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Kidderminster arrest 11 Jan 22

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Adam S Dent (1150)

Dear West Mercia Police,

I refer to a video uploaded on Youtube about an arrest outside Kidderminster Police Station on 11 Jan. The video has been viewed over 300,000 times and gave rise to over 7000 comments. Your Superintendent Rebecca Love issued a statement about it.

The information I seek is as follows please:

How many outsider contacts did West Mercia Police receive about it? If there is no accurate figure, a good approximation will suffice.

Please confirm that West Mercia Police had received the communication from Helen Maunder of National Police Chiefs' Council entitled "Auditors / Social Media Bloggers - Initial Guidance" v1.4 dated December 2021.

Please confirm that it had been adopted by West Mercia Police and briefed to staff. Please state when that briefing was, and by what means. Were individual officers required to confirm receipt of the guidance, and if so, by what means did they do so?

Please provide copies of any internal staff communications issued of a generic force nature subsequent to the video appearing on Youtube, which referred to it.

Please provide copies of any communications directed to individual officers in respect of the arrest and detention of the individual involved. No personal information is sought, but the rank of the person to whom the communication was directed should be provided. That cannot lead to the identity of any living person being revealed - due to the numbers of officers involved. In any event, transparency in such matters is usually in the public interest.

Yours faithfully,

Adam S Dent (1150)

Information Compliance,

Dear Mr Dent

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO:  152828        

 

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
on 14^th February 2022.  Your request will now be considered in accordance
with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”).

 

We will aim to provide a response to your request within 20 working days
as stipulated by the Act.  Please note that there may be unavoidable
delays when making information rights requests during the COVID-19
pandemic.  We are triaging and addressing requests in the following
order:  Subject access and then FOI requests.   Every effort will be made
to meet our statutory timescales for responding.  Thank you for your
understanding.

 

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 payment then your request will be
withdrawn.

 

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.

 

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact the Information Compliance Unit quoting the reference number
above.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Sue Cale

Information Compliance Assistant

 

 

West Mercia Police in complying with their statutory duty under sections 1
and 11 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed
information will not breach the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. 
However, the rights of the copyright owner of the enclosed information
will continue to be protected by law.  Applications for the copyright
owner’s written permission to reproduce any part of the attached
information should be addressed to The Force Solicitor, West Mercia Police
Headquarters, PO Box 55, Hindlip, Worcester, WR3 8SP.

 

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 West Mercia Police
(WMP) to review their decision.

 

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the person 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 person named 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
WMP made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information, you can lodge a complaint with WMP to have the
decision reviewed.  WMP must be notified of your intention to complain
within 40 working days of the date of its response to your Freedom of
Information request.  Complaints should be made in writing and addressed
to:

 

Information Compliance Unit

West Mercia Police Headquarters

PO Box 55

Hindlip Hall

Hindlip

Worcester

WR3 8SP

 

Alternatively, you can email [1][email address]

 

In all possible circumstances, WMP will aim to respond to your complaint
within 20 working days.

 

The Information Commissioner

 

If after lodging a complaint with WMP you are still dissatisfied with the
decision, you may make application to the Information Commissioner (ICO)
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 [2]website.  Alternatively, you can contact the ICO in
writing or via phone:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Tel:  0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545745 (national rate)

Fax:  01625 524 510

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[West Mercia Police request email]
2. https://ico.org.uk/

Information Compliance,

Dear Mr Dent

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO:  152828

 

With reference to your request for information which was received on 14^th
February 2022.

 

I apologise for the delay in responding to your FOI request and for any
inconvenience caused.  Every effort is being made to process requests
within statutory deadlines but due to current circumstances delays have on
occasion been unavoidable.  We will provide you with a response to your
request as soon as is practicable.

 

Please advise us if you no longer require this information.

 

Your complaint rights are outlined below should you be unsatisfied.

 

If you have any further queries concerning this matter, please contact the
Information Compliance Unit quoting the reference number above.

 

Kind regards

 

Sue Cale
Information Compliance Assistant

 

West Mercia Police in complying with their statutory duty under sections 1
and 11 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed
information will not breach the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. 
However, the rights of the copyright owner of the enclosed information
will continue to be protected by law.  Applications for the copyright
owner’s written permission to reproduce any part of the attached
information should be addressed to The Force Solicitor, West Mercia Police
Headquarters, PO Box 55, Hindlip, Worcester, WR3 8SP.

 

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 West Mercia Police
(WMP) to review their decision.

 

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the person 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 person named 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
WMP made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information, you can lodge a complaint with WMP to have the
decision reviewed.  WMP must be notified of your intention to complain
within 40 working days of the date of its response to your Freedom of
Information request.  Complaints should be made in writing and addressed
to:

 

Information Compliance Unit

West Mercia Police Headquarters

PO Box 55

Hindlip Hall

Hindlip

Worcester

WR3 8SP

 

Alternatively, you can email [1][email address]

 

In all possible circumstances, WMP will aim to respond to your complaint
within 20 working days.

