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Information about your dealings with Stonewall #DontSubmitToStonewall

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Dear Wiltshire Constabulary,

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). Please provide any information that you hold answering to any of the following descriptions:

1. Any application you made in 2019 or 2020 to be a “Stonewall Diversity Champion” or to be included on Stonewall’s “Workplace Equality Index,” including any attachments or appendices to those applications. Please redact personal details if necessary.

2. Any feedback you received in 2019 or 2020 from Stonewall in relation to either application or programme.

3. Any other communication you have received from Stonewall in 2019 or 2020 unless privileged or otherwise exempt from disclosure (but if you claim privilege or exemption in relation to any material, please say in broad terms what the material is and the basis on which you claim to be entitled to withhold it).

4. Full details of any equality impact assessment you carried out connected with any of these applications (including any equality impact assessment carried out prior to an earlier application of the same kind, if no further assessment was done).

5. Details of the total amount of money you paid to Stonewall (i) in 2019; (ii) in 2020, whether or not as payment for goods or services.

6. Whether you intend to continue your membership of any Stonewall scheme in the future, and if so which.

Yours faithfully,

Ermine

Ermine Amies

Force Disclosure Unit, Wiltshire Constabulary

Dear Ermine,

Our Ref: FOI 2021/108

Thank you for your request for information dated 4th February 2021 concerning Stonewall dealings. Your request will be considered under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your request will now be considered and you will receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, subject to the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third party. In some circumstances Wiltshire Police may be unable to achieve this deadline. If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

Although every effort will be made to ensure a response is provided within statutory deadlines, due to current circumstances delays may be unavoidable. We apologise for any inconvenience and will endeavour to process your request as quickly as is practicable.

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 a 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.

Kind regards,
Force Disclosure Unit
Wiltshire Police Headquarters
London Road
Devizes
SN10 2DN

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Penny, Nicholas,

2 Attachments

 

Good Morning.

 

Please find attached our formal response in respect of your FOI request
concerning Stonewall.

 

With best regards

 

Nick

 

 

Nick Penny

FDU Decision Maker

Wiltshire Police HQ, London Road, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 2DN.

[1]Tel:101 Ext 33732

E-mail: [2][email address]

Web:    [3]www.wiltshire.police.uk

 

 

 

 

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References

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1. file:///tmp/tel:101
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3. http://www.wiltshire.police.uk/

Dear Wiltshire Constabulary,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Wiltshire Constabulary's handling of my FOI request 'Information about your dealings with Stonewall #DontSubmitToStonewall' your ref: FOI 2021 / 008

Your response to this FOI request is disingenuous. The request does not ask for information on operational policing, investigations or proceedings or operational policy development. So this is to request an internal review.

You say:

“The information that you are requesting for Question 3 of your request is exempt under Section 30 - Investigations and proceedings carried out by Public Authorities.

Section 30 is a qualified exemption and as such there is a requirement to articulate the harm and conduct a test of the public interest in respect of disclosure.

Please see below for the full application of Section 30.

Overall harm in disclosure

During 2020, Wiltshire Police has been in contact with Stonewall with regards to seeking advice in respect of policy updates being undertaken by the Force, most notably around our Transgender Policy. This remains an ongoing piece of work.

If Wiltshire police were to disclose any information in respect of this piece of work before it is finalised it could be highly prejudicial to the successful implementation of this policy and as a consequence, it could potentially put individuals at increased risk whilst also undermining any trust or confidence individuals (and Partner Agencies) have in the Police Service.”

You also state:

“During 2020, Wiltshire Police has been in contact with Stonewall with regards to seeking advice in respect of policy updates being undertaken by the Force, most notably around our Transgender Policy. This remains an ongoing piece of work.

