IMSI catcher refusal foia

Eric King made this Freedom of Information request to Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

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 Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I request copies of any and all documents and records including communications, emails, memoranda or opinions pertaining to Freedom of Information Act Request Reference No: 2011120002742

Yours faithfully,

Eric King

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Metropolitan Police
Service (MPS)'s handling of my FOI request 'IMSI catcher refusal foia'.

It has been more than 20 days since I originally filed my FOIA. My last request to you, Original case number 2011080003308, look more than 5 months to be completed and my complaint was upheld. I was told "I hope to reassure you that the MPS take compliance with the Act very seriously and are working hard to promote good practice in regard to the processing of requests. The MPS is continually striving to ensure statutory deadlines are met and enquiries are responded to as soon as possible." I hope my request will be complied with as soon as possible.

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

Yours faithfully,

Eric King

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear  Mr King

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012030001846

I write in connection with your letter dated 13 March 2012 requesting that
the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) review its response to your request
for information relating to:

* Original FOI case number 2011120002742.

The review will be conducted in accordance with the MPS complaints
procedure. The MPS endeavour to respond to your complaint by 12 April
2012.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Thank you for your interest in the MPS.

Yours sincerely

Ms S. Strong
FOIA Complaints Officer

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 the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer 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 case officer that is nominated 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
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS 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 www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr King

Freedom of Information Internal Review Reference No: 2012030001846

I write in connection with your correspondence dated 13/03/2012 requesting
that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) review its handling of your
Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) request as you have not received a
substantive response within the statutory 20 working day time limit.  The
request was for:

‘copies of any and all documents and records including communications,
emails, memoranda or opinions pertaining to Freedom of Information Act
Request Reference No:2011120002742’

DECISION

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has completed its review and has
determined that procedural errors were made in relation to your request.

REASON FOR DECISION        

Please see the legal annex for the sections of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 that are referred to in this letter.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 creates a statutory right of access to
information held by public authorities. Under section 1 of the Act, a
public authority in receipt of a request must confirm whether they hold
the requested information and if so, communicate it to the applicant.
Furthermore, the Freedom of Information Act is designed to place
information into the public domain. Therefore, once access to information
is granted to one person under the Act, it is then considered to be public
information and must be communicated to any individual upon request.

The right of access to information is subject to a number of exemptions
that are designed to enable public authorities to withhold information
that is not suitable for release.  The Act also specifies a number of
requirements for public authorities to adhere to when responding to
requests for information.

Section 10(1) of the Act provides that:

‘Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a public authority must comply with
section 1(1) promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth
working day following the date of receipt.’

Your initial request for information was received by the MPS on
13/02/2012.  However, a response to your query is currently outstanding.

Therefore, the MPS have failed to comply with the requirements of section
10 in relation to your request as you were not provided with the requested
information or a valid refusal notice within 20 working days.

I believe that this was due to an administrative error that resulted in a
delay in your request being logged and acknowledged as an FoIA request.
 Your request has been logged under reference number 2012030003590 and a
response will be provided to you as soon as possible.  Should you be
dissatisfied with the final response, you may request an internal review
in relation to the decision which will be logged under a separate
reference number.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for the delay in
responding to your request for information and for any inconvenience that
this may have caused.  The issues raised in your complaint have been
recorded and will enable us to provide a more efficient and effective
service in the future.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to contact the Information
Commissioner with your complaint.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on 0207 161 3705 or by responding to this e-mail, quoting the
reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Brian Wilson
FOIA Complaints Officer

LEGAL ANNEX

Section 1 (General right of access to information held by public
authorities) of the Act states:

(1) Any person making a request for information to a public authority is
entitled—
(a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds
information of the description specified in the request, and
(b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...

Section 10 (Time for compliance with request) of the Act states:

(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a public authority must comply
with section 1(1) promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth
working day following the date of receipt.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...
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 the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer 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 case officer that is nominated 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
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS 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 www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk
Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

1 Attachment

Dear Mr King,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012030003590

I respond in connection with your request for information which was
received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 27/03/2012.  I note
you seek access to the following information:

I request copies of any and all documents and records including
communications, emails, memoranda or opinions pertaining to Freedom of
Information Act Request Reference No: 2011120002742.

EXTENT OF SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION

To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted
within the MPS.

 RESULT OF SEARCHES

The searches located some information relevant to your request and I have
today decided to disclose some of that located information to you.

DECISION

Please find attached to this response the emails from Freedom of
Information request 2011120002742.

Please note that several redactions have been made to this document in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).  
I list the redactions made below:

Redactions 8, 20, 28 & 39 were removed due to relating to the protective
marking of the emails which are now no longer applicable.

Redactions 29, 30, 34 & 37 were removed due to engaging Section
31(1)(a)(b)(c) of the Act.

Redactions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19,
21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 38 & 40 were removed due
to engaging Section 40(2)(a)(b)(3)(a)(i)(ii)(b) of the Act.
__________________

Before I explain the reasons for the decisions I have made in relation to
your request, I thought that it would be helpful if I outline the
parameters set out by the Act within which a request for information can
be answered.

The Act creates a statutory right of access to information held by public
authorities. A public authority in receipt of a request must, if
permitted, confirm if the requested information is held by that public
authority and, if so, then communicate that information to the applicant.

The right of access to information is not without exception and is subject
to a number of exemptions which are designed to enable public authorities
to withhold information that is not suitable for release. Importantly, the
Act is designed to place information into the public domain, that is, once
access to information is granted to one person under the Act, it is then
considered public information and must be communicated to any individual
should a request be received.  

