Decision to issue a caution

Dave Rawlins made this Freedom of Information request to North Yorkshire 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 Sir/Madam,
On Sunday 22nd of May at Richmond Police Station a young man made a full and frank admission to using illegal spring pole traps near Widdale Fell, contrary to section 5(1) of the Wildlife and Countryside Acts 1981. A decision was made to issue the offender with an Adult Caution. On 6 July 2016 NYP published the result of a review into that decision. It found that
"......we [NYP] had not used the correct cautioning guidelines when dealing with this case. " and "..... the review concluded that if the correct guidelines had been used, it is likely that the man would have been charged, rather than cautioned."

1) Which (incorrect) cautioning guidelines were used to inform the original decision to issue the caution?
2) Was advice sought from the CPS as to whether a caution was appropriate for such an offence?
3) Was advice sought from a specially trained officer as to whether a caution was appropriate for such an offence?
4) When was the decision to issue a caution for this offence made? Specifically was it made before the young man was interviewed on Sunday 22nd of May.
5) What was the rank/level of the decision maker in the original decision to Caution?

Yours faithfully,

Mr D Rawlins

Dear North Yorkshire Police,

Please note that I am specifically not requesting the identity of the "decision-maker" and do not consider that the information that I have requested could be used to identify the individual concerned. The duty of fairness to the individual under the Data Protection Act 1998 is not breached by my request, and an exemption under Section 40(2)(b) of the Act is not relevant in this case.

I note that you have received my Request and allocated it a Reference Number 4281617. Since today, 2/9/16, is the statutory date for a response, I would appreciate an email acknowledgement of my request and some indication of when I might expect a full response.

Yours faithfully,

Dave Rawlins

Bates, Robert, North Yorkshire Police

1 Attachment

Classification: PROTECT

Good afternoon,

Please find attached North Yorkshire Police's response to your Freedom of Information request referenced 428.2016-17.

Kind regards,

Robert Bates
Collar Number 5480
Legal Officer (Civil Disclosure)
North Yorkshire Police

Committed to the Code of Ethics
 
Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number. If using my collar number please state each number individually.
 
Web: www.northyorkshire.police.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NorthYorkshirePolice
Twitter: www.twitter.com/NYorksPolice

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Dear Mr Bates,

Thank you for your response to request no. 428.2016-17 of 2/9/2016. However, in several instances it falls short of a full disclosure as outlined below.

1) Which (incorrect) cautioning guidelines were used to inform the original decision to issue the caution?

1) North Yorkshire Police use the Gravity Factor Matrix for Adults for guidance on cautioning.
The current updated guidance was issued in April 2013. An outdated version of these guidelines was used in the original decision to issue a caution. The correct guidelines are accessible to all staff on the NYP intranet and in light of this incident the location of these guidelines was reiterated to Sergeants.

Thank you, but which version of the Gravity Factor Matrix was used. Would it be possible to have a copy of the Matrix that was used, along with a copy of the current Matrix for comparison?

2) Was advice sought from the CPS as to whether a caution was appropriate for such an
offence?

2) Advice was not sought from the CPS as to whether a caution was appropriate for such an
offence. Current police guidance issued by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) states that for summary only offences, with an anticipated guilty plea, the police can decide on the
disposal.

A copy of this guidance, named the “The Director's Guidance on Charging 2013 – fifth edition, May 2013 (revised arrangements)”, can be accessed upon the following hyperlink;
https://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/dire...

Thank you. This answer is clear

3) Was advice sought from a specially trained officer as to whether a caution was appropriate for such an offence?

3) North Yorkshire Police have designated Wildlife Crime Officers (WCO). Advice for all wildlife related incidents is offered by the WCO’s; any advice on charging decisions is given by a Police Sergeant or Inspector.

This answer is couched in the present tense. In a recent statement, made by NYP, it was made clear that this incident has resulted in substantial changes in the way that wildlife crime is dealt with now. So my question remains;

Did the decision maker receive any advice, from a WCO, that a caution was appropriate for the offence of setting pole traps, when at Scarborough Magistrates Court on 17 February the same crime attracted a fine of £4,000, costs of £750 and a victim surcharge of £120?

4) When was the decision to issue a caution for this offence made? Specifically, was it made
before the young man was interviewed on Sunday 22nd of May.

4) The decision to offer a caution for the offence was made after an interview was conducted.

This answer is so vague that it does not answer the question. I therefore submit the following questions in order to clarify your answer.
a) On what date was the decision made that the offence was suitable for disposal by issuing a simple caution?
b) Was the interview referred to in your answer of 2/9/2016, the interview of the young man at Richmond Police Station on Sunday 22/5/2016.
c) Was the interview of the young man at Richmond Police Station on Sunday 22/5/2016 fully PACE compliant?
d) Was the Simple Caution fully and correctly administered, including the written acceptance of the young man that he had had the consequences of accepting the caution fully explained to him.
e) Did the decision maker indicate, to anyone, that the offender might be a suitable person to receive a simple caution, before Sunday 22/5/2016.
f) What reason for the caution was recorded on the MG3 form? Where this is in the form of a monitoring code or sub-code, please translate the code into layman’s English.

5) What was the rank/level of the decision maker in the original decision to Caution?
5) The rank of the decision maker in the original decision to caution was a Police Sergeant.
Thank you. This answer is clear

Yours sincerely,

Dave Rawlins

Dear Mr Bates,
It has been 10 days since my last letter. Please will you acknowledge receipt of my letter of 13th Sep and indicate when I will receive the clarification that I requested.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Rawlins

Dear Mr Bates,
It has been 8 days since my last letter. Please will you acknowledge receipt of my letter of 13th Sep and indicate when I will receive the clarification that I requested.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Rawlins

Yours sincerely,

Dave Rawlins

Bates, Robert, North Yorkshire Police

I am currently on leave until Tuesday 04 October 2016 and will respond to emails upon my return.

Please direct any urgent queries or FOI responses to the Civil Disclosure Unit to ensure all matters are handled within the relevant timescales;

[email address]

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Bates, Robert, North Yorkshire Police

Dear Mr Rawlins,

Please accept this email as recognition for your request for clarification. Within your second request you have submitted additional questions, which requires that I re-contact the relevant business areas, hence the delay.

I am currently waiting for a reply from the business area regarding your request for copies of the incorrectly used and current Gravity Factor Matrix.

I shall endeavour to respond with the collective information as soon as practicable.

Kind regards,

Robert Bates
Collar Number 5480
Legal Officer (Civil Disclosure)
North Yorkshire Police

Committed to the Code of Ethics
 
Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number. If using my collar number please state each number individually.
 
Web: www.northyorkshire.police.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NorthYorkshirePolice
Twitter: www.twitter.com/NYorksPolice

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Bates, Robert, North Yorkshire Police

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Rawlins,

Please find attached North Yorkshire Police's second response to your Freedom of Information request referenced 428.2016-17.

Robert Bates
Collar Number 5480
Legal Officer (Civil Disclosure)
North Yorkshire Police

Committed to the Code of Ethics
 
Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number. If using my collar number please state each number individually.
 
Web: www.northyorkshire.police.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NorthYorkshirePolice
Twitter: www.twitter.com/NYorksPolice

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Dear Mr Bates,

Thank you for your clarification. I consider that NYP have fully and clearly answered my questions and that this correspondence is now closed.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Rawlins