If Wiltshire police were to disclose any information in respect of this piece of work before it is finalised it could be highly prejudicial to the successful implementation of this policy and as a consequence, it could potentially put individuals at increased risk whilst also undermining any trust or confidence individuals (and Partner Agencies) have in the Police Service. “
______________________________________________________________

Section 30 provides an exemption from the duty to disclose information that a public authority has held at any time for certain investigations or proceedings.

Section 30 does not apply as this request asks for information on your membership of Stonewall and your participation in their employers’ programmes including Diversity Champions and the Workplace Equality Index.

This request does not request information on your operational policy on investigations, policy development nor on investigations or proceedings.

When citing section 30, public authorities need to explain not only how the duty to investigate arises but also which offence or offences, usually defined in common law or statute, are relevant in the particular circumstances.

You have failed to do so.

I also direct your attention to your section 16 duty to provide me with advice and assistance. You failed to do so.

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

I look forward to hearing from you,

Yours faithfully,

Ermine Amies

________________________________________________________________________________
Note: For ease of reference, I am noting your response sent in a PDF on 26 Feb 2021 in full below:

I write in connection with your request for information dated 4th February 2021 concerning Stonewall / Stonewall Diversity Champions.

I am required by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to handle all requests in a manner that is blind as to the identity and motives of the requestor. Any information released as a response to a request is regarded as being published and therefore in the public domain without caveat.

Your request for information has now been considered and I am not obliged to supply the information you have requested in it’s entirety.

You wrote:

Please provide any information that you hold answering to any of the following descriptions:

1. Any application you made in 2019 or 2020 to be a “Stonewall Diversity Champion” or to be included on Stonewall’s “Workplace Equality Index,” including any attachments or appendices to those applications. Please redact personal details if necessary.

2. Any feedback you received in 2019 or 2020 from Stonewall in relation to either application or programme.

3. Any other communication you have received from Stonewall in 2019 or 2020 unless privileged or otherwise exempt from disclosure (but if you claim privilege or exemption in relation to any material, please say in broad terms what the material is and the basis on which you claim to be entitled to withhold it).

4. Full details of any equality impact assessment you carried out connected with any of these applications (including any equality impact assessment carried out prior to an earlier application of the same kind, if no further assessment was done).

5. Details of the total amount of money you paid to Stonewall (i) in 2019; (ii) in 2020, whether or not as payment for goods or services.

6. Whether you intend to continue your membership of any Stonewall scheme in the future, and if so which.

Our response:

The information that you are requesting for Question 3 of your request is exempt under Section 30 - Investigations and proceedings carried out by Public Authorities.

Section 30 is a qualified exemption and as such there is a requirement to articulate the harm and conduct a test of the public interest in respect of disclosure.
Please see below for the full application of Section 30.

Overall harm in disclosure

During 2020, Wiltshire Police has been in contact with Stonewall with regards to seeking advice in respect of policy updates being undertaken by the Force, most notably around our Transgender Policy. This remains an ongoing piece of work.
If Wiltshire police were to disclose any information in respect of this piece of work before it is finalised it could be highly prejudicial to the successful implementation of this policy and as a consequence, it could potentially put individuals at increased risk whilst also undermining any trust or confidence individuals (and Partner Agencies) have in the Police Service.

Public Interest in Favour of Disclosure – Section 31

Disclosure of the information you request would enhance public knowledge about how Wiltshire Police manage Diversity – the public has a right to know where the resources of Wiltshire Police are focused. Additionally, disclosure would offer greater transparency on the subject matter and enable the public to scrutinize our Policies and ensure that all individuals are treated in the same manner irrespective of their race / colour / sexual orientation / religious status and so on.

Public Interest in Favour of Non Disclosure – Section 31

Disclosure of the ongoing discussions that are being had with Stonewall regarding the content and amendments propsed to our Transgender Policy would seriously compromise the effective development of this Policy update.
If this information were in the public domain, this and any future Policy amendments of a similar nature could be seriously undermined, with disclosure identifying – amongst other things - the current limitations or inconsistencies in the existing policy and strategies of the police.
This in turn would compromise Wiltshire Police’s ability to carry out its core duties and it could also affect the ability of our partner agencies to engage with Wiltshire Police in confidence. In addition to this, disclosure would likely affect the confidence of members of the public to report matters to the police and to willingly engage with us if ongoing development work around policy
was placed in the public domain prior to it being finalised.

