ISSUE OF POLICE HELICOPTER FLIGHTS AT NIGHT OVER SOUTH HAMPSTEAD LONDON NW6 (LB CAMDEN)

[name removed] made this Freedom of Information request to Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

Waiting for an internal review by Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) of their handling of this request.

[name removed]

Dear Sir or Madam,

FOR THE PAST SIX YEARS - I WOULD LIKE A LIST OF ALL HELICOPTER FLIGHTS DURING THE NIGHT TIME AND EARLY MORNING (BETWEEN 11PM AND 8AM) OVER OR NEAR [personal information removed] (CANFIELD GARDENS) AND SOUTH HAMPSTEAD NW6, WITH THEIR PURPOSE: ARE THEY 1/ROUTINE OR 2/RELATED TO ANY SPECIFIC CRIME (I DO NOT NEED ANY MORE DETAILS THAN THAT).

[extraneous material removed]

Yours faithfully,

[name removed]

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear [name removed]
Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2009060000208
I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 01/06/2009.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

• "FOR THE PAST SIX YEARS - I WOULD LIKE A LIST OF ALL HELICOPTER
FLIGHTS DURING THE NIGHT TIME AND EARLY MORNING (BETWEEN 11PM AND 8AM)
OVER OR NEAR [personal information removed] (CANFIELD GARDENS) AND
SOUTH HAMPSTEAD NW6, WITH THEIR PURPOSE: ARE THEY 1/ROUTINE OR
2/RELATED TO ANY SPECIFIC CRIME (I DO NOT NEED ANY MORE DETAILS THAN
THAT). "
• "[extraneous material removed] [extraneous material removed]
[extraneous material removed]
[extraneous material removed]
[extraneous material removed]
[extraneous material removed]
[extraneous material removed] [extraneous material removed]
[extraneous material removed] [extraneous material removed]"
• " [extraneous material removed] [extraneous material removed]
[extraneous material removed] [extraneous material removed] [personal information
removed] [extraneous material removed] Canfield Gardens and its
[extraneous material removed] "
• "The flights occur way too often, but I could [extraneous material
removed] flight if there was an [extraneous material removed]
[extraneous material removed] [extraneous material removed] night. I do not
believe it is acceptable to schedule routine flights [extraneous
material removed] [extraneous material removed] [extraneous material
removed] [extraneous material removed]."
• "[extraneous material removed] complaints with the Department for
Transport, the PNLD and with the London Borough of Camden, also I have
written letters to two local papers and to the Mayor of London. All
the helicopter [extraneous material removed] contacted said it was the
police helicopters making [extraneous material removed]"

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act).  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 the MPS 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.
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.
COMPLAINT RIGHTS
Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet, which details your right of
complaint.
Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me by email, quoting the reference number above.
Yours sincerely

Katie London
Support 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 and addressed to:
FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 40 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

show quoted sections

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

2 Attachments

Dear Mr [name removed]

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2009060000208

I write in connection with your request for information which was
received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 01/06/2009.  I note
you seek access to the following information:

• FOR THE PAST SIX YEARS - I WOULD LIKE A LIST OF ALL HELICOPTER FLIGHTS
DURING THE NIGHT TIME AND EARLY MORNING (BETWEEN 11PM AND 8AM) OVER OR
NEAR [personal information removed] (CANFIELD GARDENS) AND SOUTH
HAMPSTEAD NW6, WITH THEIR PURPOSE: ARE THEY 1/ROUTINE OR 2/RELATED TO
ANY SPECIFIC CRIME (I DO NOT NEED ANY MORE DETAILS THAN THAT).
[extraneous material removed] [extraneous material removed]
[extraneous material removed]
[extraneous material removed]
[extraneous material removed]
[extraneous material removed]
[extraneous material removed] [extraneous material removed]
[extraneous material removed] [extraneous material removed] [extraneous material
removed] [extraneous material removed] of Swiss Cottage and South
Hampstead [extraneous material removed] [personal information removed]
[extraneous material removed] Canfield Gardens and its
[extraneous material removed] The
flights occur way too often, but I could [extraneous material removed]
flight if there was an [extraneous material removed]   a good reason
for [extraneous material removed] night. I do not believe it is
acceptable to schedule routine flights at night without there having
been any crime committed.The streets where I live are otherwise quiet
at night if not [extraneous material removed] noise which is the only
crime.[extraneous material removed] [extraneous material removed] and with the
[extraneous material removed] papers and to the Mayor of London. All
the helicopter [extraneous material removed] [extraneous material
removed] [extraneous material removed].

Although you have made this request under the Freedom of Information Act,
I should note that it is likely that the information you have requested
would fall within the definition of 'environmental information' given in
the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, and that your request
could have been processed under that legislation, rather than the Freedom
of Information Act. The Appendix at the end of this response contains
further discussion of this point.