 

The Information Commissioner

 

If after lodging a complaint with WMP you are still dissatisfied with the
decision, you may make application to the Information Commissioner (ICO)
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 [2]website.  Alternatively, you can contact the ICO in
writing or via phone:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Tel:  0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545745 (national rate)

Fax:  01625 524 510

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[West Mercia Police request email]
2. https://ico.org.uk/

Adam S Dent (1150)

Dear West Mercia Police,

LONG OVERDUE LONG OVERDUE LONG OVERDUE

POLICE FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW
POLICE FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW

Totally unsatisfactory. Initially said due to Covid but that changed on day info was legally required as delay due to "current circumstances" - but no explanation.
Really using Covid as an excuse Feb Mar and April 2022 !!!!!!
Please confirm if WMP accepts Covid as a defence - and to what law-breaking eg. speeding, assault, or is it just when it suits you................

Yours faithfully,

Adam S Dent (1150)

Information Compliance,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Dent

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO: 152828

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
on       14^th February 2022. Please find below the response to your
request:

 

I refer to a video uploaded on Youtube about an arrest outside
Kidderminster Police Station on 11 Jan.  The video has been viewed over
300,000 times and gave rise to over 7000 comments.   Your Superintendent
Rebecca Love issued a statement about it.

 

The information I seek is as follows please:

 

How many outsider contacts did West Mercia Police receive about it?  If
there is no accurate figure, a good approximation will suffice.

 

Please confirm that West Mercia Police had received the communication from
Helen Maunder of National Police Chiefs' Council entitled "Auditors /
Social Media Bloggers - Initial Guidance" v1.4 dated December 2021.

 

Please confirm that it had been adopted by West Mercia Police and briefed
to staff.  Please state when that briefing was, and by what means.  Were
individual officers required to confirm receipt of the guidance, and if
so, by what means did they do so?

 

Please provide copies of any internal staff communications issued of a
generic force nature subsequent to the video appearing on Youtube, which
referred to it.

 

Please provide copies of any communications directed to individual
officers in respect of the arrest and detention of the individual
involved.  No personal information is sought, but the rank of the person
to whom the communication was directed should be provided.  That cannot
lead to the identity of any living person being revealed - due to the
numbers of officers involved.  In any event, transparency in such matters
is usually in the public interest.

 

 

 

Reply:-

1.    How many outsider contacts did West Mercia Police receive about it? 
If there is no accurate figure, a good approximation will suffice.

No info held

2.    Please confirm that West Mercia Police had received the
communication from Helen Maunder of National Police Chiefs' Council
entitled "Auditors / Social Media Bloggers - Initial Guidance" v1.4 dated
December 2021.

 

Yes I can confirm that the information has been received

 

3.    Please confirm that it had been adopted by West Mercia Police and
briefed to staff. Please state when that briefing was, and by what means.
Were individual officers required to confirm receipt of the guidance, and
if so, by what means did they do so?

 

West Mercia issued internal communication on our force newsletter.

There was a communication on the homepage and ‘carousel banner’ of the
intranet including a best practice video for officers and staff.

 

A circulation was sent out on the 12th January to all Inspectors to ensure
their staff are aware of the NPCC guidance.

 

4.    Please provide copies of any internal staff communications issued of
a generic force nature subsequent to the video appearing on Youtube, which
referred to it.

Please see attached NPCC guidance.

For all other internal communication Your request for information has been
considered in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the
Act”), and I am not obliged to provide the information requested.

 

The following exemption is applicable to the information requested:

The exemption applicable in this case is

Section 31(1)(a) Law Enforcement

 

Section 31 is a prejudice based qualified exemption and as such there is a
requirement to provide details of the harm as well as the public interest
test.

 

Harm

 

In considering whether or not this information should be disclosed,
consideration has been given to the potential harm that could be caused by
disclosure. Releasing internal communication give individuals the
intelligence required to disrupt police activity and increase the
capability of criminals to offend. 

 

To disclose the requested information could go some way to demonstrate
operational instruction and capability and it is important that any
disclosure under FOI does nothing to endanger members of the public or our
frontline officers.

 

Disclosure of information which is likely to undermine the ability of the
Police Service to serve the public in preventing and detecting crime can
only be considered as being harmful to the public. 

 

Public Interest Test   

                                               

Section 31 considerations favouring disclosure:

 

Disclosure may lead to better awareness of operational instruction to
frontline officers this may provide reassurance to the public and a
transparency to how dealing with the public is considered.

