General Policing use of ANPR data from CCZ/LEZ

The request was successful.

Dear Transport for London,

I am writing concerning the Metropolitan Police's use of data
obtained from ANPR cameras operated by Transport for London in the
London Congestion Charging Zone (CCZ) and Low Emission Zone (LEZ).

According to the Metropolitan Police's annual reports to the
Information Commissioner's Office, from 2008 to 2011, the ANPR Unit
retained all data from the ANPR cameras, but only accessed this
data in accordance with the exemption certificates issued by the
Home Secretary in 2007 and 2011. These certificates granted
permission to access this data only for the purpose of safeguarding
national security.

However, the Fifth Annual Report, issued for 2012, states that:

"During the same period the ANPR Data was used to support General
Policing and Crime Investigation. [...] The practise of using the
ANPR Data in such circumstances has been agreed at MPS Chief
Officer level. The audit report below will outline some of the
safeguards put in place in respect of using the ANPR Data for
general policing purposes, although such reporting is not required
within the provisions of the Certificate as the MPS contends that
no breach has occurred and neither is access to the data dependent
on the Certificate. Other legal gateways for access under the Data
Protection Act (principally section 29) are relied upon . For
further information on this matter the ANPR Unit should be
contacted directly."

And:

"Since the period of the last audit a senior level decision has
been taken to extend use of TfL ANPR data to support General
Policing and Crime Investigation . The MPS and TfL have been
working together to implement a commitment in the Mayor's 2012
manifesto to enable routine MPS access to ANPR data collected by
TfL. Ahead of formal agreement by the Mayor, the MPS ANPR Bureau
have established an interim policy for use by MPS ANPR Bureau
personnel. The issue of use of the TfL ANPR data for these purposes
does appear to have been carefully considered by the MPS ANPR
Bureau and discussed at length with TfL."

For the purposes of this request, please will you release to me

(1) all documents (reports etc) produced by TfL, and

(2) all communications (letters, emails, etc) and other records of discussions between TfL and the Metropolitan Police,

regarding the Metropolitan Police's use of the CCZ and LEZ camera data to support General Policing and Crime Investigation, as distinct from the use of this data for National Security purposes as covered by the existing Certificate issued by the Home Secretary.

Yours faithfully,

James Bridle

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Bridle

 

TfL Ref: FOI-2002-1314

 

Thank you for your email which we received on 20 January 2014 asking for
documents and communications regarding the Metropolitan Police's use of
the CCZ and LEZ camera data.

 

Your request will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the
Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. 

 

A response will be provided to you by 17 February 2014.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please
do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Eva Hextall

FOI Case Officer

 

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

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FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Bridle

 

TfL Ref: FOI-2002-1314

 

Thank you again for your email.

 

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. 

 

To enable us to assist with your request, can you please provide a time
period which you would like us to cover? This will help us with searching
for the requested material. I hope you will appreciate that without a
timeframe this could involve a lot of work. You may or may not be aware
that if the cost of complying with a request exceeds the appropriate limit
of £450, set by the FOI regulations, we are not obliged to comply.

 

Please note that the 20 working day deadline for responding to your
request will depend on when we receive satisfactory additional
information to help clarify your request.  

 

If we hear nothing further from you by 11 February 2014 your response will
be treated as a new request.

 

In the meantime, if you have any queries or would like to discuss your
request, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Eva Hextall

FOI Case Officer

 

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

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Dear Sir or Madam,

Thanks for getting back to me. As I note in my request, I am interested in discussions with the Metropolitan Police which specifically refer to the use of TfL-derived ANPR data for general policing purposes, beyond the national security uses permitted under the Home Secretary's certificate.

As the Metropolitan Police's own reports state that this use of data began in 2012, then it must be presumed that any discussions with TfL on this issue were concluded in that year or previously, but establishing when and to what extent those discussions did occur is precisely the intention of this request. As such, it is not possible to give more precise dates.

While I understand the limits placed upon reasonable requests for information, I believe that this request is suitably specific in its subject, and as such should not fall beyond the limits of a standard request.

Yours sincerely,

James Bridle

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please note that today is the final deadline under law for responding to this request.

Yours sincerely,

James Bridle

FOI, Transport for London

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Bridle

 

Thank you for your email.