I am sorry to inform you that it will not be possible to respond fully to
your request for data for the previous six years within the cost
threshold. This is because we estimate that the cost of complying with
this request in full would exceed the appropriate limit which has been
specified in The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate
Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. For agencies outside central Government,
this is set at £450.00. This represents the estimated cost of one person
spending 18 hours [at a rate of £25 per hour] in determining whether the
MPS holds the information, and locating, retrieving and extracting the
information.

Under the section 16 duty to assist I am obliged to advise you of how your
request may be brought within the cost threshold, and to offer further
assistance. I have therefore identified, and been able to retrieve the
majority of the requested information within the cost threshold. This
information is contained in the attachment included in this response.
Please find below a breakdown to show how the cost threshold has been
reached, and details of what information has been provided.

The information you have requested forms part of the Flight Log for the
whole of the MPS, and is contained in both paper and electronic records.
From April 2006 the Flight Log has been kept electronically; however,
prior to this, only paper records are held. To identify and retrieve the
information you have requested for the period prior to April 2006, we
would first need to be able to identify which records contain relevant
information. As the paper records contain details of all flights within
the Metropolitan area, and are not divided by borough, each record would
have to be viewed manually to determine if it contained the requested
information. Over 2000 individual records are held for the period between
2003 and April 2006, and it is estimated that it would take a minimum of 5
minutes to review each record. In total, this would take over 150 hours to
complete. The amount of time needed to search the later electronic records
would then be in addition to this.

Therefore, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this
letter therefore acts as a Refusal Notice for the full 6 years of data:

Section 17(5) of the Act provides:

(5) A public authority which, in relation to any request for information,
is relying on a claim that section 12 or 14 applies must, within the time
for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice stating that
fact.

Section 12 of the Act provides:

(1) Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a
request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of
complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit.

However, records for the period of time from April 2006 are held
electronically, and are searchable. In order to assist you, I am able to
provide you with information for the period of time from April 2006 to the
present within the cost threshold.  This information is contained in the
attached sheet. In response to your question regarding whether flights are
'routine' or related to specific crimes, I have also disclosed to you the
Night Flights Standard Operating Procedure Policy. Night flights are
undertaken only in response to specific requests for assistance, and the
Policy gives details of this 'tasking' process.

I hope you will find this information useful. Please contact me 0207 230
3153 if you wish to discuss the request further.

Appendix

I should note that it is likely that the information you have requested
would fall within the definition of 'environmental information' given in
the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, and that your request
could have been processed under that legislation, rather than the Freedom
of Information Act. However, the decision in this case would have been the
same. The exception (similar to exemptions in FOIA) in Regulation 12(4)(b)
provides that "a public authority may refuse to disclose information to
the extent that the request for information is manifestly unreasonable".
This definition includes instances where it would be unreasonably costly
for the public authority to respond to the request. As with FOIA, the
appropriate limit is that stated in The Freedom of Information and Data
Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, which is £450 or
18 hours work at £25 an hour.

Regulation 12(4)(b) requires a public interest test to determine whether
this exception should be maintained, or the information disclosed. In this
case, the public interest in this case would balance the benefits of
promoting accountability and transparency that disclosure would bring,
against the disproportionate amount of resources that the MPS would need
to divert from its everyday core functions in order to retrieve the
requested information for the full six years. In this instance, the time
that would be needed to retrieve all the relevant information would exceed
150 hours, and the public interest favours maintaining the exception. The
request for the full 6 years data would be refused as being 'manifestly
unreasonable'. In effect, this is the same response as the one given under
FOIA above.

However EIR, like FOIA, also requires the public authority to assist the
applicant in narrowing the request to make it 'reasonable'. Again, the
most appropriate way to achieve this would be to focus the request on the
period of time for which searchable electronic records are available - the
period from April 2006 onwards. This again mirrors the response you have
received under FOIA.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet which details your right of
complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write
or contact Alex Norrie on telephone number 0207 230 3153 quoting the
reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Alex Norrie
Information Manager

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 and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1TR

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 40 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

show quoted sections

[name removed]

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 'ISSUE OF POLICE HELICOPTER FLIGHTS AT NIGHT OVER SOUTH HAMPSTEAD LONDON NW6 (LB CAMDEN)'.

Others living in different areas had the exact same query as me, and they DID get a response. (By coincidence, the wording of those other requests was the same as mine - asking for flights for past five or six years, though I only read them afterwards. This only shows that people like me are aware when the problem first started, and that we concur on this information.)

A flight very occasionally [extraneous material removed] if absolutely necessary for a huge crime - would be acceptable. It should be the exception rather than the rule, and only for something really major, not general 'public safety' and making regular routine flights just for the 'police presence'.

