Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Please provide all documents you hold in relation to your planning for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Yours faithfully,
Connor A. Gurney

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Gurney

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2017090000042

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 02/09/2017.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

"Please provide all documents you hold in relation to your planning for
the London 2012 Olympic Games."

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.  

If you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please contact
us at [email address] or on the phone at 0207 161 3500, quoting the
reference number above. Should your enquiry relate to the logging or
allocations process we will be able to assist you directly and where your
enquiry relates to other matters (such as the status of the request) we
will be able to pass on a message and/or advise you of the relevant
contact details.

Yours sincerely

R. Loizou
Support Officer - Freedom of Information Triage Team
 
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 to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

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
Information Rights Unit
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.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively, write to or
phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 0303 123 1113

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

John Smith left an annotation ()

What are you trying to achieve with all these various requests about emergency plans? For heaven's sake, there was a bomb attack on the Tube today which left dozens of people injured! Are you trying to do the terrorists' job for them?!

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Gurney  

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2017090000042

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 02/09/2017.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

* Please provide all documents you hold in relation to your planning for
the London 2012 Olympic Games.

SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION

To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted
at the SC&O Public Order and Resources unit and the Records Management
Branch.  The searches located information relevant to your request.

DECISION

This letter is to inform you that it will not be possible to respond to
your request within the cost threshold.  This response serves as a Refusal
Notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).
 Please see the legal annex for further information on the exemptions
applied in respect of your request.

REASONS FOR DECISION

There is no longer a MPS Olympics Command, as it was disbanded after the
Games had come to a close.  However, as you can imagine, a wealth of
information was created for the Olympic Games operation, and it appears
that this has almost all been retained.  My searches indicate that
information is held in a variety of places due to the disbanding of the
relevant Operational Command Unit; these include, but are not limited to,
the MPS off site archive, in participating staff members' email and
electronic accounts, and in a huge folder on the Shared Drive.

Looking at this Shared Drive folder alone, I can tell you that there are
13,818 sub folders within it and it contains 113,201 files.  These files
are in various formats, including Excel spreadsheets, Word documents etc,
and they are of varying size.  To look into each of these sub folders and
the subsequent files in each in order to ascertain which relate
specifically to the 'planning' of the Games would far exceed the
appropriate limit.  The appropriate limit has been specified in
regulations and 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.  If
it only took a minute per file to ascertain whether each document was
pertinent to your request it would take in excess of 1,886 hours.  In
reality, this is not even a realistic estimate, as looking at these
documents would be likely to take a significant amount of time more than
that.

Although these folders and subfolders are named, there appears to be no
real order and none appear to relate specifically to 'planning'.  Instead
they have names such as 'finance', 'presentations', 'learning and legacy',
 and others simply name the Unit who created the file, such as 'DOI' or
CO'.  In fact, the only sub folder which looks like it may directly relate
to your request is 'CO11 - Olympic Preparation' which, when opened, has
one document contained within entitled 'READ ME'.  This document contains
the following:

"Due to the size of the SCO22 (CO11) Olympics data and the limitations of
the corporate S: drive storage, it has been necessary to move and store
this data elsewhere."

This shows the sheer amount of information held.  Even if you were to
request this folder alone, it is highly likely that the MPS would seek to
exempt the requested information under the 'burdensome' aspect of section
14 of the Act.

These issues make it difficult to provide you with advice as to how you
may narrow your request so that it does not exceed the appropriate limit.
 Without any indexing it becomes very difficult to locate specific
information relating to particular aspects of the Games.

Could I kindly suggest you take a look what has been made available at The
National Archives and see if this helps you formulate a more specific
request that it may be possible to comply with?  I have provided a link
below:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-...

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk...

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk...

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

Yours sincerely

S. Stroud
Information Rights Unit

LEGAL ANNEX

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(1) of the Act provides:

(1) Section 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.

Section 16 of the Act provides:

(1) It shall be the duty of a public authority to provide advice and
assistance, so far as it would be reasonable to expect the authority to do
so, to persons who propose to make, or have made, requests for information
to it.

(2) Any public authority which, in relation to the provision of advice or
assistance in any case, conforms with the code of practice under section
45 is to be taken to comply with the duty imposed by subsection (1) in
relation to that case.
 
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 to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

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
Information Rights Unit
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.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively, write to or
phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  0303 123 1113

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I am specifically looking at the emergency plans written for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Is it possible to get copies of these from CO3?

Yours faithfully,

Connor A. Gurney

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Gurney

As far as I am aware, the cost refusal will still apply due to how the data relating to the Olympics is recorded / stored in the Shared Drive and in the archives.

I have, however, emailed a contact to see if by any chance someone has a copy of these documents to hand or know where they are and can get them without engaging section 12 of the Act.

I will be in touch.

