Fallon Preamble One, Ashley Bertie, and Average Speed Camera data

dennis fallon made this Freedom of Information request to West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

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 West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner,
This detailed preamble provides relevant background to my FOI request, and it is posted on the whatdotheyknow.com website established by the very honourable young man Chris Lightfoot. There is nothing more important than personal honour.
This preamble is necessary because over the years since my still disputed conviction for speeding, where West Midlands CPS brought in a `judge` Khalid Qureshi from 90 miles away(Manchester) to get the required `result`, but unfortunately also destroying my professional integrity, I have posted many FOI requests to learn how the `authorities` operate (and have produced videos on YouTube, as denny174, which actually prove my point that the Gatso speed cameras were unreliable). The reason I emphasise that the CPS destroyed my professional integrity is that, as a busy locum pharmacist I had to work shifts at retail park stores, sometimes starting at 6am, sometimes finishing work at midnight, and had to cover stores over a large area from Lichfield to Malvern. When I went to Birmingham Magistrates Court to defend my honour I had great difficulty getting time off work, I had to ring every store in the area to see if anyone could swop shifts with me, tell everyone why I needed the swop, then go through the same process again when the Magistrates rescheduled the hearing because they could not afford to lose a speeding case (and someone then arranged for District Judge Khalid Qureshi to come down from Manchester to get the result). I was totally humiliated at being found guilty, the hundreds of pounds in fines and costs were just secondary and, apart from the increased insurance premiums, I could not bear telling all my contacts that I was convicted and fined so I resigned my job at the first practical moment.
If the CPS are going to totally humiliate people they can expect the consequences and I am not going to endure daily stressful work to support a corrupt system.

I have been regularly insulted by Police Trolls who get upset that I am questioning the honesty of Senior police actions, not understanding that I appreciate that the average police person is blissfully innocent of the commercial facet of policing.
The Police Trolls insult me by calling me stupid when they don`t know, in fact, I have a University qualification BSc Pharmacy(Honours) and previously was School Captain of Bordesley Green Grammar Technical School, a top school, and although I can understand people with basic education trying to undermine me I still don`t like it.
Also, my many years as a pharmacist dealing with drug addicts has helped me identify people who are desperately telling lies for personal reasons so I am, in fact, not stupid but highly qualified to investigate the truth behind the image being sold.

I do have concerns that the current PCC, Mr David Jamieson, is following his long held agenda regarding speed cameras for secret commercial or political reasons which, in reality, is not in the public interest and, accordingly, the FOI facility is ideal to remove my perhaps unjustified concerns.
The general public may be unaware that long ago in about 2002 Mr Jamieson was influential as a minister in the Department for Transport, under Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, for collaborating with Senior police in implementing Gatso speed camera introduction in the U.K, and now, in 2016, he has given his 24 year old assistant PCC Ashley Bertie, who was a schoolboy at the time, the media responsibility for selling the reintroduction of cameras for `safety reasons`, despite there being no increase in accident figures during the 3 years the cameras were switched off.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa...

At about the same time as the camera launch in 2002, individuals within the Transport Department were accused of being dishonest in their actions and were forced to resign.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/1...

The Police/CPS decided it was in the public interest to prosecute me and now I consider it to be in the public interest to find out what is really going on.

Personally, as a hard working and respected locum pharmacist, I paid little interest to these political schemings although, as I drove carefully to various places for work at 7am I did notice the Gatso cameras were subject to faulty activations by vehicles speeding from the opposite direction.
The Gatso cameras were just dumb and inaccurate devices relying on reflected radar, but I did wonder how and why ACPO ,the now disbanded Association of Chief Police Officers, had failed, in conjunction with certain staff within Home Office Type Approval department, to properly review the trustworthiness of the setup.
The Dutch company ,Gatso, obviously had commercial reasons for saying the cameras were trustworthy and this has proved very lucrative for them with Gatso now being bought out in 2015 by Sensys with a stockmarket value of over 150 million euro in January 2016. Issuing bits of paper in exchange for big fines is very lucrative.

http://www.sensysgatso.com/sensys-gatso/...
http://www.gatsometer.com/news/38/30/Sen...
The reason for this background information is to put in context the validity of my FOI requests in future which might unfairly be dismissed as vexatious when, in fact, they are simply persistent. There is a big difference between trivial and persistent.

