Forensic Archaeology and Undetected Homicide Cases

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, West Mercia Police should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear West Mercia Police,

I am a MSc student studying Forensic Science and Criminal Justice with the University of Leicester. I am currently completing my dissertation which seeks to look at the impact Forensic Archaeology has on unsolved homicide cases within the UK. I would be grateful if the following questions could be answered as outlined in the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Definition of terms for clarity:

Homicide – The unlawful killing of a person, to include murder and all categories of manslaughter.
Detected homicide case – a solved homicide case whereby a person(s) has been charged or has died prior to charges being brought.
Undetected homicide case – a currently unsolved homicide case.
Undetected homicide case review – the review of all evidence in relation to an undetected homicide case.

Freedom of Information Questions:

Q1. How many reported undetected homicide cases are there within your jurisdiction currently?
Q2. Do you currently have a team solely responsible for the review of undetected homicides?
Q3. What is the current standard undetected homicide case review frequency within your jurisdiction?
Q4. During the years 2011 – 2014 (inclusive), how many undetected homicide cases were reviewed within your jurisdiction?
Q5. During the years 2011 – 2014 (inclusive), how many undetected homicide cases were detected within your jurisdiction?
Q6. Does your jurisdiction currently have a Forensic Archaeologist to be called upon as required?
Q7. During the years 2011 – 2014 (inclusive), how many undetected homicide case reviews utilised Forensic Archaeology?
Q8. During the years 2011 – 2014 (inclusive), how many undetected homicide cases were detected as a result of Forensic Archaeology?
I would like to thank you in advance for taking the time to answer these questions. Should you require me to refine or clarify any part of my request, please do not hesitate to contact me under your section 16 duty.

Kindest regards

Charlotte Jones
BHSPT, Nat.Cert.Sci, BSc(hons)

Information Compliance, West Mercia Police

 
Dear Ms Jones
 
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NOs: West Mercia Police 12543 and
Warwickshire Police 12544
 
I write in connection with your request for West Mercia Police and
Warwickshire Police information which was dated and received on 9th
September 2019.
 
Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act). 
 
Please note that due to an unprecedented number of requests being received
for subject access and FOI, for the foreseeable future requests are now
being triaged and addressed in the following order; Subject Access
requests and then FOI requests.  Every effort will be made to meet our
statutory timescales for responses, subject to the information not being
exempt or containing a reference to a third party. and we ask for your
understanding.
We will aim to provide the information within 20 working days as required
by the Freedom of Information Act.
 
There may be a fee payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of
the information you request.  If this is the case you will be informed and
the 20 working day timescale will be suspended until we receive payment
from you. If you chose not to make payment then your request will remain
unanswered.
 
Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to
another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest
possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.
 
Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write
or telephone the Information Compliance Unit quoting the reference number
above.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
Information Compliance Administrator
Information Compliance Unit
Warwickshire Police & West Mercia Police
P O Box 55
Hindlip  WR3 8SP
 
DD 01905 331545 (Ext. 2545)
 
 

Dear Information Compliance,

Many thanks for the acknowledgement of my request. As this request is now delayed, could you please advise as to the likely timescale in which I can expect your response.

Yours sincerely,

Charlotte Jones

Information Compliance, West Mercia Police

Dear Ms Jones

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NOs: West Mercia Police 12543 and Warwickshire Police 12544

I write in connection with your requests for information received on 9th September 2019.

I regret to inform you that West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police has not been able to complete its response to your request within the 20 working days.
I am unable to provide a specific timescale for response but every effort will be made to ensure an appropriate response will be made as soon as possible.
Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Your attention is drawn to the below which details your right of complaint.
Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write or telephone the Information Compliance Unit quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Information Compliance Unit
Warwickshire Police & West Mercia Police
PO Box 55
Hindlip
Worcester
WR3 8SP
01905 331545 / 331565

West Mercia Police in complying with their statutory duty under sections 1 and 11 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed information will not breach the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. However, the rights of the copyright owner of the enclosed information will continue to be protected by law. Applications for the copyright owner's written permission to reproduce any part of the attached information should be addressed to The Force Solicitor, West Mercia Police Headquarters, PO Box 55, Hindlip, Worcester, WR3 8SP.
COMPLAINT RIGHTS
Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the decision is incorrect?
You have the right to require West Mercia Police (WMP) to review their decision.
Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to discuss the decision with the person that dealt with your request.
Ask to have the decision looked at again -
The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to telephone the person named at the end of your decision letter.
That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and assist with any problems.
Complaint
If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of WMP made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding access to information, you can lodge a complaint with WMP to have the decision reviewed. WMP must be notified of your intention to complain within 20 working days of the date of its response to your Freedom of Information request. Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to:
West Mercia Police Headquarters
Information Compliance Unit
Hindlip Hall
Hindlip
PO Box 55
Worcester
WR3 8SP
or
email: [West Mercia Police request email]

In all possible circumstances, WMP will aim to respond to your complaint within 2 months.
The Information Commissioner
After lodging a complaint with WMP if you are still dissatisfied with the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Act.
For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner please visit their website at https://ico.org.uk/ Alternatively, phone or write to:
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number
Fax: 01625 524 510

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