Investigating Reports of Crime Against the DWP

Calderdale Against Corruption made this Freedom of Information request to West Yorkshire Police

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Calderdale Against Corruption

Dear West Yorkshire Police,

We write to request information in relation to an increase in
reports that West Yorkshire Police in general, and in particular
those officers at Halifax Police Station, Richmond Close, Halifax,
are neither accepting notifications of, nor investigating, crimes
that are reported by the public in relation to criminal behaviour
from Jobcentre Plus Crossfield House, St James Road, Halifax and
its staff.

We have had sight of no less than three video recordings in which
seven of your officers refuse to accept a lawful demand that a
crime is investigated, solely because the perpetrator was Jobcentre
Plus (JCP) or the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). Your
officers repeatedly, and unlawfully, inform complainants that it is
nothing to do with the police and should be taken up with the
Jobcentre Plus or DWP complaints department.

In light of our concerns, could you please supply the following
information.

1) What is West Yorkshire Police's general policy on acting upon a
notification of a crime?

2) What is West Yorkshire Police's general policy on acting upon a
notification of a crime when the accused is the JCP or DWP?

3) If it is claimed that there is no differentiation between how 1)
and 2) are responded to, can you explain why no less than seven
officers on three separate occasions have been captured on video or
audio providing advice which contradicts West Yorkshire Police's
official policies?

4) Can you confirm whether not accepting report of a crime is a
crime?

5) Can you confirm whether not investigating a reported crime is a
crime?

6) Can you confirm whether Misconduct in Public Office charges
could, and would, be brought against officers found to be breaking
the law if 4) and 5) are indeed crimes?

7) If 4) and 5) are not crimes, what is the official advice of West
Yorkshire Police in reporting a crime when officers refuse to
accept reports of the crime?

8) Is it lawful for a Police Officer to threaten arrest for Breach
of the Peace if no breach has occurred, is about to occur, or is
likely to occur in the future? If not, what action can be taken
against officers found to be unlawfully threatening arrest?

9) Since 2010, how many reports has West Yorkshire Police received
in relation to allegations against the JCP or DWP? Please supply
these figures broken down by year.

10) Since 2010, how many investigations have West Yorkshire Police
conducted in relation to the reports received in 9), if any? Please
supply these figures broken down by year.

11) Since 2010, how many prosecutions, successful or otherwise,
have been undertaken in relation to the number of cases from 10)?
Please supply these figures broken down by year.

12) In the reception at Halifax Police Station is a sign which states "We are sorry but we do not take reports of losses of DSS monies in any form". Could you supply the guidance that is given to staff members in relation to how they assess whether the report of monies lost by the DSS does not constitute a criminal offence? Could you also confirm what the words "losses of DSS monies" mean in relation to this statement?

Yours faithfully,

Calderdale Against Corruption

Freedom of Information,

Dear Calderdale Against Corruption

Thank you for your request for information which has been logged today.

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. In some circumstances West Yorkshire Police may be unable to achieve this deadline. If this is likely you will be informed at the earliest opportunity. If you no longer require the information, please inform us at your earliest convenience.

Kind regards
Disclosure Unit

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Freedom of Information,

Dear Calderdale Against Corruption

 

For clarity, is “JCP” Job Centre Plus and “DWP” the Department for Work &
Pensions?

 

Assuming that is the case, any response to parts 9, 10 & 11 would be based
around crimes (not incidents) where the offender was known to be an
employee of Job Centre Plus / Department for Work & Pensions

 

Clarification is therefore required in terms of:

-        Are any particular crime classifications to be included/excluded
(i.e. are you only interested in Violence Against the Person offences,
sexual offences, theft, etc.)?

-        Should the search be limited to offences committed whilst acting
in that individual’s capacity as a Job Centre Plus / Department for Work &
Pensions employee?

-        Should the search be limited to offences committed on Job Centre
Plus / Department for Work & Pensions premises only?

-        Should the search be limited to offences committed only against
clients of those organisations, or include offences committed against any
party (the employer, other staff, family/acquaintances, etc.)

 

Please note that if no response is received from you within 20 working
days your request will be withdrawn.

 

Kind regards

Disclosure Unit

 

 

 

From:    Calderdale Against Corruption <request-252362-

[email address]>

Sent:      06 February 2015 09:23

To:         Freedom of Information

Subject: Freedom of Information request - Investigating Reports of Crime
Against

the DWP

 

Dear West Yorkshire Police,

 

We write to request information in relation to an increase in reports that
West Yorkshire Police in

general, and in particular those officers at Halifax Police Station,
Richmond Close, Halifax, are neither

accepting notifications of, nor investigating, crimes that are reported by
the public in relation to criminal

behaviour from Jobcentre Plus Crossfield House, St James Road, Halifax and
its staff.

 

We have had sight of no less than three video recordings in which seven of
your officers refuse to accept

a lawful demand that a crime is investigated, solely because the
perpetrator was Jobcentre Plus (JCP) or

the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). Your officers repeatedly, and
unlawfully, inform

complainants that it is nothing to do with the police and should be taken
up with the Jobcentre Plus or

DWP complaints department.

 

In light of our concerns, could you please supply the following
information.

 

1) What is West Yorkshire Police's general policy on acting upon a
notification of a crime?

 

2) What is West Yorkshire Police's general policy on acting upon a
notification of a crime when the

accused is the JCP or DWP?

 

3) If it is claimed that there is no differentiation between how 1) and 2)
are responded to, can you

explain why no less than seven officers on three separate occasions have
been captured on video or

audio providing advice which contradicts West Yorkshire Police's official
policies?

 

4) Can you confirm whether not accepting report of a crime is a crime?

 

5) Can you confirm whether not investigating a reported crime is a crime?