I was fined hundreds of pounds for simply driving carefully home from work at an appropriate speed in my taxed and insured car, alleged speeding at 35mph on an empty main road, but I am determined to defend my honour as a qualified pharmacist who had their evidence ignored by the powers trusted with judging, and CPS lawyers disgracefully only releasing aspects of their faulty evidence on the morning of the trial outside the courtroom.
I have no interest in driving cars fast and I have very strong objections to the possibility that police enforcement could be unjustified or corrupt.

I have gone to a lot of effort producing this preamble to my FOI request because I shall direct internet Police Trolls to it if they dispute my integrity or intelligence with their online insults in future.

For reference purposes I shall refer to this as `Fallon Preamble One`.

Now for the actual FOIs, with possible references to `Fallon Preamble One`.

BACKGROUND. For over 14 years PCC David Jamieson has been working behind the scenes, with police and commercial organisations, both at ministerial and now local level, to instigate the establishment of speed cameras, allegedly for road safety reasons, initially with the Gatso camera network in 2002 and now with digital Average Speed Enforcement (ASE) cameras ( launched on Monday August 8th 2016 ) using ANPR( automatic number plate recognition) technology on key routes into and across Birmingham City and parts of Solihull.
Strangely, on the BBC local television coverage that evening regarding the launch there was no sign of Mr Jamieson, only his recently appointed totally inexperienced junior Assistant PCC Ashley Bertie valiantly attempting to answer questions during a brief interview from the studio.

FOI Q1.From your diary record please advise if, on August 8th, Mr Jamieson attended any media event regarding the ASE camera launch, or how he was otherwise engaged, and confirm if, and by who, any presentation was made on the same day to any other named media organisations. END OF FOI Q1.

BACKGROUND
During the BBC interview, lasting less than 2 minutes, Mr Bertie made several comments which seemed evasive or confusing, so I would appreciate clarification.
The BBC question are in CAPITALS and Mr Bertie`s responses are in lower case.

BBC Q1.NOW, ERM, AFTER GETTING RID OF THESE SPEED CAMERAS BECAUSE OF COST 3 YEARS AGO,WHY THE CHANGE OF HEART?
Speed is one of the biggest issues in the West Midlands and one of the biggest issues the local police people raise with the police crime commissioner and I, I mean 500 people are killed or seriously injured on our roads and the return of speed cameras shows that we are listening to the public at large.
BBC Q2.MOTORISTS HATE THEM,OF COURSE,THEY SEE THEM SIMPLY AS A MONEY MAKING DEVICE, WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT?
Well let me be very,very clear, this is not a money making exercise, it is a safety issue. And day in ,day out, the police commissioner and I listen to people across the region who talk about safety and talk about how much they can mean to them, and I will not apologise for this, and we are very, very adamant that we will listen to the people of the West Midlands, and they are happy and overwhelmingly supportive of this measure.
BBC Q3.WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE THAT THEY REALLY WORK?
Well,in areas where cameras are installed there has been proven safety incidents, speed camera incidents reduced by up to a third, so statistics show that in this region and nationally they are very,very effective.
BBC Q4.WELL THERE IS DATA THAT SHOWS THAT THE NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS ACTUALLY WENT DOWN AFTER THE FIXED CAMERAS WERE SWITCHED OFF.
Well,as I said, nearly 500 people die every year as a result of road collisions, and I will not apologise for this measure. As I said we have people all across the region talk about safety cameras and speak about speed, and we have listened to the public and that is why we installed cameras in Birmingham and Solihull.

FOI Q2.Based on the accurate transcript of Mr Bertie`s interview with the BBC it is apparent that his response to the BBC Q1 is unsupported, namely that the return of speed cameras shows that the PCC is listening to the public at large. Please confirm if, when, and how the PCC arranged a proper credible survey of the people of the West Midlands regarding the reintroduction of cameras, and the actual results of the survey so the percent of those in favour can be assessed.

FOI Q3.Based on the accurate transcript of Mr Bertie`s reply to the BBC Q2 “Well let me be very, very clear, this is not a money making exercise, it is a safety issue” obviously there must be recent accident data to support the introduction of the cameras on the busy commuter routes chosen which, superficially, seem to be free of problems. Please confirm if the PCC actually holds the 3 year accident data for all of the sites selected for camera enforcement, and please disclose the data so it may be reviewed.

