andy green made this Freedom of Information request to Merseytravel

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 Merseytravel,

I like no want Equipment Mersey Tunnel Police Vehicles carry in them please and any of vehicles have ANPR kit on them please
Yours faithfully,

andy green

Fitzpatrick, Anthony, Merseytravel

Dear Mr Green,

Thank you for your email requesting information relating to Mersey Tunnels Police vehicles and equipment.

You request is being dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Merseytravel will return to you further with a response by Wednesday 30th December 2015 at the latest.

Kind regards,

Anthony Fitzpatrick

Senior Legal Information Officer | Merseytravel | Mann Island, PO Box 1976, Liverpool, L69 3HN
Office: 0151 330 1679 | Email: [email address]

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Fitzpatrick, Anthony, Merseytravel

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Green,
Thank you for your request for information.
Please find attached an equipment list for Mersey Tunnels Police Vehicles.
With regards to ANPR kit, I am responding to neither confirm nor deny if
the vehicles are equipped with ANPR as permitted under Sections 24
(National Security) and 31 (Law Enforcement) of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000. The application of these exemption is subject to a public
interest test and I have taken the following factors into consideration
before deciding to apply the exemptions:
Factors favouring confirmation that information is/is not held
The public are entitled to know how public funds are spent and resources
are distributed within an area of policing. Confirmation about whether or
not ANPR is used within the Mersey Tunnels would enable the general public
to hold the force to account on the way in which they deploy any ANPR
technology. In the current financial climate of cuts and with the call for
transparency of public spending this would enable improved public debate.
Confirming locations nationally would also show the effectiveness of ANPR
cameras in combating terrorist activities.
Factors favouring maintaining the exemption
Security measures are put in place to protect the community that we serve.
Confirmation of where specific ANPR  cameras are sighted would highlight
to terrorists details of which locations would be monitored by ANPR,
allowing them to avoid such routes and therefore subsequent detection.
Revealing specific locations nationally would dramatically weaken the
effective use of ANPR as a monitoring tool in the fight against terrorism
on a local and national scale.
Taking into account the current security climate within the United
Kingdom, no information (such as the citing of an exemption which confirms
information is held, or conversely, stating `no information is held')
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 a considerable negative impact on a force's ability to monitor
terrorist activity.
Irrespective of what information is or isn't held, 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 impact further when linked to other information gathered
from various sources about terrorism. The more information disclosed over
time gives a more detailed account of the tactical infrastructure of not
only the force area but also the country as a whole.
Any incident that results from such a disclosure would by default affect
national security.
Factors favouring confirmation that information is/is not held
There is information within the public domain confirming that the wider
Police force use ANPR in relation to the prevention and detection of
terrorism, serious crime, volume crime and fatal and serious injury road
traffic incidents.
There is a lot of contention over the use of ANPR as a system that is used
to spy and monitor people's activities. Confirming that information is/is
not held would aid with understanding of how ANPR operates and for what
direct purpose, and would stop any incorrect rumours or falsehoods that
may already exist.
Factors favouring maintaining the exemption
The release of this information would compromise any ongoing criminal
investigations, or proceedings, which make use of the data produced by the
camera. In addition, the technology can be used in combating acts of
terrorism but also in the prevention and detection of crime and in the
reduction of death and injury on the roads. Therefore, if it is confirmed
whether or not information is held the capability to prevent such activity
would be compromised and the ANPR's role in delivering effective
operational law enforcement would be compromised. The safety of the public
is of paramount importance to the policing purpose, and an increase in
crime would place the public at risk of harm.
Irrespective of what information may or may not be held, confirmation or
denial that information is held would reveal whether or not ANPR cameras
are used within Mersey Tunnels and such a disclosure would have a serious
negative impact on the security of the whole of the United Kingdom, as
detailed within the above points, and would be beneficial to offenders.
Weakening the mechanisms used to monitor any type of criminal activity
would place the security of the tunnels in an increased level of danger.
ANPR is one of many tools used to help maintain national security and is
not outweighed by the fact
disclosure would make the general public better informed about the system
and it's use.
Information disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act is made public
to the world when released, and has an impact on all areas of the country,
not just within Mersey Tunnel Police's jurisdiction. Disclosure of ANPR
useage within this area would mean that any subsequent FOI request for
other areas would be treated similarly. A series of disclosures for this
information would mean that terrorists and criminals would be able to
build up a picture of where such technology was deployed throughout the
whole country. Disclosure at a national level would encourage those with
criminal intent to relocate and intensify their activities to areas that
are less well covered by ANPR as they would have a renewed level of
confidence in evading detection.
ANPR needs to be understood as a vital tool in safeguarding the security
of the country and any disclosure that would impact on this must be of a
greater importance to the public. ANPR is an internationally recognised
tool that can significantly reduce volume crime, increase detection rates,
tackle cross-border crime and provide vital intelligence for use in
counter terrorist and serious crime work.
Having considered all the factors, at this moment in time, it is our
opinion that for these issues the balance test favours neither confirming
nor denying that information is held. No inference can be drawn from this
refusal that information is or isn't held.’
I trust that this is the information that you require but if you are not
satisfied with the response to your request or the way in which your
request has been dealt with, you have the right to ask for an internal
review. Any internal review request should be submitted in writing to Mrs
Julie Watling (Legal, Democratic Services and Procurement Manager),
Merseytravel, PO Box 1976, Liverpool, L69 3HN (email:
[email address])
If you are subsequently not satisfied with the outcome of any internal
review, you then have the right to apply directly to the Information
Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted
at: Information Commissioners Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
Kind regards,
Anthony Fitzpatrick
Senior Legal Information Officer | Merseytravel | Mann Island, PO Box
1976, Liverpool, L69 3HN
Office: 0151 330 1679 | Email: [email address]
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