 

6) Can you confirm whether Misconduct in Public Office charges could, and
would, be brought against

officers found to be breaking the law if 4) and 5) are indeed crimes?

 

7) If 4) and 5) are not crimes, what is the official advice of West
Yorkshire Police in reporting a crime

when officers refuse to accept reports of the crime?

 

8) Is it lawful for a Police Officer to threaten arrest for Breach of the
Peace if no breach has occurred, is

about to occur, or is likely to occur in the future? If not, what action
can be taken against officers found

to be unlawfully threatening arrest?

 

9) Since 2010, how many reports has West Yorkshire Police received in
relation to allegations against the

JCP or DWP? Please supply these figures broken down by year.

 

10) Since 2010, how many investigations have West Yorkshire Police
conducted in relation to the reports

received in 9), if any? Please supply these figures broken down by year.

 

11) Since 2010, how many prosecutions, successful or otherwise, have been
undertaken in relation to

the number of cases from 10)?

Please supply these figures broken down by year.

 

12) In the reception at Halifax Police Station is a sign which states "We
are sorry but we do not take

reports of losses of DSS monies in any form". Could you supply the
guidance that is given to staff

members in relation to how they assess whether the report of monies lost
by the DSS does not

constitute a criminal offence? Could you also confirm what the words
"losses of DSS monies" mean in

relation to this statement?

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Calderdale Against Corruption

 

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Calderdale Against Corruption

Dear Disclosure Unit,

You asked "For clarity, is “JCP” Job Centre Plus and “DWP” the Department for Work & Pensions?".

This information is clarified in the original request and we suggest re-reading that for the required clarification.

You also asked the following questions, which are responded to below the original questions as indicated in quotation marks ("..").

1) "Assuming that is the case, any response to parts 9, 10 & 11 would be based around crimes (not incidents) where the offender was known to be an employee of Job Centre Plus / Department for Work & Pensions".

We suggest re-reading the original request and passing this onto a member of staff who is capable of understanding the quite clear and concise requests made. The request quite clearly states the information requested relates to allegations of crimes made against the organisations known as Jobcentre Plus and the Department of Work and Pensions, including any representatives of either, or both, organisations.

2) "Are any particular crime classifications to be included/excluded (i.e. are you only interested in Violence Against the Person offences, sexual offences, theft, etc.)?

Again, the request is quite clear and asks for information relating to all and any crimes, allegations of crimes, and any prosecutions, which relate to the Jobcentre Plus and Department of Work and Pensions as organisations, along with the same information for all and any crimes, allegations of crimes, and any prosecutions which relate to employees, agents or contractors of the aforementioned organisations when acting in their official or unofficial capacity in relation to their role at said organisations.

3) "Should the search be limited to offences committed whilst acting in that individual’s capacity as a Job Centre Plus / Department for Work & Pensions employee?".

Again, the request relates to information relating to the organisations mentioned, which includes any employees, agents, or other persons whom are authorised to act in an official capacity for these organisations. We make no mention of restricting this to individuals whom work for these organisations, and broadly include every person acting on behalf of the Jobcentre Plus and Department for Work and Pensions, including the organisations themselves as legal persons.

4) "Should the search be limited to offences committed on Job Centre Plus / Department for Work & Pensions premises only?".

The original request asks for all information of offences, crimes, and prosecutions against these organisations, regardless of where the crimes occurred.

5) "Should the search be limited to offences committed only against clients of those organisations, or include offences committed against any party (the employer, other staff, family/acquaintances, etc.) ".

As should be apparent by now, the information required relates to all offences committed by the mentioned organisations, those employed by those organisations while acting on behalf of the organisation.

We seek to ascertain the officially documented number of offences these organisations have committed, and how many have been actioned by West Yorkshire Police. We require this so we can independently assess the situation and create a report on any discrepancies, which we will then contact you to discuss further.

I trust that provides enough clarity on the request but please feel free to ask for further clarification, if you are unable to understand the information contained within this document.

Yours sincerely,

Calderdale Against Corruption

Freedom of Information,

1 Attachment

Good Afternoon,

 

Please find attached a response in relation to your request:

 

Kind Regards

 

Rebecca Fawcett

Disclosure Officer

Disclosure Unit

Tel: 01924 296248

Ext: 29248

 

_________________________________________________

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Out More.

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Calderdale Against Corruption

Dear Rebecca Fawcett,

In light of the refusal to supply all the information requested, may we suggest that the information requested is applied to each year starting from 2015 and working backwards each year until the threshold of time/cost restraints is reached?

If that is too complex a request, then please supply the information for 2015, 2014 and 2013, or part years thereof if the threshold for time/cost is reached.

Yours sincerely,

Calderdale Against Corruption

Freedom of Information,

Dear Calderdale Against Corruption

 

There is sufficient time left within the 18-hour limit (allowing for the
time already taken in compiling the original response and the time that
would be needed to formulate a revised response) for us to look through
either:

 

4-months’ worth of incident & crime records to answer question 9 only
(November ‘14 – February ‘15)

or

3-months’ worth of incident & crime records to answer questions 9, 10 & 11
(December ’14 – February ’15)

 

Please advise how you wish to proceed?

 

Kind regards

Disclosure Unit

 

 

From:    Calderdale Against Corruption <request-252362-

[email address]>

Sent:      09 March 2015 14:57

To:         Freedom of Information

Subject: Re: FOI 104-15 [NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED]

 

Dear Rebecca Fawcett,

 

In light of the refusal to supply all the information requested, may we
suggest that the information

requested is applied to each year starting from 2015 and working backwards
each year until the

threshold of time/cost restraints is reached?

 

If that is too complex a request, then please supply the information for
2015, 2014 and 2013, or part

years thereof if the threshold for time/cost is reached.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Calderdale Against Corruption

 

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