Dear Essex Police,
A recent national newspapaer revealed that Essex Police are assisting Southend Council in the management of facial recognition cameras and equipment.
What other councils are Essex Police helping with this technology and are Essex Police using their own cameras in fixed or mobile locations.

Yours faithfully,

Philip Chapman

Info Rights Freedom Essex, Essex Police

1 Attachment

Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above reference
14194.

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 exemption at section 14 may be
engaged if the burden on the authority is increased through multiple
requests on differing subjects.

 

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]https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/offici...

                                                      

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,

 

Information Rights | Information Management Department | Information
Rights Section | Essex Police

Telephone 01245 452 647 or 101 extension 150030 | Email
[3][Essex Police request email]
Address: Information Management, Information Rights, Essex Police HQ, PO
Box 2, Chelmsford CM2 6DA

[4]cid:image001.png@01D3E908.EC4D1080

 

Please note, if you require further information or wish to resubmit a
request please refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s
website regarding submission of effective requests
[5]https://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/of...

 

Your right to complain

 

If you feel your request has not been properly handled, or you are
otherwise dissatisfied with the outcome of your request you have the right
to complain.

 

Complaints should be submitted within 20 working days from the date of
this response and should be addressed to the Senior Information Officer at
the above address or by email to:  [6][Essex Police request email]

 

We will conduct a review to investigate your complaint and endeavour to
reply within 20 working days.

 

Please explain which aspect of the reply you are not satisfied with, and
if your complaint concerns the decision to apply an exemption it would
assist the review if you would outline why you believe the exemption does
not apply.

           

If you are still dissatisfied following our review, you have the right
under Section 50 of the Act to complain directly to the Information
Commissioner. Before considering your complaint, the Information
Commissioner would normally expect you to have exhausted the complaints
procedures provided by Essex Police

 

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF or via [7]https://ico.org.uk/

 

 

 

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Info Rights Freedom Essex, Essex Police

2 Attachments

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

 

Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) places two duties
on public authorities. Unless exemptions apply, the first duty at Section
1(1)(a) is to confirm or deny whether the information specified in a
request is held. The second duty at Section 1(1)(b) is to disclose
information that has been confirmed as being held. Where exemptions are
relied upon Section 17 of the 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 your enquiry:

 

A recent national newspapaer revealed that Essex Police are assisting
Southend Council in the management of facial recognition cameras and
equipment.

What other councils are Essex Police helping with this technology and are
Essex Police using their own cameras in fixed or mobile locations.

 

Having completed enquiries within Essex Police in respect of Section
1(1)(a), Essex Police does not hold information relating to your request.

 

Therefore, and in accordance with Section 17(1) of the FOIA, this response
serves as a formal notification of refusal of your request on the basis
that Essex Police does not hold, for the purposes of FOIA the information
requested.

 

To provide some explanation, and to meet our duty to assist under Section
16 of the FOIA, Essex Police can advise:

 

Essex Police do not have any Facial Recognition system. The forces are
currently scoping opportunities for the use of facial recognition but at
this time have no agreed plans to launch the use of the technology.

 

The below links might be of interest to you:

 

[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

 

[2]https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/tag/...

 

In addition to the above, Essex Police can neither confirm nor deny
information is held in regard to the covert use or future covert use of
facial recognition solution(s).

 

Any disclosure under FOI is a release to the public at large. Whilst not
questioning the motives of the applicant, confirming or denying that any
other information relating to the covert practise of facial recognition
would show criminals what the capacity, tactical abilities and
capabilities of the force are, allowing them to target specific areas of
the UK to conduct their criminal/terrorist activities. Confirming or
denying the specific circumstances in which the Police Service may or may
not deploy the use of facial recognition would lead to an increase of harm
to covert investigations and compromise law enforcement. This would be to
the detriment of providing an efficient Policing Service and a failure in
providing a duty of care to all members of the public.

 

The threat from terrorism cannot be ignored. It is generally recognised
that the international security landscape is increasingly complex and
unpredictable. Since 2006, the UK Government has published the threat
level, based upon current intelligence and that threat has remained at the
second highest level ‘severe’, except for two short periods during August
2006, June and July 2007, and more recently in May and June 2017 following
the Manchester and London terrorist attacks, when it was raised to the
highest threat, ‘critical’. The UK continues to face a sustained threat
from violent extremists and terrorists and the current threat level is set
at ‘severe’.

