Equipment used by Armed Police within Essex Police

A Baxter made this Freedom of Information request to Essex 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 Essex Police,

I am requesting the information of what firearms are used by Essex Police, and in what situation that some (Specialized weapons, eg: A sniper rifle) would be used.
I am asking for the make of weapon and the model, and variant if
applicable. (eg: Heckler and Koch G36[c])

With this, I am also asking for the information of vehicles
(Manufacturer and model) used by any Officers that are either
routinely armed or armed within special situations.

This information is purely out of interest, and for research into Essex Police.

Yours faithfully,

A Baxter

1 Attachment

Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above
reference.

Under the Freedom of Information Act we are required to reply within 20
working days. The Act does not specify a limit to the number of
information requests a public authority may receive or the number of
requests or questions an applicant may submit. However, there are
exemptions in the Act that can apply and these include where the cost of
complying with the request would extend beyond the reasonable cost limit,
(currently 18 hours or £450), or if the request is otherwise manifestly
unreasonable in its scope or nature. Requests that ask a great many
questions, or a number of detailed requests submitted at the same time,
may make it necessary for Essex Police to refuse the requests wholly or in
part.

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has responsibility for
providing oversight and guidance for the legislation and they have
produced advice for applicants on submitting effective requests. Further
information can be found on the Commissioner’s website at
[1]www.ico.gov.uk 

Specific information relating to submitting a request can be found at: 

[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/off...   

 

While we process your request, please take the time to consider the ICO’s
advice and whether you feel it may be beneficial to amend or refine your
request. Our team is happy to discuss your request with you and will be
able to provide advice as to what kind of information will be available
from Essex Police.

 

Kind regards,

Shirley Elderfield
Information Officer
Strategic Change Management Department
Essex Police HQ
Internal extension 150025
Direct Dial 01245 452647
Essex Police Non emergency Telephone Number (within Essex) 101 (Outside
Essex) 0300 333 4444
Fax: Internal 150045 External 01245 452256
Website: [3]www.essex.police.uk

Information Management, Strategic Change Management Department, Essex
Police Headquarters, PO Box 2, Springfield, Chelmsford, CM2 6DA

 

 

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1 Attachment

Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above reference. Having completed my enquiries I am able to respond as follows:

Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) places two duties on public authorities. Unless exemptions apply, the first duty at Sec1(1)(a) is to confirm or deny whether the information specified in a request is held. The second duty at Sec1(1)(b) is to disclose information that has been confirmed as being held. Where exemptions are relied upon s17 of FOIA requires that we provide the applicant with a notice which: a) states that fact b) specifies the exemption(s) in question and c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.

In respect of this enquiry:

I am requesting the information of what firearms are used by Essex Police, and in what situation that some (Specialized weapons, eg: A sniper rifle) would be used.

I am asking for the make of weapon and the model, and variant if applicable. (eg: Heckler and Koch G36[c])

With this, I am also asking for the information of vehicles (Manufacturer and model) used by any Officers that are either routinely armed or armed within special situations.

Essex Police does hold some information relevant to your request. Details are as follows;

Essex Police Operational Weapons and Ammunition

Weapons

Accuracy International Bolt Action Rifle
Tikka T3 Rifle Bolt Action Rifle
H&K 417 Semi Auto Rifle
H&K G36C Carbine
H&K L104A2 Launcher (Baton Gun)
SIG Pro Self-loading Pistol
SIG P250 Self-loading Pistol
Benelli Nova/Super Nova Pump shotgun
TASER

Essex Police are however unable to answer part of Question 1, to provide details in respect of situations, as each incident would be assessed from the ground, by senior officers and dynamically as the incident unfolds. Equipment, including firearms, will be selected as the situation demands.

Any details that could be provided would not be released as the following exemptions apply. Also note that in respect of Question 2, we can only confirm that Essex Police uses a selection of high powered vehicles that have been assessed as suitable for the role, again no further details can be provided as the following exemptions apply.