 

Your request his being considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and our information access policy.  I
can confirm we do hold the information you require.

 

However, in accordance with Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act
this letter is a refusal notice as we are still considering the balance of
the public interest in relation to qualified exemptions that apply to some
of the requested information, and have not yet reached a conclusion. The
exemptions under consideration are Section 31 and Section 42. It is
estimated that a decision will be reached by 18 March 2014 and I will
write again to inform you of that decision.

 

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Eva Hextall

FOI Case Officer

 

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

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Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your response to my request. I note that you are still considering if this request falls under the exemptions of Section 31 (Law enforcement) and Section 42 (Legal professional privilege).

I am unclear to what extent the requested information falls under the exemptions of Section 31, as this section applies to the prejudicial effects of disclosure on the operation of law enforcement. These operations have already been disclosed by the Metropolitan Police in the documents to which my request refers, so cannot be subject to such an exemption. This request concerns the communications between TfL and the Metropolitan Police which provide the legal basis for those operations, not the operations themselves.

Furthermore, while legal professional privilege may conceivably cover some of the communications between TfL and the Metropolitan Police on this matter, such correspondence is easily identified. As such it is difficult to see how this exemption satisfies the Information Commissioner's guidance which states that the extended response limit should only be used in "exceptionally complex" cases - and certainly hard to see why another, purely arbitrary twenty days is required.

Please respond promptly to the substance of my request as you have been requested to do, or state the nature of the objections more clearly. Failing to do so will result in a referral of the request to an internal enquiry, and subsequently to the Information Commissioners Office.

Yours sincerely,

James Bridle

FOI, Transport for London

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Bridle

 

Thank you for your email.

 

The Traffic Management Act 2004 places a legal duty on Transport for
London (and other relevant authorities) to manage our road network.  Law
enforcement of the restrictions on our roads is a critical part of that
duty because the deterrence of incurring a Penalty Charge Notice ensures
that most drivers comply with the restrictions we have in place to assist
the smooth flow of traffic on the TLRN. Our roads are designated red
routes because they are strategic routes which must be kept clear at all
times. Disclosure of information contained in some of the emails and
reports could prejudice our current operational enforcement activities and
could jeopardise our ability to carry out future camera enforcement, which
in turn could negatively impact our ability to fulfil our legal network
management duty.

 

Furthermore, some of the emails in scope of your request contain
information covered by Legal Professional Privilege and the adverse affect
of disclosure would arise from the inhibiting effect it would have on TfL
seeking and obtaining frank legal advice. Whilst I appreciate legally
privileged correspondence is easily identified, we have located a high
volume of potentially relevant information (over 44MB), and are having to
review it all in order to identify what should be withheld under these
exemptions.

 

For the reasons stated above, we have to consider the balance of  the
public interest in relation to the qualified exemptions and therefore have
had to extend the deadline for responding by 20 days.

 

We will have to send you the documents and emails on a CD because 44MB of
data will be too large to email. Can you please provide me with your
postal address. You can email it directly our FOI inbox at
[1][TfL request email]. Contact details are also on our website at
[2]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/foi/.   

 

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to 
appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Eva Hextall

FOI Case Officer

 

 

 

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Dear FOI,

I have responded to your request via email.

Yours sincerely,

James Bridle

Dear FOI,

The extended 20 days response for handling this request has now passed. Please advise when this information will be released.

Yours sincerely,

James Bridle

FOI, Transport for London

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Bridle

 

Thank you for your email. Please accept my apologies for the delay in
providing you with the request information.

 

Unfortunately, we are still working on the response. It has taken longer
than anticipated.

 

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Eva Hextall

FOI Case Officer

 

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

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Dear FOI,

Thank you for your response. Please can you give me an estimated delivery date for this request.

Yours sincerely,

James Bridle

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Bridle

 

Request for internal review

 

Thank you for your further email which we logged as a request for internal
review due to the continued delay.

 

You have asked about an estimated delivery of our response to your
request. I hope to provide you with a full response within three weeks.

 

The review will be conducted by an internal review panel in accordance
with our Internal Review Procedure, which is available via the following
URL:

 

[1]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/f...