 

It is well established that Police forces use covert tactics and
surveillance to gain intelligence in order to counteract criminal
behaviour. It has been previously documented in the media that many
terrorist incidents have been thwarted due to intelligence gained by these
means.

 

Confirming or denying whether any information is or is not held relating
to the covert use of facial recognition technology would limit operational
capabilities as criminals/terrorist would gain a greater understanding of
the Police’s methods and techniques, enabling offenders to take steps to
counter them. It may also suggest the limitations of Police capabilities
in this area, which may further encourage criminal/terrorist activity by
exposing potential vulnerabilities. This detrimental effect is increased
if the request is made to several different law enforcement bodies. In
addition to the local criminal fraternity now being better informed, those
intent on organised crime throughout the UK will be able to ‘map’ where
the use of certain tactics are or are not deployed. This can be useful
information to those committing crimes. It would have the likelihood of
identifying location-specific operations which would ultimately compromise
Police tactics, operations and future prosecutions as criminals could
counteract the measures used against them.

 

Any information identifying the focus of Policing activity could be used
to the advantage of terrorists or criminal organisations. Information that
undermines the operational integrity of these activities will adversely
affect public safety and have a negative impact on both National Security
and Law Enforcement.

 

Thank you for your interest in Essex Police.

 

Kind regards,

 

Information Rights Team

Information Management Department

Information Rights Section

E-Mail: [3][Essex Police request email]

 

[4]cid:image001.png@01D3E908.EC4D1080

 

Please note, if you require further information or wish to resubmit a
request please refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s
website regarding submission of effective requests
[5]https://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/of...

 

Your right to complain

 

If you feel your request has not been properly handled, or you are
otherwise dissatisfied with the outcome of your request you have the right
to complain.

 

Complaints should be submitted within 20 working days from the date of
this response and should be addressed to the Senior Information Officer at
the above address or by email to:  [6][Essex Police request email]

 

We will conduct a review to investigate your complaint and endeavour to
reply within 20 working days.

 

Please explain which aspect of the reply you are not satisfied with, and
if your complaint concerns the decision to apply an exemption it would
assist the review if you would outline why you believe the exemption does
not apply.

           

If you are still dissatisfied following our review, you have the right
under Section 50 of the Act to complain directly to the Information
Commissioner. Before considering your complaint, the Information
Commissioner would normally expect you to have exhausted the complaints
procedures provided by Essex Police

 

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF or via [7]https://ico.org.uk/

 

 

 

From: Info Rights Freedom Essex
Sent: 10 February 2020 11:00
To: Philip Chapman <[FOI #644674 email]>
Subject: FOI 14194 - Facial Recognition Cameras – Southend Council

 

Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above reference
14194.

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 exemption at section 14 may be
engaged if the burden on the authority is increased through multiple
requests on differing subjects.

 

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
[8]www.ico.gov.uk specific information relating to submitting a request
can be found at:
[9]https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/offici...

                                                      

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,

 

Information Rights | Information Management Department | Information
Rights Section | Essex Police

Telephone 01245 452 647 or 101 extension 150030 | Email
[10][Essex Police request email]
Address: Information Management, Information Rights, Essex Police HQ, PO
Box 2, Chelmsford CM2 6DA

[11]cid:image001.png@01D3E908.EC4D1080

 

Please note, if you require further information or wish to resubmit a
request please refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s
website regarding submission of effective requests
[12]https://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/of...

 

Your right to complain

 

If you feel your request has not been properly handled, or you are
otherwise dissatisfied with the outcome of your request you have the right
to complain.

 

Complaints should be submitted within 20 working days from the date of
this response and should be addressed to the Senior Information Officer at
the above address or by email to:  [13][Essex Police request email]

 

We will conduct a review to investigate your complaint and endeavour to
reply within 20 working days.

 

Please explain which aspect of the reply you are not satisfied with, and
if your complaint concerns the decision to apply an exemption it would
assist the review if you would outline why you believe the exemption does
not apply.

           

If you are still dissatisfied following our review, you have the right
under Section 50 of the Act to complain directly to the Information
Commissioner. Before considering your complaint, the Information
Commissioner would normally expect you to have exhausted the complaints
procedures provided by Essex Police

 

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF or via [14]https://ico.org.uk/

 

 

 

show quoted sections