 

Section 31 considerations favouring non-disclosure:

 

Disclosure could provide those intent on breaking the law with advance
knowledge of any operational instruction on how to deal with certain
situations with the public.

 

Law enforcement tactics would be compromised and more crime could be
committed. This would have an impact on Police resources and would hinder
the prevention and detection of crime and place members of the public and
officers at risk.

 

Balance Test

 

Any release under FOI is a release to the world, not just to the
requester, and arguments for disclosure need to be balanced against those
against disclosure.

The most persuasive argument for disclosure is a better public
awareness which may lead to more information, or assistance, being
provided to the force. The most persuasive argument for non-disclosure is
that it will compromise law enforcement tactics, hinder the prevention and
detection of crime and place individuals at risk

There is a very strong public interest in safeguarding the protection of
the public and the effective use of police resources.  Information
released under FOI, where exemptions apply, will only be done where there
is a tangible community benefit which is more powerful than the harm that
can be caused in disclosure. 

Therefore, having weighed all relevant arguments, it is considered that
the public interest lies with non-disclosure of the requested information.

 

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

 

 

5.    Please provide copies of any communications directed to individual
officers in respect of the arrest and detention of the individual
involved. No personal information is sought, but the rank of the person to
whom the communication was directed should be provided. That cannot lead
to the identity of any living person being revealed - due to the numbers
of officers involved. In any event, transparency in such matters is
usually in the public interest.

 

Your request for information has been considered in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”), and I am not obliged to
provide the information requested.

 

The following exemption is applicable to the information requested:

 

·         S.40(5B) – Personal information

 

S.40(5B) is an absolute, class-based exemption and therefore there is no
requirement to evidence harm or conduct a public interest test.

 

This exemption is engaged where confirming or denying that information is
held that may or may not relate to personal data of a third party or could
lead to the identification of an individual, either from that
confirmation/denial alone or combined with other information from within
the Police Service or public domain.

 

Such a disclosure would breach an individual’s rights under the Data
Protection Act 2018, in particular Article 5(1) of the UK GDPR which
states that personal data shall be processed lawfully, fairly and in a
transparent manner in relation to the data subject. Such a disclosure
would also be likely to breach s.8 Human Rights Act 1998 which states that
everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his
home and his correspondence.

 

In accordance with s.17(1) of the Act, this acts as a Refusal Notice for
this part of the request.

 

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is as
accurate as possible

Apologies for the delay in responding to your response

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

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write
or telephone the Information Compliance Unit quoting the reference number
above.

Yours sincerely

 

B Spencer

Information Compliance Unit
West Mercia Police

PO Box 55

Hindlip

Worcester

WR3 8SP

01905 338819

 

 

West Mercia Police in complying with their statutory duty under sections 1
and 11 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed
information will not breach the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
However, the rights of the copyright owner of the enclosed information
will continue to be protected by law. Applications for the copyright
owner’s written permission to reproduce any part of the attached
information should be addressed to The Force Solicitor, West Mercia Police
Headquarters, PO Box 55, Hindlip, Worcester, WR3 8SP.

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 West Mercia Police (WMP) to review their
decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the person 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
contact the person named 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
WMP made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information, you can lodge a complaint with WMP to have the
decision reviewed. WMP must be notified of your intention to complain
within 20 working days of the date of its response to your Freedom of
Information request. Complaints should be made in writing and addressed
to:

West Mercia Police Headquarters

Information Compliance Unit

Hindlip Hall

Hindlip

PO Box 55

Worcester

WR3 8SP

or

Email:  [West Mercia Police request email]

In all possible circumstances, WMP will aim to respond to your complaint
within 20 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with WMP 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 https://ico.org.uk/ Alternatively phone or
write to:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Phone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545745 if you prefer to use a
national rate number

Fax:    01625 524 510

 

Adam S Dent (1150)

Dear West Mercia Police,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of West Mercia Police's handling of my FOI request 'Kidderminster arrest 11 Jan 22'.

I make the following observations in regards to your expected response:

Very shortly after the video appeared, a Superintendent appeared on Youtube via the force Twitter account. It was clearly a matter of considerable significance - and the force admitted "....we got it wrong!" Hiding behind exemptions to disclosure does nothing to promote public confidence at all.

Q3 has not been answered. No date provided and no answer as to receipt or watching/reading of communications. The 12 Jan circulation you mention was after the video.

Q4 - the NPCC guidance was long before the video. The exemption should not apply. You have referred to a circulation on 12 Jan to all inspectors. Please provide in full. The matter is highly damaging to force reputation, clearly of public interest - and can in no way provide intelligence to criminals, endanger public or police staff. Your balance test is lacking and without substance.