I WOULD LIKE ACTUAL PROOF AND STATISTICS - if the Met claim that these night flights have improved public safety, please convince me that all the public expense and disturbance have made a really significant difference... Because I do not think we are any safer now than before we had these choppers at night.

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

Yours faithfully,

[name removed]

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear  Sir/Madam

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2010060003131

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

• FOIA complaint on existing case - 2009060000208.

I am writing to request an internal review of Metropolitan Police Service
(MPS)'s handling of my FOI request 'ISSUE OF POLICE HELICOPTER FLIGHTS AT
NIGHT OVER SOUTH HAMPSTEAD LONDON NW6 (LB  CAMDEN)'.        

Others living in different areas had the exact same query as me,  and they
DID get a response. (By coincidence, the wording of those other requests
was the same as mine - asking for flights for past five or six years,
though I only read them afterwards. This only shows that people like me
are aware when the problem first started,     and that we concur on this
information.)        

A flight very occasionally [extraneous material removed] if absolutely
necessary for a huge crime - would be acceptable. It should be the
exception rather than the rule, and only for something really major, not
general 'public safety' and making regular routine flights just for the
 'police presence'.  

 I WOULD LIKE ACTUAL PROOF AND STATISTICS - if the Met claim that these
night flights have improved public safety, please convince me     that all
the public expense and disturbance have made a really significant
difference... Because I do not think we are any safer now than before we
had these choppers at night. A full history of my FOI request and all
correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:    
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/is... .

The review will be conducted in accordance to the MPS's complaints
procedure. The MPS endeavour to respond to your complaint by 13th July
2010.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact Julia Wharton on telephone number 0207 161 3657 or at the address
at the top of the letter quoting the reference number above.

Thank you for your interest in the MPS.

Yours sincerely

Julia Wharton
FOI Coordinator & Review 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

show quoted sections

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear  Sir / Madam

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2010060003131

I write in connection with your email sent to us on15th June 2010
requesting that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) review its response
dated  29th June 2009  to your request for information relating to:

• FOIA complaint on existing case - 2009060000208.

Having now looked at the original response sent to you on 29th June 2009,
I note that your request was refused under the exemption of Section 12
which means that they could not provide you with the information because
in order to do so it would take more than 18 hours to locate and retrieve
information that was relevant to your questions. The Information Manager
gave you advice on how to redefine your request so that it could be
answered.

However, Ms Norrie did disclose to you details of the electronic version
of flight logs from 1 April 2006 and 26 June 2009. She also provided you
with a copy of the Night Flights Standard Operating Procedure Policy.

Ms Norrie explained that prior to 2006 the flight logs were not kept
electronically therefore in order to provide you with those details would
exceed the cost threshold because a search would be needed of each record
(giving an example of 2000 records between 2003 and 2006).

Please can you clarify which part of the original response you disagree
with and want me to review.

 If I do not receive a reply within three months of this email I will
presume you no longer wish to proceed with this review and will close the
file.

Yours sincerely

Julia Wharton
FOI Coordinator & Review 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

show quoted sections

[name removed]

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

In that case, PLEASE DO 18 HOURS WORK and show whatever results you can manage to provide in that time constraint, thank you.

INFORMATION REQUIRED - For each night between 11pm and 7am over London NW6 and particularly South Hampstead:

I want to know about the number of helipcopter passes and which helicopters were circling over my area - please explain if it is one machine returning 10 times, or 10 machines making one flight in the same night?

How many night time helicopter pilots are employed in these flights every night?

State a specific reason for the circling over and over in those instances when this happened and state typical reasons for this happening, even when no sirens are heard and streets are otherwise quiet?

Which of the flights were routine pass overs to establish regular police presence without any specific crime? How many times are week/night are routine flights not assigned to any specific crime scheduled for my area?

This information might help explain why there has been a helicopter every night the past few nights around 2am, and why the one a few nights ago circled for a whole hour between about 1am - 2am? But it is not just 2am, as we all know, it is all hours of the night and early morning and several times a night, and I am only giving that one example.

Yours faithfully,

[name removed]

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear [name removed]

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2010060003131

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

• FOIA complaint on existing case - 2009060000208.

Thank you for your email dated 30th June 2010. The purpose of requesting a
review is if you do not agree with the previous response that was sent to
you. In the previous response you asked for the following information:

FOR THE PAST SIX YEARS - I WOULD LIKE A LIST OF ALL HELICOPTER FLIGHTS
DURING THE NIGHT TIME AND EARLY MORNING (BETWEEN 11PM AND 8AM) OVER OR
NEAR [personal information removed] (CANFIELD GARDENS) AND SOUTH HAMPSTEAD
NW6, WITH THEIR PURPOSE: ARE THEY 1/ROUTINE OR 2/RELATED TO ANY SPECIFIC
CRIME (I DO NOT NEED ANY MORE DETAILS THAN THAT).