Balancing test

The Police Service is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime and protecting the communities we serve and the residents that live within it. Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations and investigations and providing assurance that the police service is appropriately and effectively protecting the public from both criminals and discrimination, there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding policing strategies and this will
only be overridden in exceptional circumstances.

The Police Service relies heavily on the public providing information to assist in criminal
investigations and has a duty to protect and defend vulnerable individuals. The public has an expectation that any information they provide will be treated with confidence. Anything which places that confidence at risk, no matter how generic, would undermine any trust or confidence individuals have in the Police Service.
In addition, the effective delivery of operational law enforcement and the safety of individuals is of paramount importance to Wiltshire Constabulary, as is their duty to ensure that the prevention and detection of crime is carried out, the effective apprehension or prosecution of offenders is achieved and public confidence is maintained.
In this instance, the public interest firmly lies in favour of non-disclosure of the information requested.

In respect to the remainder of your request, the answers to your other questions are as follows :-

Question 1

Wiltshire Police have not made any applications in 2019 or 2020 although we do have a
Stonewall membership.

Question 2

Not applicable.

Question 4

NO EIA have been carried out.

Question 5

£2,500 pa

Question 6

Wiltshire Police intend to retain our membership with Stonewall going forwards, although the type of membership held will always be under consideration.

Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires the Wiltshire Police, when refusing to provide such information (because the information is exempt) to provide you the applicant with a notice which: (a) states that fact, (b) specifies the exemption in question and (c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.

The exemption applicable to the information requested is:

Section 30
Investigations and proceedings carried out by Public Authorities

In accordance with section 17 of the Act, this letter represents a Refusal Notice for this particular request.

I am satisfied that all the relevant information has been passed to me and been considered in the light of your request within the time constraints applicable under the legislation.

Wiltshire Police would like to thank you for the interest that you have shown in the Force.

Yours sincerely,

Nick Penny
Disclosure Decision Maker

Force Disclosure Unit,

1 Attachment

Good Morning,

Thank you for your internal review request. Please see the attached which outlines our process in relation to this.

Please note: Due to the current Covid-19 situation, all members of the Force Disclosure Unit are working from home for the foreseeable future. Where possible, please send all correspondence via email to enable timely responses.

Kind Regards

Chloe Pike

IM & A Workflow Co ordinator
Force Disclosure Unit

Wiltshire Police
Police Headquarters
London Road
Devizes
Wiltshire
SN10 2DN

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Ermine Amies left an annotation ()

Wiltshire Police’s response to this FOI request is disingenuous. The request does not ask for information on operational policing, investigations or proceedings or operational policy development.

Section 30 provides an exemption from the duty to disclose information that a public authority has held at any time for certain investigations or proceedings.

Section 30 does not apply as this request asks for information on membership of Stonewall and participation in their employers’ programmes including Diversity Champions and the Workplace Equality Index. It does not request information on operations or investigations.

They also failed to provide the Section 30 explanation of how the duty to investigate arises and the relevant offences.

Wiltshire Police have also failed in their section 16 duty to provide advice and assistance. n this request.

Ermine Amies left an annotation ()

Internal review due by 5 April.

Tilbury, Lloyd,

1 Attachment

Hello Ermine,

Please find attached the response to your Internal Review request reference FOI 2021/108.

Kind Regards,

Lloyd Tilbury (7970)
Principal Decision Maker
Force Disclosure Unit
Wiltshire Police
Police Headquarters, London Road, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 2DN
Telephone: 101 Extension: 37970
[email address]
Web: www.wiltshire.police.uk

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Ermine Amies please sign in and let everyone know.