FOI Q4.Reference response to BBC Q2,”not a money making exercise”, please disclose the business statistics relevant to the installation of the cameras, namely the total number and cost of the cameras for each named site, the installation cost for each site, or total amount charged for installation, and the budgeted cost of maintaining each site on an annual basis, and clarification as to which business is responsible for the camera maintenance. Please confirm if, and from whom, any grant has been provided, and please confirm the source and quantum of the money necessary to bring the sites into effect, including loans or delayed payments. Also please disclose if the business plan estimates the number of vehicles which might be caught speeding at each site. In the public interest I would appreciate disclosure of any other miscellaneous site costs, confirmation as to whether the cost figures are VAT exempt, and confirmation as to how the proceeds from fines are distributed between central government or the relevant authorities.

FOI Q5.Reference reply to BBC Q3 “safety incidents reduced by up to a third” please disclose the data which supports this assertion, and identify the comparative area concerned.

FOI Q6.Reference reply to BBC Q4, Mr Bertie completely dodges the question as to whether the data shows that accidents actually went down after the cameras were switched off. Obviously the PCC will have all the KSI and accident data for Birmingham and Solihull in order to justify his camera plan, and therefore I would appreciate disclosure of the data relevant to the last 6 years.

FOI Q7.Please advise if the police inform the PCC on a daily or weekly basis as to the number of vehicles caught speeding at each site since commencement 2 weeks ago and, if so, please disclose the data in terms of area, number of vehicles exceeding the limit, and detail of recorded excess speeds including time of day. Various Councillors have publicly stated that the yellow painted cameras are clearly visible but that is not true for night time if the signage is unfairly insufficient,

The required information should be easily available from your organised business plan, and it certainly is in the public interest to disclose to allay fears that there is no genuine safety reason for the cameras.

Thank you in anticipation of completion of my request and not finding excuses.

Yours faithfully,
Dennis Fallon,BsC( honours)

Saba Kayani, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

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Dear West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner,
For the purposes of clarification I note there is some duplication of requested information between FOI Q3 and FOI Q6, namely the data for the selected enforcement sites.
I would like to ammed the last sentance of FOI Q3 to read "Please confirm if the PCC actually holds the SIX year accident data for all of the sites selected for camera enforcement, and please disclose the data so it may be reviewed".
I would like to ammend the last sentance of FOI Q6 "Obviously the PCC will have all the KSI and accident data for Birmingham and Solihull in order to justify his camera plan, and therefore I would appreciate disclosure of the 95 percentile SPEED data relevant to the last SIX years".

Obviously the PCC should have been supplied with all the six year data regarding both recorded speed and accident data in order to make a proper decision regarding the sites, so that is why I would appreciate this request modification.

Yours faithfully,

dennis fallon

Elizabeth Joyce, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Fallon,

 

Please see the attached response to your FOI request.

 

Kind regards,

 

Elizabeth

 

Elizabeth Joyce

Media and Communications Officer

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

0121 626 5442

@WestMidsPCC

 

 

This email is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged
or confidential information. If received in error, please notify the
originator immediately. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. Views or opinions
expressed in this email do not necessarily represent those of West
Midlands Police. All West Midlands Police email activity is monitored for
virus, racist, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate activity. No
responsibility is accepted by West Midlands Police for any loss or damage
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Dear Elizabeth Joyce,
I wish to appeal the response to my FOI request as it cannot be right that, despite the PCC being heavily involved for several years in the secret planning for the introduction of Average Speed Cameras ( ASC)his office not only seems to hold no substantive information regarding the current set up but seems strangely disinterested in being kept informed of the consequences of his actions, disgracefully unconcerned that many people are being unsuspectingly `caught`despite the allegedly satisfactory `warnings`,including, according to a police twitter feed. one pesrson `caught` seven times in the first 7 days and now possibly facing ruination of several thousand pounds of accumulated fines and costs plus probably being banned from driving and, for all we know, they may have simply been driving to work at 35mph on a daily basis.
Superficially it also seems disgraceful that at the launch of at the ASCs Mr Jamieson was absent from his post and left his junior Mr Bertie to deal with it using unsubstantiated preprepared statements about their justification and purpose.
I know from my previous researches that Mr Jamieson was responsible in 2002 for the launch of original Gatso speed cameras which were, in reality, unreliable technology but defended by a closely knit (?)but allegedly independent set of people from the Home Office Type Approval, Police and `legal system`system who, coincidentally, found things highly lucrative.