Ms Norrie disclosed to you details of the electronic version of flight
logs from 1 April 2006 and 26 June 2009. She also provided you with a copy
of the Night Flights Standard Operating Procedure Policy.

In your email sent to me on 30th June you state:

In that case, PLEASE DO 18 HOURS WORK and show whatever results you can
manage to provide in that time constraint, thank you.

I will now conduct the review and consider if the cost refusal you were
issued in the original response was correct. In the review I will also be
taking into account the amount of time it took to retrieve the information
that has already been disclosed to you as part of that cost refusal.

For your information, any other questions that ask for different
information than what is listed above should be asked for in a new request
submitted to us and not part of this review.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact Julia Wharton on telephone number 0207 161 3657 or at the address
at the top of the letter quoting the reference number above.

Thank you for your interest in the MPS.

Yours sincerely

Julia Wharton
FOI Coordinator & Review 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

show quoted sections

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear [name removed]

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2010060003131

Further to our letter of 30th June 2010, I am now able to provide a full
response to your complaint dated 15th June 2010 concerning:

FOIA complaint on existing case - 2009060000208.

ORIGINAL REQUEST

FOR THE PAST SIX YEARS - I WOULD LIKE A LIST OF ALL HELICOPTER FLIGHTS
DURING THE NIGHT TIME AND EARLY MORNING (BETWEEN 11PM AND 8AM) OVER OR
NEAR [personal information removed] (CANFIELD GARDENS) AND SOUTH HAMPSTEAD
NW6, WITH THEIR PURPOSE: ARE THEY 1/ROUTINE OR 2/RELATED TO ANY SPECIFIC
CRIME (I DO NOT NEED ANY MORE DETAILS THAN THAT).

YOUR COMPLAINT

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 'ISSUE OF POLICE  HELICOPTER FLIGHTS AT
NIGHT OVER SOUTH HAMPSTEAD LONDON NW6 (LB     CAMDEN)'.   Others living in
different areas had the exact same query as me, and they DID get a
response.

(By coincidence, the wording of those other requests was the same as mine
- asking for flights for past  five or six years, though I only read them
afterwards. This only     shows that people like me are aware when the
problem first started,     and that we concur on this information.)  

A flight very occasionally [extraneous material removed] if absolutely
necessary for a  huge crime - would be acceptable. It should be the
exception rather than the rule, and only for something really major, not
general  'public safety' and making regular routine flights just for the
'police presence'.

I WOULD LIKE ACTUAL PROOF AND STATISTICS - if the Met claim that     these
night flights have improved public safety, please convince me     that all
the public expense and disturbance have made a really     significant
difference... Because I do not think we are any safer     now than before
we had these choppers at night.   A full history of my FOI request and all
correspondence is     available on the Internet at this address:    
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/is... .  

On 30th June 2010 you clarified the below with us:

In that case, PLEASE DO 18 HOURS WORK and show whatever results you can
manage to provide in that time constraint, thank you.

DECISION

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has completed its review and has
decided to:

• Uphold the original decision

I have now completed a thorough review of the original decision that was
given to you in a response sent by Alex Norrie on 29th June 2009. I agree
with the her decision to refuse some of the information because it would
not be possible to retrieve it within the cost threshold of 18 hours. Ms
Norrie gave you a clear and concise explanation how the recording of the
flight records were changed in 2006 from manual records to electronic
records. She provided you with the logs you have requested from 2006
onwards and she also sent you an additional piece of information to assist
you in understanding the decisions that are made to authorise night
flights.

The work that Ms Norrie carried out in order to retrieve and locate the
information that was originally disclosed to you was sufficient, if she
had carried on and begun processing the manual logs then this would then
have exceeded the cost threshold as she has previously explained.

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 3657 or at the address at the top of this letter,
quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Julia Wharton
FOI Coordinator & Review 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

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Doug Paulley left an annotation ()

I have removed the annotations from this request and disabled further annotations as the annotations were not in compliance with our policy at https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/requ...

"Annotations on WhatDoTheyKnow are to help people get the information they want, or to give them pointers to places they can go to help them act on it. We reserve the right to remove anything else."

This appears to be an issue of common concern where discussion and organisation between those affected may be of benefit; however that's not what annotations on WhatDoTheyKnow are for. Can I recommend that somebody set up a discussion somewhere else, e.g. on a forum or on a blog? If somebody does so and sends me the link, I will annotate this request with the link so everybody knows where the discussion is being held.

Thank you
--
Doug - volunteer, WhatDoTheyKnow.com