Information around research on, safety & use of Stinger & similar devices against motorcycles

Ken Haylock made this Freedom of Information request to West Midlands Police

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 successful.

Dear West Midlands Police,

A recent high profile case featured your officers deploying a Stinger device to disable a motorcycle or motorcycles & arrest the riders. Can WMP please provide their policy around use of Stinger (and similar devices they might use if any - hereafter &c) against suspects on motorcycles, including any specific safeguards related to use against motorcycles, and also details of any safety testing or research that they are aware of that has been carried out on use of Stinger &c against motorcycles and that informed that policy please?

In particular, is WMP aware of any external guidance or research that has been carried out concerning the effect on a motorcycle with _tubed_ tyres of an encounter with Stinger &c, and has any research been carried out to determine whether a person falling on a Stinger &c in the way that a person might fall from a motorcycle would be at any risk of injury from the payload of a stinger, and what the nature of that injury might be?

If WMP has no specific policy around use of Stinger &c against motorcyclists, and/or is aware of no safety testing of Stinger &c deployed against motorcycles, please also state that for the record.

Yours faithfully,

Ken Haylock

Freedom of Information,

Please accept this as an acknowledgement of receipt of your e-mail by the
Freedom of Information Unit.
 
If your email is a valid request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act, your request will be dealt with within the legislative
deadline of 20 working days.  Should we be unable to meet this deadline
for any reason you will be notified as soon as possible.
 
If your request does not relate to Freedom of Information, your e-mail
will be forwarded to the relevant department and you will be notified
where this has been passed to.
 
If you require further information please contact 101 and ask for the
Freedom of information Unit.
 
You might find what you are looking for on our website:
[1]http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/
 
If you have information about any crime, you can contact us on the
non-emergency number: 101.
 
In an emergency, for example where life is in danger or a crime in
progress, call 999.

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.

References

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Freedom of Information,

Dear Mr Haylock

 

Thank you for your request for information, received 02 November 2016 (our
ref: 12068_16).

 

REQUEST

 

A recent high profile case featured your officers deploying a Stinger
device to disable a motorcycle or motorcycles & arrest the riders. Can WMP
please provide their policy around use of Stinger (and similar devices
they might use if any - hereafter &c) against suspects on motorcycles,
including any specific safeguards related to use against motorcycles, and
also details of any safety testing or research that they are aware of that
has been carried out on use of Stinger &c against motorcycles and that
informed that policy please?

 

In particular, is WMP aware of any external guidance or research that has
been carried out concerning the effect on a motorcycle with _tubed_ tyres
of an encounter with Stinger &c, and has any research been carried out to
determine whether a person falling on a Stinger &c in the way that a
person might fall from a motorcycle would be at any risk of injury from
the payload of a stinger, and what the nature of that  injury might be?

 

If WMP has no specific policy around use of Stinger &c against
motorcyclists, and/or is aware of no safety testing of Stinger &c deployed
against motorcycles, please also state that for the record.

 

The FOI Act obliges us to respond to requests promptly and in any case no
later than 20 working days after receiving your request. We must consider
firstly whether we can comply with section 1(1) (a) of the Act, which is
our duty to confirm whether or not the information requested is held and
secondly we must comply with section 1(1)(b), which is the provision of
such information.

 

However, when a qualified exemption applies either to the confirmation or
denial, or the provision of the information and the public interest test
is engaged, the Act allows the time for response to be longer than 20
working days, if the balance of such public interest is undetermined. In
this case we have not yet reached a decision on where the balance of the
public interest lies in respect of the provision of the requested
information.

 

The specific exemption which applies in relation this information is
31(1)(a)(b) - Law Enforcement. This is because the information requested
captures tactical information with regard to HOSTYDS.

 

I apologise for any inconvenience. We aim to provide you with a meaningful
response as soon as possible.

 

For further information and data on West Midlands Police see our
publication scheme and disclosure log:

 

[1]http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/

 

Your attention is drawn to your right to request a re-examination of your
case under West Midlands Police review procedure, which can be found at:

 

[2]http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/revie...

 

Please note that such an appeal must be received within 20 working days of
the date of this correspondence. Any such request received after this time
will only be considered at the discretion of the FOI Unit.