VIDEO Proof of the Real Evidence is available https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpaFOiQQ...
The original Gatso set up was a cleverly organised scam based on dodgy data and I am trying to establish if the very old data has been used to justify the relaunched site or if `new` data has been produced by allegedly independent experts to contradict the reports that accident rates have actually declined since the old cameras were turned off.
This email serves as notice that I wish to appeal the FOI response provided by the Office of the PCC, and, to avoid cluttered verbiage,the actual detail of the appeal will be contained in my next correspondence.
Yours sincerely,
dennis fallon

Dear West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner's handling of my FOI request 'Fallon Preamble One, Ashley Bertie, and Average Speed Camera data'.

Your FOI response confirms that PCC,David Jamison, was not present at the birth of his new baby and the explanations behind the conception were provided by his assistant Ashley Bertie to only to the BBC news , and who apparently had reliable sources for his comments
I am aware that the original David`s baby ,the Gatso speed camera network, conceived by him when he worked as a Transport Minister under Labour, was sadly taken off life support 3 years ago and the first police attempt at ANPR installation at 218 fixed sites was, sadly, aborted under the failed Operation Champion West Midlands 2010.
Although you have provided some information about the `sources`used by Mr Bertie to validate the new ANPR camera sites I wish to appeal for proper detail of the `sources`, and appeal that surely the PCC Office should hold information about the speed and accident record for the chosen sites as that is fundamental to the alleged `safety`reasons for their creation.

APPEAL POINT ONE.
The reply to FOI Q2 is unsatisfactory as it says ,QUOTE,"Ashley Bertie’s response was based on a number of factors, including road safety/speeding being the top issue of concern highlighted by the public in the consultation for the new Police and Crime Plan. A total of 33.06% of people listed it as their top priority".
It is unsatisfactory to provide reference to a possibly unpublished document, namely`Public responses to consultation for the new police and crime plan`, and also unsatisfactory to provide a percentage figure of 33.06 without saying an actual number of people.
Please provide all the results of the `consultation`so that the `public`s apparent priorities can be reviewed, and also please confirm the date of the survey and the number of people who completed the survey so that the perecentage figures can be understood in numerical terms and effectiveness of involving genuine public participation.

APPEAL POINT TWO.
Reference my FOI Q3 it is very concerning that although the PCC and APCC have stated that the sites have been selected on the basis of their high accident history, they seem to hold no data to support this assertion and could not therefore have checked the detail themselves.
According to your response, QUOTE "For information, Ashley Bertie’s response was based on the site selection survey to determine the most suitable routes. The survey was undertaken by a task group...".
It is of public concern that the site selection survey may not have been conducted recently or properly, and may have gullibly been accepted by the Office of the PCC.
Please reconfirm that you do not hold a copy of the `site selection survey`, please confirm who comprised the `task group`who undertook the survey, and please confirm the date of survey completion for reassurance that very old data was not used.

APPEAL POINT THREE.
Reference my FOI Q4 your response that the PCC apparently holds no information about the business plan and running costs for the camera sites is very alarming as it may indicate that the PCC, a crucial member of the planning team, is deliberately seeking to avoid responsibility by failing to keep records despite being heavily involved in the planning process.
There obviously has been considerable expense in ordering equipment to set up these sites and many contracts to be signed to authorise progress, and it is incredible to believe that the PCC holds no information as I thought he is the person responsible for authorising all major police expenditure and contracts, and I was of the opinion that some of the costs were being paid for from reserves of some kind.
Please reconfirm that the PCC has not authorised any payments to any agency on behalf of the police and not signed any contracts with outside agencies in regards to establishing the sites.
I note from the PCC website that the PCC is supposed show transparency by publishing various expenses and claims, both personal and relating to the police, on a regular basis but this may not have been done for some time.Please confirm the dates of the last published data in this regard on the PCC website and when it is due to be updated.

APPEAL POINT FOUR.
Reference your reply to my FOI Q5, QUOTE " This response was based on information included in the Average Speed Enforcement (ASE) Project Communication Plan by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Birmingham City Counciland West Midlands Police. Paragraph 5.4 states: “Prior to April 2013, anecdotal evidence has shown that a targeted, systematic approach to safety camera installation has significantly contributed to the overall reduction in KSI collisions. Statistics also show that once a safety camera is installed at a specific location, then in the three years after being commissioned it reduces collisions at the location by 30-35 per cent. (Source: RAC Foundation Report).”
I know, unfortunately, that some people manipulate information to suit various commercial needs, not really in terms of genuine safety, and I know that the RAC Foundation no longer has any connection with the RAC.
Please confirm if the PCC hold a copy of the ASE Project Communication Plan and, if so, please provide disclosure of it, or a link to access it.
Please confirm who actually holds responsibility for collating the information contained within the plan on behalf of the authorities mentioned and, regarding the RAC Foundation Report which is the source of the `anecdotal evidence`, pleaase confirm if the PCC holds a copy of the RAC Foundation Report and please confirm the date of the Report.

