Counter terrorism and monitoring of suspects

Neil Wilby made this Freedom of Information request to Greater Manchester 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 refused by Greater Manchester Police.

Dear Greater Manchester Police,

Please confirm the following for each of these periods (2015, 2016, 2017 up to 31st May) :

1. The numbers of (a) jihadists (b) suspected jihadists and (c) jihadist sympathisers known to be living at an address in Greater Manchester and monitored by the police or North West Counter Terrorism Unit (NWCTU), either by covert surveillance or non-intrusive methods.
2. The numbers of (a) jihadists (b) suspected jihadists and (c) jihadist sympathisers known to be living at an address in Greater Manchester and registered as persons of interest on police or NWCTU databases.
3. The numbers of (a) jihadists and (b) suspected jihadists who are known to have returned from stays in either Syria or Libya and are currently living at a Greater Manchester address.
4. The number of (a) jihadists (b) suspected jihadists and (c) jihadist sympathisers whose last known address was in Greater Manchester, who are currently known to have travelled to either Syria or Libya and not returned to Greater Manchester.
5. The number of persons living in Greater Manchester who have been charged by Greater Manchester Police with counter-terrorism offences.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Greater Manchester Police

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    Notifiable offences 2016.ods

    120K Download

Good evening Mr Wilby,

With regard to your FOI request below, specifically question 5, could I please ask you to please clarify what you mean by “counter-terrorism offences”? Specifically, which of the offences under the Home Office counting rules would you like to be included in searches. For ease of reference I have attached a list of Home Office codes from 2015/16. Please could you pick out from this list which codes you would like to be included.

As a result of seeking this clarification, your request has currently been placed on hold until I hear back from you. If I don't hear from you by 21/06/17 I will assume you no longer wish to continue with your request and it will be cancelled accordingly.

Kind regards

David Kynaston
Information Compliance & Records Management Unit
Information Services Branch
Greater Manchester Police
   

show quoted sections

Dear Greater Manchester Police,

1. Please proceed on the basis that the 'counter-terrorism' offences referred to in the instant request concern those recognised by the search terms:

(i) 'Offences against the state' or
(ii) 'Other offences against the state'.

2. May I remind you, given our previous history as requester and data controller, that Section 10 of the Act and the College of Policing's Authorised Professional Practice requires you to deal with the request PROMPTLY (in strict legal terms: with due celerity)? The 20 workings days referred to is very much a backstop.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Greater Manchester Police

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilby,

Please find attached GMP's response to your recent FOI request.

Kind regards
David

David Kynaston
Information Compliance & Records Management Unit
Information Services Branch
Greater Manchester Police
   

show quoted sections

Dear Greater Manchester Police,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)'s handling of my FOI request 'Counter terrorism and monitoring of suspects'.

1. The request for information concerns numbers only. Whether the numbers are zero, or hundreds, it would be difficult for the public to reconcile how that disclosure would assist terrorists in either planning attacks, or evading detection. Or detract from the operational efforts of police and partners in keeping communities safe from such threats.

2. This argument is particularly relevant to question 5 in terms of how many jihadists have been convicted.

3. Conversely, the public would be reassured by knowing that the scale of the threat posed by jihadists is monitored appropriately by those charged with protecting them. The suspicion at present is that the police either do not know the extent of threat, or the threat is larger than the police are prepared to concede in the limited information that appears in the public domain. For example, 'since the London Bridge atrocity five other terror threats have been foiled'.

4. As a card-carrying journalist, in the event of non-disclosure, my Article 10 convention rights are engaged. See Magyar Helsinki Bizottság v Hungary Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (18030/11).

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Greater Manchester Police

Dear Mr. Wilby

Thank you for your email.

Please be advised that your request for an Internal Review has been logged.

Regards

Rizwana Farooq
Information Services Branch
Greater Manchester Police
Tel: 0161 856 9587

show quoted sections

Dear Greater Manchester Police,

It is eleven weeks since you acknowledged the internal review request.

Whilst there is no automatic right to an internal review under the Act (section 45) as a police force you have a statutory obligation by way of section 39A of the Police Act, 1996: Authorised Professional Practice (APP), which is embedded in the College of Policing's Code of Ethics.

Given the history between myself and GMP, concerning freedom of information requests, it is considered proportionate and necessary to lodge a section 50 complaint with the Information Commissioner in order to expedite the matter.

The grounds for complaint are:

1. Exemptions have been relied upon that have no basis either in fact, or in law.

(i) The request for information concerns numbers only. Whether the numbers are zero, or hundreds, it would be difficult for the public to reconcile how that disclosure would assist terrorists in either planning attacks, or evading detection. Or detract from the operational efforts of police, and partners, in keeping communities safe from such threats.

(ii) This argument is particularly relevant to question 5 in terms of how many jihadists have been convicted.

(iii) Conversely, the public would be reassured by knowing that the scale of the threat posed by jihadists is monitored appropriately by those charged with protecting them. The suspicion at present is that the police either do not know the extent of threat, or the threat is larger than the police are prepared to concede in the limited information that appears in the public domain. For example, 'since the London Bridge atrocity five other terror threats have been foiled'.

2. A countervailing argument to non-disclosure and the prejudice arguments advanced in the finalisation is that a running commentary was, effectively, provided of the investigation, and multiple arrests of suspects, and their background, following the tragic events at Manchester Arena. This was all prominently featured in the press, on broadcast media and on social media (particularly Twitter).

3. Non-compliance with Section 45 of the Act, APP and the Code of Ethics.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Greater Manchester Police

1 Attachment

Good afternoon,

Please find attached GMP's response to your request for an internal review.

Please accept my apologies for the delay in you receiving this response - this has been due to high work-loads and low staffing levels.

Kind regards,
Ben

Ben Goddard
Information Compliance Officer

Information Management | Information Services Branch | Greater Manchester Police
External: 0161 856 2529  | Direct: 0161 856 2512 | Openshaw Complex, Lawton Street, Openshaw, Manchester, M11 2NS

Not available on Wednesdays

Follow us on Twitter: @gmpolice

show quoted sections