I have considered your request for information within the provisions set
out by the Act . I have addressed your request in order to both confirm if
the requested information is held by the MPS and then to provide this
information to you. Where I have been unable to provide the requested
information to you, I have explained my decision in accordance with
Section 17 of the Act.
__________________

Having located and considered the relevant material, I am afraid that I am
not required by statute to release the information requested. This email
serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17 of the Act.

Please see the Legal Annex for the sections of the Act that are referred
to in this response

The information you have requested is exempt by virtue of Section
31(1)(a)(b) and (c) and Section 40(2)(a)(b)(3)(a)(i)(ii)(b) of the Act.

In this case the information requested relates either directly or
indirectly to specific details around police knowledge, tactics and
methodology.  Disclosing information in this area could potentially impact
and undermine tactical and strategic techniques.

This exemption can be applied after evidencing the harm, which could be
caused by release of information and following completion of a Public
Interest Test (PIT). The purpose of the PIT is to establish whether the
'Public Interest' lies in disclosing or withholding the requested
information.

Section 40(2)(a)(b)(3)(a)(i)(ii)(b) is an absolute exemption and requires
neither an evidence of harm or public interest test in justification of
its use.

The requested information touches upon other enactments, this being the
Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

Under Section 40(2)(a)(b)(3)(a)(i)(ii)(b) of the Act, Public Authorities
are able to withhold information where its release would identify any
living individual and breach the principles of the DPA.

I have applied this exemption in that the names of the individuals
identified by this documentation constitutes personal data which would, if
released, be in breach of the rights provided by the DPA.

The eight principles of the DPA govern the way in which data controllers
must manage personal data. Under principle one of the DPA, personal data
must be processed fairly and lawfully. I consider that the release of the
names of officers/staff and/or other persons that are recorded within the
requested documentation constitutes personal data. The release of this
information would be unfair as the persons concerned would have no
reasonable expectation that the MPS would make this information publicly
available.

In reaching my decision, I have, in each case, given due regard to
Condition one and six of Schedule 2 of the DPA.

Condition one of the DPA requires that consideration is given to whether
consent for disclosure has been given whilst Condition six requires that
consideration is given to whether disclosure would constitute legitimate
processing of that data.
Having considered both conditions, I have established that no consent is
present or would likely be received to release this information.
 
This exemption is both absolute and class based. When this exemption is
applied, it is accepted that harm would result from disclosure. There is
accordingly no requirement to consider whether release of information is
in the public interest or demonstrate what harm would result from
disclosure.  

Evidence of Harm

In considering whether or not this information should be disclosed, I have
considered the potential HARM that could be caused by disclosure.

Under the Act, we cannot, and do not request the motives of any applicant
for information.  We have no doubt the vast majority of applications under
the Act are legitimate and do not have any ulterior motives, however, in
disclosing information to one applicant we are expressing a willingness to
provide it to anyone in the world.  This means that a disclosure to a
genuinely interested applicant automatically opens it up for a similar
disclosure to anyone, including those who might represent a threat to
individuals, or any possible judicial process.

The information you have requested has been obtained and created for a
policing purpose.  It is unlikely that any information relating to this
specialist area of expertise could be released if there is any possibility
that any information released could affect any policing tactic.

The MPS is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime
and protecting the communities we service.  Disclosure would technically
be releasing sensitive operational information into the public domain,
which would enable those with the time, capacity and inclination to try
and map strategies used by the MPS to the MPS's disadvantage.
 
Additionally MPS resources and its ability to operate effectively and
efficiently would directly be affected as this information can be
manipulated by those with criminal intent to continue to operate in these
areas.
 
Owing to the inter-connected nature of criminals and criminal activities,
specific operations often overlap one another and different policing
tactics must be used to combat this criminality. Such operations may occur
within the operational area of a particular law enforcement agency, such
as the MPS, but will also occur across other areas which would then
involve more than one police force or agency. For example release of
information that highlights flaws in tactics regarding specific operations
is likely to cause potential harm to under cover officers or would be very
likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime and the
apprehension or prosecution of offenders.
 
The public interest is not what interests the public but what will be of
greater good if released to the community as a whole. It is not in the
public interest to disclose information that may compromise the service's
ability to accomplish its core function of law enforcement.

Section 31 considerations favouring disclosure

This information could be a useful deterrent to those with criminal intent
as the abilities and capabilities of the MPS who are charged with
enforcing the law by preventing and detecting crime and protecting the
communities we serve will be apparent.  
There is also a public interest in the transparency of policing
operations.  
Disclosure could provide the public with an understanding that public
funds are being used appropriately.

Section 31 considerations favouring non-disclosure

Release would have the effect of compromising law enforcement tactics and
would also hinder law enforcement activity by rendering a tactic unusable.
In addition the release of any information that may be used in an
investigation would prejudice that investigation and any possible future
proceedings.
 
Disclosure would technically be releasing sensitive operational
information into the public domain which would enable those with the time,
capacity and inclination to try and map strategies used by the MPS.
 
Additionally MPS resources and its ability to operate effectively and
efficiently would directly be affected as this information can be
manipulated by those with criminal intent to operate in those areas.

Release of this information may adversely affect the public's willingness
to come forward if they know how the MPS gathers intelligence on such
matters.

Anything that undermines this would have a detrimental affect reducing the
quality of information the MPS receives and consequently compromise this
review.

Balancing Test

On balance, if disclosed there is the likelihood that the integrity of MPS
tactics could be compromised and individual's safety put at risk.
It cannot be justified that the public's interest would be served in
releasing this information if either of these aspects were to be
jeopardised in any way.

After weighing up the competing interests I have determined that the
disclosure of the above information would not be in the public interest.
 I consider that the benefit that would result from the information being
disclosed does not outweigh disclosing this information.

show quoted sections