Section 31(1) (a) (b) Law enforcement
Section 38 Health and Safety

31 Law enforcement
(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,
(c) the administration of justice,
(d) the assessment or collection of any tax or duty or of any imposition of a similar nature,
(e) the operation of the immigration controls,
(f) the maintenance of security and good order in prisons or in other institutions where persons are lawfully detained,
(g) the exercise by any public authority of its functions for any of the purposes specified in subsection (2),
(h) any civil proceedings which are brought by or on behalf of a public authority and arise out of an investigation conducted, for any of the purposes specified in subsection (2), by or on behalf of the authority by virtue of Her Majesty’s prerogative or by virtue of powers conferred by or under an enactment, or
(i) any inquiry held under the [1976 c. 14.] Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiries (Scotland) Act 1976 to the extent that the inquiry arises out of an investigation conducted, for any of the purposes specified in subsection (2), by or on behalf of the authority by virtue of Her Majesty’s prerogative or by virtue of powers conferred by or under an enactment.
(2) The purposes referred to in subsection (1)(g) to (i) are—
(a) the purpose of ascertaining whether any person has failed to comply with the law,
(b) the purpose of ascertaining whether any person is responsible for any conduct which is improper,
(c) the purpose of ascertaining whether circumstances which would justify regulatory action in pursuance of any enactment exist or may arise,
(d) the purpose of ascertaining a person’s fitness or competence in relation to the management of bodies corporate or in relation to any profession or other activity which he is, or seeks to become, authorised to carry on,
(e) the purpose of ascertaining the cause of an accident,
(f) the purpose of protecting charities against misconduct or mismanagement (whether by trustees or other persons) in their administration,
(g) the purpose of protecting the property of charities from loss or misapplication,
(h) the purpose of recovering the property of charities,
(i) the purpose of securing the health, safety and welfare of persons at work, and
(j) the purpose of protecting persons other than persons at work against risk to health or safety arising out of or in connection with the actions of persons at work.
(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that, compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1).

The factors favouring disclosure for S31

By disclosing the information the public would see where public funds are being spent. Better public awareness may reduce crime or lead to more information from the public as they would be more observant in reporting suspicious activity.

Factors favouring non-disclosure for S31

By disclosing details of tactics and information regarding manufacturer and model of vehicle, tactics would be compromised. It could also adversely affect public safety as individuals would know forces capability and tactics; therefore individuals would therefore be placed at higher risk. Provision of data relating to vehicles could allow those vehicles to be identified, making them a potential target for theft of firearms.
By releasing details of specialist equipment it could allow those with criminal intent arm themselves at a higher level to overwhelm police, almost creating an “arms race” requiring more powerful weapons on either side.

38 Health and Safety
(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 applies to ‘any individual’. This may be a police officer, a witness, a member of the public, the applicant, friends and relatives etc and the harm may be actual or perceived. It refers to physical, mental, emotional, psychological etc types of harm.

In applying this exemption Essex Police is obliged to consider the public interest in the release of this information. Accordingly, the public interest test below has been carried out.
The factors favouring disclosure for S38

By disclosing the information the public would see where public funds are being spent. Better public awareness may reduce crime or lead to more information from the public as they would be more proactive in reporting suspicious activity.

Factors favouring non-disclosure for S38

By disclosing details of tactics and information regarding manufacturer and model of vehicle, tactics would be compromised. It could also adversely affect public safety as individuals would know forces capability and tactics; therefore individuals including officers would therefore be placed at higher risk.
Balance test
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 the jurisdiction of one public authority. Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of resources and operations there is a strong public interest in safeguarding police operations and ensuring the safety of individuals.

The safety of both Officers and the Public is paramount and it would not be appropriate to release details that could endanger individuals and therefore the balance in this case falls to non-disclosure.

Thank you for your interest in Essex Police and we are sorry that we have not been able to provide all the information you have requested on this occasion

Kind regards,

Kerry Nicholson
Information Officer
Strategic Change Management Department
Essex Police HQ
Internal extension 150025
Direct Dial 01245 452647
Essex Police Non emergency Telephone Number (within Essex) 101 (Outside Essex) 0300 333 4444
Fax: Internal 150045 External 01245 452256
Website: www.essex.police.uk<http://www.essex.police.uk/>
Information Management, Strategic Change Management Department, Essex Police Headquarters, PO Box 2, Springfield, Chelmsford, CM2 6DA

[cid:4a754556-b02b-4567-89c1-587fa938a825]

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your FOI request, you have the right to ask for an internal review.
Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original request and should be addressed to the Senior Information Officer at the above address or by email to: data[Essex Police request email]<mailto:data[Essex Police request email]>
They will conduct an internal review to investigate the handling of your request and endeavour to reply within 20 working days. If your complaint refers to a decision to apply an exemption it would assist the review if you would outline the reasons why you feel the exemption does not apply.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply direct to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF or via http://www.ico.gov.uk/

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Dear Essex Police,

Thank you for your time, I am happy with the response and understand the reason as to why you cannot disclose the other information.

Yours faithfully,

A Baxter

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