclosed it would be likely to cause prejudice to our
ability to safeguard national security.  This is because the information
would outline specific details regarding the transfer of the data as well
as the way the data is used/analysed.  Such information could be used by
individuals with criminal intent in order to disrupt the process and allow
them to take steps to avoid detection.

With the above in mind it is clear that disclosure could cause significant
prejudice to the MPS by hindering our counter terrorism measures.
 Furthermore it would be likely that harm would also be suffered by MPS
partners as any detrimental effect would have the potential to impact on
other police forces and agencies.  Ultimately the risk of harm would
transfer to the individual members of public and communities we serve as
they will face an increased risk to their safety and security.

Public Interest Test - Considerations Favouring Disclosure

It is recognised that there is a great deal of public interest in the use
of cameras (whether CCTV or ANPR), the data captured by these systems and
the ways in which captured data is processed.  The number of cameras in
London and their effectiveness is something that is often debated and the
disclosure of the redacted data would help inform the public of the reason
why access to the TfL ANPR camera data is an important tool in combating
terrorism.  This would therefore allow for such debates to be based on
factual information and would help correct false assumptions.

Similarly, a full disclosure would show that the MPS are processing this
data in accordance with the certificate and are therefore complying with
relevant legislation.

Public Interest Test - Considerations Favouring Non-disclosure

It would not be in the best interests of the public to disclose
information that would or would be likely to put their safety at risk.  As
explained in the prejudice test, if the redacted information was disclosed
our ability to safeguard national security would be, to some extent,
compromised.  In addition to the impact on public safety the disclosure
would also damage the efficient and effective conduct of the MPS due to
the fact that a key an anti-terrorism tool will become less effective.
 The consequence is that additional resources would be required to counter
the additional measures offenders would be likely to take if the exempt
information was to be disclosed.

Public Interest Test - Balance Test

I have considered the arguments both for and against the full disclosure
of the ICO annual reports.  There are two major points which have shaped
my decision making in this instance.  The first is that the public safety
arguments identified in the considerations favouring non-disclosure are
very strong and therefore carry considerable weight.  This is mirrored by
the ICO guidance which states "There is an obvious and weighty public
interest in safeguarding national security"

The second is that the positive public interest considerations noted are
partly met by the substantial disclosure provided and the fact that the
use of the certificate is due for public consultation.  I have therefore
decided that the public interest favours the redaction on the basis of
national security.

Section 31(1)(a)&(b) - Law Enforcement

This section of the Act provides:

(1)        Information which is not exempt information by virtue of
section 30 is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would,
or would be likely to, prejudice—

(a) the prevention or detection of crime,
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders

This exemption is prejudice based and qualified therefore I am required to
provide you with a prejudice and public interest test.

Section 31 - and the Health and Safety exemption - apply in conjunction
with the National Safety exemption.  To clarify, where there would be a
prejudicial effect on national security there would also be likely to be
harm caused to Law Enforcement and Health and Safety.  As such there will
be cross over between the three prejudice and public interest tests.

Prejudice Test

If the requested information was fully disclosed parts of the ICO annual
reports would outline the methods used to detect criminal activity in
relation to national security measures.  Individuals with criminal intent
would be able to use such information in order to take steps to avoid
detection and/or prosecution.  This would be likely to cause obvious harm
to victims of crime however an increase in crime, even low level crime,
would be likely to increase the fear of crime and potentially damage
relations between the MPS and the community we serve.

Public Interest Test - Factors Favouring Disclosure

Full disclosure will be in the interests of transparency and
accountability in that it would show the public exactly how and why we use
this data.  Promoting a culture of openness was one of the objectives of
the Freedom of Information Act and the subsequent transparency agenda.

Public Interest Test - Factors Favouring Non-disclosure

Disclosure of information that may prejudice the prevention/detection of
crime or the apprehension/prosecution of offenders would not be in the
public interest.  Such a disclosure could only have a negative effect on
the MPS and our ability to enforce the law.  It is in the public interest
to maintain order in a lawful society and conversely it would not be in
the public interest to disclose any information that would be
countereffective.

Public Interest Test - Balance Test

After considering the arguments set out above I have decided that the
arguments supporting the use of the exemption carry more weight than the
arguments for full disclosure.

Section 38(1)(a)&(b) - Health and Safety

This section of the Act provides:

(1)        Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this
Act would, or would be likely to—

(a) endanger the physical or mental health of any individual, or
(b) endanger the safety of any individual.