Q5 - no personal information was sought. You seek to rely on the rights of individuals - and yet clearly have ignored my rights to provide information in the timescale defined in law. You have double standards. Anyway, public interest is the issue again harping back to "...we got it wrong". The police generally are quick to release details and pictures of people charged, officers appearing at misconduct hearings. That is personal information. What I asked for is non=personal and should be forthcoming so the public can sense what action was taken and if it was appropriate.

You got it wrong in the video and you continue to get it wrong here. Clearly embarrassing for you - but the public deserve proper FOI transparency.

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

Yours faithfully,

Adam S Dent (1150)

Information Compliance,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Dent,

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO:  152828 – Internal review

 

I acknowledge receipt of your email of 4 May 2022 requesting an internal
review of your FOI request.

 

You will receive a response within 20 working days unless there are
exceptional circumstances.

 

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact the Information Compliance Unit quoting the reference number
above.

 

Kind regards,

 

David

 

David Cole
Information Compliance Supervisor | Information Compliance Unit | West
Mercia Police

PO Box 55, West Mercia Police Headquarters, Hindlip Hall, Worcester, WR3
8SP
Direct dial:  01905 331785 | Ext. 7772785

Team email:  [1][email address]

 

[2]Email Sign Off

 

You can report non-urgent crime via our website. Always dial 999 in an
emergency.

Please visit our website for information or assistance, or follow our
social media accounts for police news in your area.

 

This email may contain information that is privileged, sensitive, or
otherwise protected from disclosure.   Any unauthorised use, disclosure,
copying or alteration of this email is strictly forbidden without express
authorisation from West Mercia Police.  This email is intended for the
recipient(s) only; please notify the sender immediately if received in
error.  Email activity is regularly monitored, including the content.
Internet email is not to be treated a secure means of communication. 
Expressed views or opinions do not necessarily represent those of West
Mercia Police.

 

West Mercia Police in complying with their statutory duty under sections 1
and 11 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed
information will not breach the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. 
However, the rights of the copyright owner of the enclosed information
will continue to be protected by law.  Applications for the copyright
owner’s written permission to reproduce any part of the attached
information should be addressed to The Force Solicitor, West Mercia Police
Headquarters, PO Box 55, Hindlip, Worcester, WR3 8SP.

 

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 West Mercia Police
(WMP) to review their decision.

 

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the person 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 person named 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
WMP made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information, you can lodge a complaint with WMP to have the
decision reviewed.  WMP must be notified of your intention to complain
within 40 working days of the date of its response to your Freedom of
Information request.  Complaints should be made in writing and addressed
to:

 

Information Compliance Unit

West Mercia Police Headquarters

PO Box 55

Hindlip Hall

Hindlip

Worcester

WR3 8SP

 

Alternatively, you can email [3][email address]

 

In all possible circumstances, WMP will aim to respond to your complaint
within 20 working days.

 

The Information Commissioner

 

If after lodging a complaint with WMP you are still dissatisfied with the
decision, you may make application to the Information Commissioner (ICO)
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 [4]website.  Alternatively, you can contact the ICO in
writing or via phone:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Tel:  0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545745 (national rate)

Fax:  01625 524 510

 

show quoted sections

Information Compliance,

Dear Mr Dent,

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO:  152828 – Internal review

 

I write further to your email of 5 May 2022 requesting an internal review
of your FOI request.

 

Request for internal review

 

You have sought an internal review of the decision made in relation to
your request for information.

 

Decision of internal review

 

Having reviewed your original FOI request and the reasons for partial
refusal please note the below.

 

In relation to question 3, no further information is recorded.  No
specific date of a briefing nor confirmation of receipt is held by West
Mercia Police.

 

In relation to question 4, internal staff communications are held but are
exempt for the reason provided in the original response.

 

In relation to question 5, please disregard the application of s.40(5B) in
the original response.  West Mercia Police does not hold any specific
recorded information in relation to this question.

 

 

Should you have any further queries concerning this matter, please contact
the Information Compliance Unit quoting the reference number above.

 

If you remain unsatisfied with the outcome of this internal review you
have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner.  Their contact
details are outlined below.

 

 

Kind regards,

 

David

 

David Cole
Information Compliance Supervisor | Information Compliance Unit | West
Mercia Police

PO Box 55, West Mercia Police Headquarters, Hindlip Hall, Worcester, WR3
8SP
Direct dial:  01905 331785 | Ext. 7772785

Team email:  [1][email address]

 

The Information Commissioner

 

If after lodging a complaint with WMP you are still dissatisfied with the
decision, you may make application to the Information Commissioner (ICO)
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 [2]website.  Alternatively, you can contact the ICO in
writing or via phone:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Tel:  0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545745 (national rate)

Fax:  01625 524 510

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. https://ico.org.uk/

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Adam S Dent (1150) please sign in and let everyone know.