Information Security

Stephen Gradwick made this Freedom of Information request to Lancashire Constabulary

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Stephen Gradwick

Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to make a request under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I wish to know how many times protectively marked information held by Lancashire Constabulary has been either lost or otherwise compromised.

If there are any such incidents, I wish to know the date of the incident, the rank of the officer responsible for the security breach and the protective marking of the information concerned.

I would ask that you remember the Act’s Section 16 duty on public authorities to provide advice and assistance to requesters. If for any reason you are leaning toward rejecting any part of this request or if you plan to argue that it is unmanageable or unanswerable in any way then I would expect you to contact me promptly to find ways to answer this request to our mutual satisfaction.

Yours faithfully,

Stephen Gradwick

Dear Sir or Madam,

You have not replied to my FOI request within the 20 working days you are allowed by law.

Kindly address yourselves to this matter immediately and explain your lack of response.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Gradwick

Stephen Gradwick left an annotation ()

A complaint was made to the Information Commissioner about this case on the 22nd September 2008.

They have responded thus:

Case Reference Number FS50215193

Dear Mr Gradwick

Your information request to Lancashire Constabulary.

Thank you for your correspondence dated 22 September 2008 in which you complain about Lancashire Constabulary’s failure to respond to your information request.

In cases such as this the Commissioner does not consider that serving a formal decision notice would serve any strong public interest. However, I have written to the public authority to provide them with a copy of your original request reminding it of its responsibilities and asking it to respond to you within 20 working days of receiving our letter. I have attached a copy for your information.

As you will see even though the Commissioner does not intend to issue a formal notice in this case, your concerns have been taken seriously. Thank you for bringing this matter to the attention of the Information Commissioner.

If Lancashire Constabulary respond and refuse to release the information you have asked for and you are dissatisfied, you may, after exhausting its internal complaints procedure, complain to us. Again, please be sure to quote the case reference number from the top of this letter.

This case has now been closed with the delayed response element showing as ‘withdrawn’ on our records. If you do not receive a response within 20 working days or are dissatisfied after having exhausted the internal review process mentioned above and would like us to look into the matter, please contact us quoting the reference number on this letter.

The link shows our current service standards and approach to handling complaints. If you have any questions about this please contact our Helpline on 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45 if you would prefer to call a 'national rate' number.

Yours sincerely

David McNeil
FoI Case Reception Unit

Stephen Gradwick left an annotation ()

The Information Commissioner's Letter to Lancashire Constabulary is reproduced below:

Information Assurance Unit
Lancashire Constabulary
PO Box 77

26th September 2008

Case Reference Number FS50215193

Freedom of Information Act 2000
Complaint from Mr Stephen Gradwick

Dear Sir/Madam

The Information Commissioner has received a complaint from Mr Gradwick stating that no response has been received to an information request submitted to your organisation on 18 August 2008. We enclose a copy of this request for your information.

Any public authority in receipt of such a request is under a duty to respond within 20 working days of receipt. If it is the case that you have not responded to Mr Gradwick, would you please do so within 20 working days of receipt of this letter. We should be grateful if you could also provide a copy of your response to this office.

You should state whether or not the information is held in a recorded form. If it is held, you should either provide the information or issue a refusal notice in accordance with the requirements of section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act or regulation 14 of the Environmental Information Regulations as appropriate. You can find more information on refusal notices, including a checklist of what such a notice should contain in the Commissioner’s Good Practice Guidance No.1, available at:

If you have, in fact, responded to Mr Gradwick, and believe that your response should already have been received, we would recommend you contact them to confirm receipt if you have not already done so. As before, we should be grateful if a copy of any such communication could also be provided to this office.

For further advice on how to deal with freedom of information requests, please visit our website at or call our helpline on 08456 306060, or 01625 545745 if you prefer to use a National Rate number.

If you need to contact us about this matter, please quote the case reference number from the top of this letter.

Yours faithfully,

David McNeil
Obo. FOI Case Reception Unit.
The Information Commissioner’s Office

Encl. Copy of request

Walker, Paul,

1 Attachment


Please find attached our response to your request received on the 18^th
August 2008.

Many Thanks,


Paul Walker

Lancashire Constabulary

Information Assurance Unit

show quoted sections

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

The substantive paragraph from the response states:

"Following searches of records based at our Information Security Department, it has come to our attention that one unencrypted laptop has been stolen. It is believed that this laptop contained Officer Reports and Witness Statements that will have been graded as ‘Restricted’. This laptop was being used at the time by a Police Constable and was lost on the 19th March 2007. Please note that these searches only relate to lost and/or compromised data since our current Information Security Manager came into position in August 2006. Unfortunately no records on this point were held prior to August 2006."