DS Barry Murray - Lunch with Phorm

P. John made this Freedom of Information request to City of London 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 partially successful.

Dear City of London Police,

a complaint was submitted to CoL Police in July 2008 concerning BT/Phorm Inc, and alleging illegal covert mass surveillance of UK telecommunications, frauds, commercial copyright thefts, and computer misuse.

DS Murray was the lead detective.

By September 2008 DS Murray had announced that he would reject all criminal complaints, claiming that "The matter will not be investigated by the City of London Police as it has been decided that no Criminal Offence has been committed".

In 2010 CoL Police were instructed by CPS to renew the investigation into the allegations of misconduct by BT/Phorm Inc, following an intervention by the European Commission.

I note from your response to an earlier requestor (*) that you state "DS Barry Murray only met with representatives of Phorm Inc. on one occasion and that was on 5 July 2010".

Thus, if DS Barry Murray only met representatives of Phorm Inc on one occassion in 2010, it would indicate that he dismissed the complaint in 2008 without ever interviewing the alleged offenders.

Further, at his meeting with Phorm in 2010, he accepted hospitality from people who remained under suspicion of a series of criminal offences.

I note from your twitter feed you claim that "City Police internal review has found no misconduct issues re these concerns: hospitality taken in line with force policy & declared".

That being the case, please could you

- confirm or deny that DS Barry Murray did not interview representatives of Phorm Inc prior to dismissing the complaints in September 2008
- disclose the meeting invitation sent by Phorm to DS Barry Murray in 2010, and the acceptance returned by CoL Police to Phorm (or vice versa)
- disclose the applicable CoL Hospitality & Gifts Policy that would allow an investigating detective to accept hospitality invitations from a criminal suspect

many thanks,
regards
Peter John.

(*) www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/request_f...

P. John left an annotation ()

"Police could be banned from accepting meals or drinks from journalists

Theresa May tells Leveson inquiry that Acpo has drafted guidelines based on a 'blanket non-acceptability' of hospitality"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/may...

Knox Alexander,

1 Attachment

Acknowledgement

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P. John left an annotation ()

Police Oracle; "ACPO guidance will advise officers regarding gifts offered to them by third parties"

"... the document will seek to govern all offers of hospitality officers receive outside the Police Service – including from individuals, private companies, and the press."

www.policeoracle.com/news/HR%2C+Personne...

P. John left an annotation ()

FoI complaint sent to the ICO 1/7/2012.

Lockyear David, City of London Police

3 Attachments

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Dear Mr John

 

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION REF:  COL/12/294

 

I write in connection with your request for information dated 29 May 2012
in which you seek access to the following information:

 

A complaint was submitted to CoL Police in July 2008 concerning BT/Phorm
Inc, and alleging illegal covert mass surveillance of UK
telecommunications, frauds, commercial copyright thefts, and computer
misuse.

    

DS Murray was the lead detective.

    

By September 2008 DS Murray had announced that he would reject all
criminal complaints, claiming that "The matter will not be investigated by
the City of London Police as it has been decided that no Criminal Offence
has been committed".

    

In 2010 CoL Police were instructed by CPS to renew the investigation into
the allegations of misconduct by BT/Phorm Inc, following an intervention
by the European Commission.

    

I note from your response to an earlier requestor (*) that you state "DS
Barry Murray only met with representatives of Phorm Inc. on one occasion
and that was on 5 July 2010".

    

Thus, if DS Barry Murray only met representatives of Phorm Inc on one
occasion in 2010, it would indicate that he dismissed the complaint in
2008 without ever interviewing the alleged offenders.

    

Further, at his meeting with Phorm in 2010, he accepted hospitality from
people who remained under suspicion of a series of criminal offences.

    

I note from your twitter feed you claim that "City Police internal review
has found no misconduct issues re these concerns: hospitality taken in
line with force policy & declared".

 

That being the case, please could you

    

1.    Confirm or deny that DS Barry Murray did not interview
representatives of Phorm Inc prior to dismissing the complaints in
September 2008

 

DS Murray did not interview representatives of Phorm prior to September
2008.

 

2.    Disclose the meeting invitation sent by Phorm to DS Barry Murray in
2010, and the acceptance returned by CoL Police to Phorm (or vice versa)

 

The City of London Police holds no information relating to the invitation
and acceptance described above.

 

3.    Disclose the applicable CoL Hospitality & Gifts Policy that would
allow an investigating detective to accept hospitality invitations from a
criminal suspect

 

A copy of the Hospitality policy is attached.

 

Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying to your request. 
Should you have any further questions, please contact me via e-mail,
letter or telephone, quoting the reference number above.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

Inspector Dave Lockyear

Information Access Manager

 

P Please consider the environment before printing my email

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Dear Mr Lockyear,

many thanks for your response to my FoI request.