 

If you need any further information please contact me.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

David Notley

Freedom of Information Unit

Corporate Communications

West Midlands Police

 

Internal: 801 2068

External: 101 (extension: 801 2068)

 

[3][email address]

 

Website:    [4]http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/ 

Twitter:       [5]www.twitter.com/wmpolice 

Facebook:  [6]www.facebook.com/westmidlandspolice

YouTube:    [7]www.youtube.com/westmidlandspolice

Flickr:         [8]www.flickr.com/westmidlandspolice

 

- [9]View all our social media links

 

To report crime or anti-social behaviour which does not require an
emergency response, please call 101. In an emergency, dial 999.

 

Our vision: Preventing crime, protecting the public and helping those in
need

show quoted sections

Dear West Midlands Police,

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's handling of my FOI request 'Information around research on, safety & use of Stinger & similar devices against motorcycles'.

You have refused my request on the grounds that it relates to tactical information. However, in part at least this is apparently incorrect; the safety information you used to formulate your policy on the tactical use of Stingers & other stop devices against motorcycles is surely not 'tactical information' in and of itself, so withholding it gives rise to the suspicion that it doesn't exist, and that you haven't determined that using Stinger, or any similar devices that are used by West Midlands Police, against a motorcycle is safe at all. I'm sure this isn't the case.

I'd also suggest that there is a public interest argument for being as forthcoming as possible on these matters and only withholding the barest minimum of operationally sensitive information given that we are potentially talking about matters of life and death here and that in the absence of more information, the perception may arise that West Midlands Police may be either inadvertently or as a matter of deliberate policy prepared to risk the lives of people engaged in nothing more significant or dangerous to the general public than anti-social behaviour.

Thank you for looking again at this matter!

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

Yours faithfully,

Ken Haylock

Freedom of Information,

Please accept this as an acknowledgement of receipt of your e-mail by the
Freedom of Information Unit.
 
If your email is a valid request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act, your request will be dealt with within the legislative
deadline of 20 working days.  Should we be unable to meet this deadline
for any reason you will be notified as soon as possible.
 
If your request does not relate to Freedom of Information, your e-mail
will be forwarded to the relevant department and you will be notified
where this has been passed to.
 
If you require further information please contact 101 and ask for the
Freedom of information Unit.
 
You might find what you are looking for on our website:
[1]http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/
 
If you have information about any crime, you can contact us on the
non-emergency number: 101.
 
In an emergency, for example where life is in danger or a crime in
progress, call 999.

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.

References

Visible links
1. http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/

Freedom of Information,

Dear Mr Haylock

 

Thank you for your email.

 

However, I am a little confused.

 

My email was not a refusal, but instead it was only advising that a
qualified exemption applies and therefore we require more time to consider
the public interest with regard to some of the information that is
captured by your request.

[1]https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...

 

I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but as previously
advised, we aim to provide you with a meaningful response as soon as
possible.

 

However, please feel free to contact me should you require any further
clarification.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

David Notley

Freedom of Information Unit

Corporate Communications

West Midlands Police

 

Internal: 801 2068

External: 101 (extension: 801 2068)

 

[2][email address]

 

Website:    [3]http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/ 

Twitter:       [4]www.twitter.com/wmpolice 

Facebook:  [5]www.facebook.com/westmidlandspolice

YouTube:    [6]www.youtube.com/westmidlandspolice

Flickr:         [7]www.flickr.com/westmidlandspolice

 

- [8]View all our social media links

 

To report crime or anti-social behaviour which does not require an
emergency response, please call 101. In an emergency, dial 999.

 

Our vision: Preventing crime, protecting the public and helping those in
need

show quoted sections

Dear West Midlands Police,

I am terribly sorry, I realise now that I misread your original response as a refusal - the perils of skim reading; I humbly apologise and if I could reset the status of this request to reflect your actual answer then I would of course do so...

Yours faithfully,

Ken Haylock

Freedom of Information,

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Haylock

 

FOI Request Reference: 12068/16

 

Thank you for your request for information received 02 November 2016.

 

REQUEST

 

A recent high profile case featured your officers deploying a Stinger
device to disable a motorcycle or motorcycles & arrest the riders.