This exemption is prejudice based and qualified therefore I am required to
provide you with a prejudice and public interest tests.

Prejudice Test

As reflected in the above two prejudice tests there is a potential
prejudice to Law Enforcement amounting to prejudice to National Security.
 In both cases there would also be the potential for harm to the health
and safety of individuals working in, living in, visiting or passing
through London.  

Public Interest Test - Factors Favouring Disclosure

Again the factors considered relate to the promotion of a transparent and
accountable MPS as well as allowing for informed debate regarding personal
data.

Public Interest Test - Factors Favouring Non-disclosure

The factors favouring non-disclosure are also the same.  The public
interest is not what the public find interesting but rather what would be
in the best interests of the public, it should be a real and tangible
benefit to the public.  Crime prevention and the perseveration of public
safety is in the public interest.

Public Interest Test - Balance Test

After considering the arguments set out above I have decided that the
arguments supporting the use of the exemption carried more weight than the
arguments for full disclosure.

Section 42(1) - Legal Professional Privilege

This section of the Act provides:

(1)        Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional
privilege or, in Scotland, to confidentiality of communications could be
maintained in legal proceedings is exempt information.

This exemption is class-based and qualified and therefore I am not
required to provide any prejudice test however the exemption is dependant
on a public interest test.

Public Interest Test - Considerations Favouring Disclosure:

While only a small amount of information has been withheld in relation to
Legal Privilege disclosure of the relevant text would show the public that
legal advice was sought in relation to the application for, and use of,
the section 28 certificate.  The disclosure would also provide part of
that advice.  This would improve both transparency and accountability.

Public Interest Test - Considerations Favouring Non-disclosure:

Where legal advice has been sought, there is a strong public interest to
allow individuals and Counsel to communicate in a full, frank and open
manner. This is supported by the Tribunal in Bellamy v. Information
Commissioner   where it was said: 'there is a strong element of public
interest inbuilt onto the privilege itself. At least equally strong
countervailing considerations would need to be adduced to override that
inbuilt public interest.'  

Public Interest Test - Balance Test

I do not consider that the arguments favouring disclosure are compelling
enough to outweigh the inherent public interest in maintaining the
principle of Legal Privilege.  There is a strong viewpoint that the MPS
should be open and transparent and more importantly be held accountable
for the decisions we take. However, in this case I am of the opinion that
these considerations are outweighed by those considerations to maintain
this exemption. It is vital that there should be a full and frank
discussions between clients and lawyers in order to ensure the quality,
usefulness and benefit of advice.

PARTIAL NEITHER CONFIRM NOR DENY

Section 23(5) - Security Bodies

This section of the Act provides:

(5) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that,
compliance with section 1(1)(a) would involve the disclosure of any
information (whether or not already recorded) which was directly or
indirectly supplied to the public authority by, or relates to, any of the
bodies specified in subsection (3).

This exemption is class-based and absolute therefore I am not required to
provide a prejudice test or consider the public interest test.  However I
will explain why this exemption has been applied.

The Freedom of Information Act (The Act) places two duties on public
authorities such as the MPS.  The first duty is detailed in Section
1(1)(a) of the Act and provides an obligation to confirm whether or not
requested information is held by the authority.  The second duty is
detailed in Section 1(1)(b) of the Act and provides an obligation to
communicate held information to requestors.  Both duties are not without
exception and the act provides a number of exemptions from these duties.

In respect of matters concerning National Security the MPS will, in most
circumstances, apply a partial neither confirm nor deny.  This is because
we would not confirm whether information falling within the scope of the
section 23 exemption is held or not.  

Subsection (5) of section 23 exempts public authorities from their duty to
confirm or deny whether requested information is held and it is that
exemption which has been applied in this instance.  

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to make a complaint.  

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on 0207 161 3583 or at the address at the top of this letter,
quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

David Edwards
Public Access Office

In complying with their statutory duty under sections 1 and 11 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed information, the
Metropolitan Police Service will not breach the Copyright, Designs and
Patents Act 1988. However, the rights of the copyright owner of the
enclosed information will continue to be protected by law.  Applications
for the copyright owner's written permission to reproduce any part of the
attached information should be addressed to MPS Directorate of Legal
Services, 1st Floor (Victoria Block), New Scotland Yard, Victoria, London,
SW1H 0BG.
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

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the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
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this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

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