Apologies for the delay responding, it took a little while to 'digest' (if you'll forgive the unintended pun).

You ask if I have further questions, I do.

In the policy document disclosed, are the words "examples of other unacceptable hospitality would be... where the professional relationship between the host and the force maybe brought into question".

Clearly, dining with a criminal suspect is likely to bring the professional relationship between a police officer and the suspect into question... and would therefore be considered unacceptable hospitality.

The hospitality policy also states; "Any such high profile or generous invitation should therefore always be declined unless exceptionally authorised, in writing, beforehand by ACPO".

Please could you tell me who was the ACPO officer who authorised DS Murray to accept hospitality from Phorm? What was the basis for authorising that hospitality?

Yours sincerely,

P. John

Lockyear David,

I will be away from the office from Thursday 2nd until Sunday 12th
August.  Please contact Katy Grunblat, ext 2287 in respect of CRB, FOI and
DPA matters.

P Please consider the environment before printing my email

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Leigh Park Initiative left an annotation ()

The above included the specific request: "Disclose the applicable CoL Hospitality & Gifts Policy that would
allow an investigating detective to accept hospitality invitations from a criminal suspect"

and the reply attached the CoL Police Force Hospitality policy.

I can't see anything in that policy which would "allow an investigating detective to accept hospitality invitations from a criminal suspect" - so the request has not really been answered has it?

Nothing in the attached policy allows "an investigating detective to accept hospitality invitations from a criminal suspect" therefore it does not satisfy the terms of the FOI request.

And the CoL police have not yet managed to explain why such hospitality was accepted from a criminal suspect. I hope this request will eventually be answered according to the requirements of the Act.

Dear Mr Lockyear,

many thanks for your response to my FoI request. I understand from your autoresponder that you have been away from the office.

Please could I ask you to respond to my request for clarification on 5 August? It said

You ask if I have further questions, I do.

In the policy document disclosed, are the words "examples of other unacceptable hospitality would be... where the professional relationship between the host and the force maybe brought into question".

Clearly, dining with a criminal suspect is likely to bring the professional relationship between a police officer and the suspect into question... and would therefore be considered unacceptable hospitality.

The hospitality policy also states; "Any such high profile or generous invitation should therefore always be declined unless exceptionally authorised, in writing, beforehand by ACPO".

Please could you tell me who was the ACPO officer who authorised DS Murray to accept hospitality from Phorm? What was the basis for authorising that hospitality?

Yours sincerely,

P. John

Dear City of London Police,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of City of London Police's handling of my FOI request 'DS Barry Murray - Lunch with Phorm'.

Please could you consider the handling of my request in its entirety.

In particular

- the failure to respond to my request within the legal time limit, necessitating an intervention from the ICO

- the data provided in response to my request, and the failure to provide the record of the invitation & response to that invitation. Examples of documents that might be relevant could include pages from the officers notebook. Or email/postal correspondence exchanged.

- the hospitality & gifts policy disclosed; which clearly does not permit an investigating detective to accept hospitality invitations from a criminal suspect

- My subsequent request for clarification; the name of the ACPO officer who authorised DS Murray to accept hospitality from Phorm, and the basis for authorising that hospitality.

In the policy document disclosed, are the words "examples of other unacceptable hospitality would be... where the professional relationship between the host and the force maybe brought into question".

Clearly, dining with a criminal suspect is likely to bring the professional relationship between a police officer and the suspect into question... and would therefore be considered unacceptable hospitality.

The hospitality policy also states; "Any such high profile or generous invitation should therefore always be declined unless exceptionally authorised, in writing, beforehand by ACPO".

I would like to know which ACPO officer authorised that hospitality, and why an apparent exception was made.

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

Yours faithfully,

P. John

P. John left an annotation ()

"Tackling fraud: City force seeks financial and cyber-security expert volunteers to consult on economic crime inquiries"

http://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/CityPo...

"This is a free event, with refreshments provided."

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Dear Mr John

The Internal Review will be conducted by a senior officer who took no
part in the original decision making process. We aim to complete the
review and advise you of the result in writing, within 20 working days.

Please note that your second request, reference COL/12/458 was received
on 15 August and we aim to provide a response within 20 working days.

Please contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Inspector Dave Lockyear
Information Access Manager

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Dear Mr Lockyear,

thank you for your acknowledgement.

"Please note that your second request, reference COL/12/458 was received on 15 August"

I asked CoL police to explain & elaborate the information provided on 5 August 2012. That request was met with an autoresponder. I repeated the request on 15 August. That request went unacknowledged.

www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ds_barry_...