END OF APPEAL REQUEST.

I am sorry to be so incredulous that the PCC apparently holds no data regarding the establishment or running of these sites, but he has spent a lot of time and effort developing them and seeks to rely on`anecdotal evidence`, despite recent contrary data,whilst at the same time not holding a business plan and not even requesting written updates from the police on a regular basis in order to review the sites performance.
I appreciate you completing your statutory duty in providing the background information to complete my FOI Appeal.

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

Yours faithfully,
Dennis Fallon (BSc Hons)

Andrea Gabbitas, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Mr Fallon

 

I am writing with regard to the Freedom of Information request you
submitted on 20 September 2016.

 

I am still in the process of checking our records to ensure that the
response I provide for you is correct.  I apologise for the delay, and
hope to provide you with a full response within the next ten days.

 

Thank you for your patience.

 

Andrea Gabbitas

Business Services Manager

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, West  Midlands

Tel: 0121 626 6060

[mobile number]

 

This email is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged
or confidential information. If received in error, please notify the
originator immediately. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. Views or opinions
expressed in this email do not necessarily represent those of West
Midlands Police. All West Midlands Police email activity is monitored for
virus, racist, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate activity. No
responsibility is accepted by West Midlands Police for any loss or damage
arising in any way from the receipt or use of this email.

Dear Andrea Gabbitas,
Thank you for the update, a reply within 10 days is acceptable.
I appreciate a proper detailed response because obviously it is disconcerting that that the Office of the PCC claims to hold no information when they are the driving force behind the scheme, and on such an important issue they should not be operating off the record and should be publically accountable.
Mr Jamieson should not be holding his own private meetings and records, the information should belong to the Office of the PCC and therefore be available.
I have tried to minimise your inconvenience by trying to find the information through alternative sources but, as it is fundamental to the justification for the scheme, it must be publically available and I appreciate your efforts.
I would appreciate a quick response on a separate issue, please advise why the link, provided by Jonathan Jardine, regarding the Notice of the conclusion of audit of accounts for the year ended 31 March 2016, for the PCC accounts,is nonfunctional and when it will be remedied.
Yours sincerely,
dennis fallon

Andrea Gabbitas, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Mr Fallon

We are experiencing a few IT issues today, probably because we have just moved offices. You could try copying the website address into your browser and hopefully it will open that way.

The address you need is: http://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/news/...

I hope this works.

Andrea Gabbitas
Business Services Manager
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, West Midlands
Tel: 0121 626 6060
[mobile number]

show quoted sections

Dear Andrea Gabbitas,
Sorry Andrea, the access to the PCC accounts weblinks are still blocked, error 404, although strangely your link to the Police Accounts works fine, and this problem has existed for over 7 days so it is not a short term fault.
As a matter of interest, as you have just moved office, have you left Aqua House and moved to Lloyd House or somewhere else, and where is the actual computer that hosts the PCC website and who is responsible for maintaining it?
I hope you can check the link yourself to view the failure, and then get someone to remedy it ASAP.

Thank you for keeping the public informed and chasing these matters.

Yours sincerely,

dennis fallon

Andrea Gabbitas, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

I am away from the office on annual leave until Tuesday 25 October 2016

 

I shall respond to emails upon my return.  In the meantime if your query
is urgent please contact the Office of the  Police and Crime Commissioner
by telephone on 0121 626 6060

 

This email is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged
or confidential information. If received in error, please notify the
originator immediately. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. Views or opinions
expressed in this email do not necessarily represent those of West
Midlands Police. All West Midlands Police email activity is monitored for
virus, racist, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate activity. No
responsibility is accepted by West Midlands Police for any loss or damage
arising in any way from the receipt or use of this email.

Andrea Gabbitas, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Fallon

 

Please find attached a response to your request for an internal review,
together with two accompanying documents.

 

Kind regards

 

Andrea Gabbitas

Business Services Manager

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, West  Midlands

Tel: 0121 626 6060

[mobile number]

 

This email is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged
or confidential information. If received in error, please notify the
originator immediately. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. Views or opinions
expressed in this email do not necessarily represent those of West
Midlands Police. All West Midlands Police email activity is monitored for
virus, racist, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate activity. No
responsibility is accepted by West Midlands Police for any loss or damage
arising in any way from the receipt or use of this email.