 

Every effort will be made to provide you with a response to your request
for internal review by 23 April 2014. However, if the review will not be
completed by this date, we will contact you and notify you of the revised
response date as soon as possible.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please
do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Eva Hextall

FOI Case Officer

E-mail: [2][TfL request email]

 

 

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Dear FOI,

Please note that I did not request an internal review, which I reserve for when I receive an actual response. I would simply like to know when the response can be expected.

Yours sincerely,

James Bridle

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Bridle

 

In view of the failure to provide a timely response, we do not consider
that this represents the end of the internal review process. We consider
that it would be appropriate to offer you a further internal review of the
content of the response once it is issued.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Eva Hextall
FOI Case Officer

 

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Dear FOI,

That is appreciated. I look forward to receiving the reponse, and the review results in that case.

Yours sincerely,

James Bridle

Dear Sir or Madam,

This request is now severely overdue. Please supply the data which has previously been outlined.

In addition, as the data has not been supplied within the stated timeframe, it would now be appropriate to initiate an internal review of this request.

Yours sincerely,

James Bridle

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Bridle

 

Please accept my apologies for the continued delay.

 

An internal review into the handling of your request is already being
conducted. Please refer to my email of 25 March 2014. The reference number
of your internal review is IRV-122-1314.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Eva Hextall

FOI Case Officer

 

 

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Dear Mx Hextall,

I appreciate that the review is ongoing; I would still like to know when I can expect to receive the data I have requested, irrespective of the outcome of the review.

This request was first filed in January, and a response promised in February. When that deadline passed, a new one was issued for March. It is now more than a month since that date.

Yours sincerely,

James Bridle

Dear Sir or Madam,

Both the original data, and the internal review regarding this matter are both severely overdue. Please advise.

Yours sincerely,

James Bridle

Dear FOI,

I note you have not acknowledged the delay to the original request, or my request for an internal review. As a result, I shall shortly be transferring this request to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Yours sincerely,

James Bridle

FOI, Transport for London

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Bridle

 

TfL Ref: FOI-2002-1314

 

Thank you for your email which we received on 20 January 2014 asking for
documents and communications between TfL and the  Metropolitan Police
Service (MPS) regarding the proposed use by the MPS of the Automatic
Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras we operate for the purposes of
Congestion Charging and the Low Emission Zone. Please accept my sincere
apologies for the delay in responding.

 

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and TfL’s information access policy. 
I can confirm we do hold the information you require.

 

Since the Mayoral election in May 2012, TfL and the MPS have worked to
implement the Mayor’s manifesto commitment to enable the MPS to use TfL’s
ANPR cameras for the purposes of crime prevention and detection. This has
involved consideration of the legal basis for implementation of the
commitment and associated practical issues, ahead of a public consultation
which closed in April 2014.

 

Please note that a public consultation, to allow the Metropolitan Police
to have access to the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) data from
Congestion Charge and Low Emission Zone cameras for crime prevention
reasons, was carried out over an eight week period from February to April
2014.

 

During the public consultation, people were able to obtain more
information about this initiative and also give their opinion via online
surveys, by e-mail, in person and in writing so that the Met Police were
able to take steps to address any concerns.

 

For more information please visit the online consultation pages at
[1]http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/poli...

 

Please find attached relevant email chains between Transport for London
and the MPS. Please note the attachments referred to in some of the emails
have not been included as we are still reviewing them. They will be sent
to you in due course.

 

However, in accordance with the FOI Act we are not obliged to supply some
of the information you have requested as it is subject to a statutory
exemption to the right of access to information under either section 40
(Personal Information) or 42 (Legal Professional Privilege).

 

Section 42 has been applied as some of the emails contain information
covered by Legal Professional Privilege (LPP) and the adverse affect of
disclosure would arise from the inhibiting effect it would have on TfL,
and the MPS, seeking and obtaining frank legal advice.

 

LPP protects the confidentiality of most communications between a legally
qualified adviser and client. The risk of disclosure of legal advice would
detract from the responsibility TfL has to analyse and address legal risks
and issues.