 

Can WMP please provide their policy around use of Stinger (and similar
devices they might use if any - hereafter &c) against suspects on
motorcycles, including any specific safeguards related to use against
motorcycles, and also details of any safety testing or research that they
are aware of that has been carried out on use of Stinger &c against
motorcycles and that informed that policy please?

 

In particular, is WMP aware of any external guidance or research that has
been carried out concerning the effect on a motorcycle with _tubed_ tyres
of an encounter with Stinger &c, and has any research been carried out to
determine whether a person falling on a Stinger &c in the way that a
person might fall from a motorcycle would be at any risk of injury from
the payload of a stinger, and what the nature of that injury might be?

 

If WMP has no specific policy around use of Stinger &c against
motorcyclists, and/or is aware of no safety testing of Stinger &c deployed
against motorcycles, please also state that for the record.

 

 

RESPONSE

 

Within West Midlands Police, it is only roads policing officers who are
permitted to use this type of device against motorcycles. Rather than a
specific force policy, staff utilise the national Pursuit Tactics
Directory linking in with the national APP.

 

The national APP is available on the College of Policing website:

 

[1]https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-co...

 

[2]https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-co...

 

However, with regard to the relevant sections of the national Pursuit
Tactics Directory (i.e. those that relate to HoSTyDS use on motorcycles) I
am withholding some of that information, since I consider that the
exemption outlined below applies to it. Please find redacted information
attached; TACTICS_DIRECTORY_MOTORCYCLE_SECTIONS.pdf.

 

 

REASON FOR DECISION

 

The Freedom of Information Act places two responsibilities on public
authorities, the first of which is to confirm what information it holds
and secondly to then disclose that information, unless exemptions apply.

 

In this case, the relevant sections of the Tactics Directory are exempt by
virtue of:

 

Section 31(1)(a)(b) – Law Enforcement

 

This exemption and explanatory notes are shown here:

 

[3]https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-co...

 

In line with the above, I am required to complete a Prejudice Test/Public
Interest Test (PIT) on disclosure. Please find this PIT attached
(12068_PIT.pdf).

 

 

With regard to safety testing, we hold the following two documents:

 

‘Executive summary report motorcycle pursuits 2015’

 

‘Stinger testing bike results without video’

 

However, under Section 21 of the Act, we are not required to provide
information in response to a request if it is already reasonably
accessible to you. I note that these documents have recently been released
in relation to a separate request made to the National Police Chiefs’
Council and can be found at the links below:

 

Executive summary report motorcycle pursuits 2015.pdf

 

[4]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...

 

Stinger testing bike results without video.pdf

 

[5]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...

 

 

For further information and data on West Midlands Police, please see our
publication scheme and disclosure log:

 

[6]http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/

 

Your attention is drawn to your right to request a re-examination of your
case under West Midlands Police review procedure, which can be found at:

 

[7]http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/revie...

 

Please note that such an appeal must be received within 20 working days of
the date of this correspondence. Any such request received after this time
will only be considered at the discretion of the FOI Unit.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

David Notley

Freedom of Information Unit

Corporate Communications

West Midlands Police

 

Internal: 801 2068

External: 101 (extension: 801 2068)

 

[8][email address]

 

Website:    [9]http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/ 

Twitter:       [10]www.twitter.com/wmpolice 

Facebook:  [11]www.facebook.com/westmidlandspolice

YouTube:    [12]www.youtube.com/westmidlandspolice

Flickr:         [13]www.flickr.com/westmidlandspolice

 

- [14]View all our social media links

 

To report crime or anti-social behaviour which does not require an
emergency response, please call 101. In an emergency, dial 999.

 

Our vision: Preventing crime, protecting the public and helping those in
need

 

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.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-co...
2. https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-co...
3. https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-co...
4. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...
5. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...
6. http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/
7. http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/revie...
8. mailto:[email address]
9. http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/
10. http://www.twitter.com/wmpolice
11. http://www.facebook.com/westmidlandspolice
12. http://www.youtube.com/westmidlandspolice
13. http://www.flickr.com/westmidlandspolice
14. http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/conta...