Yours sincerely,

P. John

Lockyear David, City of London Police

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Dear Mr John

 

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION REF:  COL/12/458

 

I write in connection with your request for information dated 15 August
2012 in which you seek access to the following information:

 

1.    Please could you tell me who was the ACPO officer who authorised DS
Murray to accept hospitality from Phorm?  What was the basis for
authorising that hospitality?

 

We have identified no record of the above described hospitality being
authorised by an ACPO officer.

 

Should you have any further questions regarding your request, please
contact me via e-mail, letter or telephone, quoting the reference number
above.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

Inspector Dave Lockyear

Information Access Manager

 

 

P Please consider the environment before printing my email

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Dear Mr John

Your original email did not appear in my Inbox when I returned to work
and your second email on the 15 August was logged as a new request. The
logging system should have generated an acknowledgement but I can see
that none was sent - please accept my apologies for this oversight. A
reply to your request was sent today and your request for an Internal
Review has been forwarded to the Head of Information Services. Please
advise me if you feel that your request has now been resolved. If I do
not hear from you, the Internal Review will take place on Thursday.

Please contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Inspector Dave Lockyear
Information Access Manager

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Dear Insp Lockyear,

many thanks. I am quite content to accept the explanation of oversight.

However I remain very unhappy about the information provided in response to this FoI request, and would like you to conduct an internal review.

At the time of his meal with Phorm, DS Barry Murray was supposedly conducting a thorough criminal investigation, including allegations of illegal interception of communications, frauds, copyright thefts, and computer misuse against the directors of Phorm.

It is obviously inappropriate that he should have accepted any offer hospitality from the suspects during that period.

And yet...

- CoL police have not provided me with a record of the invitation, or acceptance of that invitation
- the hospitality was apparently accepted without the prior approval of an ACPO officer (as required by your hospitality policy)
- CoL have not stated the basis for accepting hospitality from Phorm during the course of a criminal investigation

I would like an internal review to be conducted, because the information provided, and associated professional conduct, is entirely unacceptable.

Barry Murray's conduct was inconsistent with the CoL hospitality policy, and calls into question the impartiality of the associated criminal investigation.

Yours sincerely,

P. John

Lockyear David,

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Dear Mr John

 

The Internal Review will only consider if the force has adhered to the
provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, which provides a right of
access to recorded information.  In respect of your specific point:

 

CoL police have not provided me with a record of the invitation, or
acceptance of that invitation

 

I can confirm that no recorded information has been identified that
relates to the invitation, or acceptance of that invitation.  The review
will be unable to consider your remaining points relating to compliance
with policy, which may be better addressed by the Professional Standards
Directorate:

 

[1][email address]

 

I would be grateful if you would advise me how you would like your request
dealt with, in light of the above explanation.

 

Please contact me if I can be of further assistance.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Inspector Dave Lockyear

Information Access Manager

 

 

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Dear Insp Lockyear,

I would like you to proceed with an internal review.

To repeat I would like the review to address;-

- the failure to respond to my request within the legal time limit, necessitating an intervention from the ICO

- The data provided in response to my request, and the failure to provide any record of the invitation & response to that invitation. Examples of documents that might be relevant could include pages from the officers notebook. Or email/postal correspondence exchanged.

- The hospitality & gifts policy disclosed; which clearly does not permit an investigating detective to accept hospitality invitations from a criminal suspect.

- My subsequent request for clarification; the name of the ACPO officer who authorised DS Murray to accept hospitality from Phorm, and the basis for authorising that hospitality.

After the outcome of that review I will indeed consider raising the matter of the officer's conduct with the Professional Standards Directorate.

many thanks,
Yours sincerely,

P. John

Lockyear David,

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Dear Mr John

The Internal Review will be conducted by the Head of Information
Management Services tomorrow.

Yours sincerely,

Inspector Dave Lockyear
Information Access Manager

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Brailsford-Hart Gary,

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Mr John,

 

Further to your recent request I attach the result of my Internal Review
regarding cases COL/294/12 and COL/458/12.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any further
information.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

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Leigh Park Initiative left an annotation ()

I would suggest that to find the rest of the information - a complaint to the Professional Standards Department is going to be the only way to pursue what appears to be a breach of force policy, regarding the lead investigating Officer accepting hospitality from a suspect in an ongoing criminal investigation, with no subsequent sanction of the officer apparent, for that behaviour.

A complaint could also cover the apparent lack of any available documentation concerning the hospitality other than the brief record - which as it involved a criminal suspect, could be expected to have involved formal permission being sought from a responsible accountable senior officer.

P. John left an annotation ()

If the Police Standards Department were anything more than a whitewash squad... I'd agree.

City of London Police are utterly corrupt.