 

The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public
interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned.  TfL
recognises the need for openness and transparency by public authorities,
and that there may be a particular public interest in enabling you, and
the wider public, to understand the basis for TfL’s decision making on
this issue. However, there is a very strong element of public interest
inbuilt into the concept of LPP and this has long been recognised, by the
Information Commissioner, the Information Tribunal and the courts, and it
reflects the importance of legal advice being sought, and given, in
confidence as a fundamental condition on which the administration of
justice rests. In view of that, we consider that the public interest
favours the use of this exemption in relation to the information you have
requested

 

Additionally, in accordance with our obligations under the Data Protection
Act 1998 (DPA) some personal data has been removed, as required by section
40(2) of the FOI Act. This is because disclosure of this personal data
would be a breach of the DPA, specifically the first principle of the DPA
which requires all processing of personal data to be fair and lawful. It
would not be fair to disclose this personal information when the
individuals have no expectation it would be disclosed and TfL has not
satisfied one of the conditions of Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act
which would make the processing ‘fair’.

 

This exemption to the right of access to information is an absolute
exemption and not subject to an assessment of whether the public interest
favours use of the exemption.

 

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would
like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Eva Hextall

FOI Case Officer

 

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

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Dear FOI,

Thank you for the information so far released. Please advise when the rest of the outstanding material will be available, as it is long overdue.

Yours sincerely,

James Bridle

FOI, Transport for London

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Bridle

TfL Ref: FOI-2002-1314

Thank you again for your email which we received on 20 January 2014 asking
for documents and communications between TfL and the  Metropolitan Police
Service (MPS) regarding the proposed use by the MPS of the Automatic
Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras we operate for the purposes of
Congestion Charging and the Low Emission Zone. Please accept my sincere
apologies for the delay in concluding our response.

 

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and TfL’s information access policy. 
I can confirm we do hold the information you require.

We sent you the relevant email chains between TfL and the MPS in our
response dated 16 June 2014. With this email, we are attaching the
corresponding documents referred to in the emails. Please note that as
work has progressed to implement the Mayor’s manifesto commitment,
information in these documents has changed and, where necessary, been
updated to take account of new developments and they are no longer
necessarily accurate or reflect current intentions.

In accordance with the FOI Act, we are not obliged to supply some of the
information contained in these documents as it is subject to a statutory
exemption to the right of access to information under section 31 (Law
Enforcement).

 

In this instance the exemption has been applied to some of the information
contained in two documents which describe the MPS’ use of ANPR, as it
concerns the tactical use of ANPR data by the police. If individuals under
investigation or engaged in criminal behavior were to become aware of
these tactics, they may change their strategies and render police use of
data from ANPR cameras ineffective. This would or would be likely to
prejudice the prevention or detection of crime.

The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public
interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned.  We
recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities.
But in this instance, as disclosure would or would be likely to prejudice
the prevention or detection of crime and so undermine a significant public
interest, we believe the balance lies in favour of withholding this
information.

 

In addition, we are not obliged to supply some information as it is
subject to a statutory exemption to the right of access to information
under section 42 (Legal Professional Privilege) of the FOI Act.

 

Section 42 has been applied as some of the documents contain information
covered by Legal Professional Privilege (LPP) and the adverse affect of
disclosure would arise from the inhibiting effect it would have on TfL,
and the MPS, seeking and obtaining frank legal advice. We have also
withheld under this exemption some documents in their entirety.

 

LPP protects the confidentiality of most communications between a legally
qualified adviser and client. The risk of disclosure of legal advice would
detract from the responsibility we have to analyse and address legal risks
and issues.

 

The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public
interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned. We
recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities,
and that there may be a particular public interest in enabling you, and
the wider public, to understand the basis for our decision making on this
issue. However, there is a very strong element of public interest inbuilt
into the concept of LPP and this has long been recognised, by the
Information Commissioner, the Information Tribunal and the courts, and it
reflects the importance of legal advice being sought, and given, in
confidence as a fundamental condition on which the administration of
justice rests. In view of that, we consider that the public interest
favours the use of this exemption in relation to the information you have
requested

Finally, we are not obliged to supply one of the documents (a draft
Privacy Impact Assessment) as it is subject to a statutory exemption to
the right of access to information, under Section 22 of the Act.

 

In this instance the exemption has been applied as the information
contained in this document is intended for future publication. The
document is currently being finalised to take account of views expressed
during the recently concluded public consultation and the final version
will be published.

The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public
interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned. We
recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities and
the particular public interest in disclosure of this information, However
in this instance, it is considered that the public interest favours the
publication of this information. 

 

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would
like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

 

Yours sincerely

Eva Hextall

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

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Dear Ms Hextall,

Thank you very much for the release of this information, and for your work on the case.

Yours sincerely,

James Bridle

FOI, Transport for London

Our ref: IRV-122-1314
 
 
 
Dear Mr Bridle
 
Subject: Outcome of internal review
 
I am contacting you regarding the internal review of your request for
information concerning General Policing use of ANPR data from CCZ/LEZ
cameras. This review has been carried out following your email of 29 April
2014 regarding the late response to your request for information under the
Freedom of Information Act. I apologise for the lateness in my response.
 
It is clear that in failing to provide you with a response within 20
working days, TfL has breached the requirements of section 10 of the Act,
and on behalf of TfL, please accept my apologies for the shortcomings in
the handling of your request. The panel found that the biggest contributor
to the delay was due to the discussion and consideration of information
that could potentially be exempt from disclosure under the Act.
 
The review has found that there was no breach of the FOI Act in sending
the email of 17 February to you. Section 10(3) of the FOI Act provides
that a public authority may lawfully extend the time within which they
must provide the requested information in situations where they are
considering the balance of the public interest in whether or not an
exemption should be applied. However, where this is the case, the public
authority must still issue a notice explaining that an exemption applies
and that the public interest is being considered. This is generally called
a refusal notice, even where it is intended that at least some of the
requested information will be disclosed.
 
In this case, the notice was sent within 20 working days, and provided a
date by which TfL intended to provide a response, and therefore the review
was satisfied that, in sending the email of 17 February, TfL have been
fully compliant with the FOIA and guidance issued by the Information
Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the handling of your request.
 
I hope you will appreciate that we must consider any application of
qualified exemptions against the public interest test to determine whether
information is suitable for disclosure. In considering this, it is
necessary to obtain the views of several individuals with the necessary
knowledge and expertise relating to the information concerned within the
organisation, in order to discuss and consider the likely and probable
impact disclosure would have on both TfL and any third parties. Failure to
apply exemptions correctly could result serious consequences for TfL
and/or third parties, and so it is essential that full consideration is
made. As this request also related to the Metropolitan Police Service it
was also necessary to obtain the views and opinions from their perspective
in relation to the possible application of exemptions.
 
However, it is clear that in failing to provide you with a response within
the revised deadline specified, TfL has breached the requirements of
section 10 of the Act, and on behalf of TfL, please accept my apologies
for the shortcomings in the handling of your request. Unfortunately, it
took a lot longer than anticipated to go through each of the numerous
documents that were captured by your request to ensure that the
information we were providing was suitable for disclosure and that no
exemptions were applicable. It was necessary to gather the opinions of
several individuals across different departments of TfL as well as within
the Metropolitan Police on the potential application of exemptions which
further added to the delay as each person would need to read through and
consider every aspect of the documents that were being considered for
disclosure, however it is regrettable that this led to such a considerable
delay.
 
I believe you have now received a response to your request on 1 August
2014 and trust that you are satisfied with this response. However, in view
of these failings, we do not consider that this necessarily represents the
end of the internal review process. We consider that it would be
appropriate in the context of this request to offer you a further internal
review of the content of the response, even though you have already
exercised your right to a review in view of our failure to provide a
timely response. Therefore, if you are not satisfied with the quality of
the response, you may still request a further internal review.
 
If you are dissatisfied with the internal review actions to date you can
refer the matter to the independent authority responsible for enforcing
the Freedom of Information Act, at the following address:
 
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF
 
A complaint form is also available on the ICO’s website
([1]www.ico.gov.uk).
 
Yours sincerely
 
Lee Hill
Information Access Adviser
[2][TfL request email]
 
 
 
 
 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
2. mailto:[TfL request email]
3. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/

Dear Lee Hill,

Thank you for the response to my request for an internal review. I am satisfied both with this response, and with the information I have received, and do not request any further action.

Yours sincerely,

James Bridle

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