Kind regards,

S. Stroud | Freedom of Information | Information & Insight | Strategy & Governance | MetHQ | Metropolitan Police Service
Address - Information Rights Unit, PO Box 57192, London SW6 1SF

Please consider the environment before printing this email
NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Recipients of this email should be aware that all communications within and to and from the Metropolitan Police Service are subject to consideration for release under the Data Protection Act, Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations. The MPS will consider information for release unless there is are valid and proportionate public interest reasons not to, therefore, sensitive information not for public disclosure must be highlighted as such. Further advice can be obtained from the Information Rights Unit - 0207 161 3500.

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Thank you for your swift response. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,
Connor A. Gurney

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Gurney,

I have since heard back from my colleague, who has confirmed that unfortunately there are no easily accessible copies of these documents available. Therefore, we would still be required to do lots of manual searching within the Shared Drive and Archives to see where these documents would be and the extract them.

Therefore, this type of request would still fall within my cost refusal issued previously. I am sorry this wasn't possible for you.

Kind regards,

S. Stroud | Freedom of Information | Information & Insight | Strategy & Governance | MetHQ | Metropolitan Police Service Address - Information Rights Unit, PO Box 57192, London SW6 1SF

Please consider the environment before printing this email
NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Recipients of this email should be aware that all communications within and to and from the Metropolitan Police Service are subject to consideration for release under the Data Protection Act, Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations. The MPS will consider information for release unless there is are valid and proportionate public interest reasons not to, therefore, sensitive information not for public disclosure must be highlighted as such. Further advice can be obtained from the Information Rights Unit - 0207 161 3500.

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I am specifically looking for any planning for your response to a terrorist attack on the Olympic Park. I intend to use this information as part of a short fictional story that I am writing surrounding the scenario of a marauding firearms incident, involving a suicide bomber attacking the London 2012 Games.

Would it be possible to follow up with your colleague to find any documentation regarding the response to a marauding firearms incident or suicide attack written specifically for the Games? I understand from a book titled "Stop! Armed Police!: Inside the Met's Firearms Unit" that Combined Response Firearms Teams were specifically set up for the Games, so it may also be prudent to check with SCO15 Counter-Terrorism Command and SCO19 Specialist Firearms Command.

As the subject matter is sensitive, I absolutely appreciate that redaction may be necessary on the subject material and would invite this. I would also like to limit my request specifically to any documentation written solely for the Olympic Games, as I imagine any other documentation is still in place today in contrast to that written primarily for the Games. I thank you for your assistance in responding to my request, and I absolutely hope that we can move forward from this stage.

Yours faithfully,
Connor A. Gurney

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Gurney,

Thank you for your email.

As you are now asking for different information this will need to be logged as a new request.

You will soon receive a formal acknowledgement of this and a new reference number.

Kind regards,

S. Stroud | Freedom of Information | Information & Insight | Strategy & Governance | MetHQ |
Metropolitan Police Service
Address - Information Rights Unit, PO Box 57192, London SW6 1SF

show quoted sections

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Gurney

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2017120000559

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 20/12/2017.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

"I am specifically looking for any planning for your response to a
terrorist attack on the Olympic Park. I intend to use this information as
part of a short fictional story that I am writing surrounding the scenario
of a marauding firearms incident, involving a suicide bomber attacking the
London 2012 Games.

Would it be possible to follow up with your colleague to find any
documentation regarding the response to a marauding firearms incident or
suicide attack written specifically for the Games? I understand from a
book titled "Stop! Armed Police!: Inside the Met's Firearms Unit" that
Combined Response Firearms Teams were specifically set up for the Games,
so it may also be prudent to check with SCO15 Counter-Terrorism Command
and SCO19 Specialist Firearms Command.

As the subject matter is sensitive, I absolutely appreciate that redaction
may be necessary on the subject material and would invite this. I would
also like to limit my request specifically to any documentation written
solely for the Olympic Games, as I imagine any other documentation is
still in place today in contrast to that written primarily for the Games.
I thank you for your assistance in responding to my request, and I
absolutely hope that we can move forward from this stage."

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.  

If you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please contact
us at [email address] or on the phone at 0207 161 3500, quoting the
reference number above. Should your enquiry relate to the logging or
allocations process we will be able to assist you directly and where your
enquiry relates to other matters (such as the status of the request) we
will be able to pass on a message and/or advise you of the relevant
contact details.

Yours sincerely

R. Loizou
Support Officer - Freedom of Information Triage Team
 
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 to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

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
Information Rights Unit
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.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively, write to or
phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 0303 123 1113

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Gurney

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2017120000559

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 20/12/2017.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

* I am specifically looking for any planning for your response to a
terrorist attack on the Olympic Park. I intend to use this information
as part of a short fictional story that I am writing surrounding the
scenario of a marauding firearms incident, involving a suicide bomber
attacking the London 2012 Games.

Would it be possible to follow up with your colleague to find any
documentation regarding the response to a marauding firearms incident or
suicide attack written specifically for the Games? I understand from a
book titled "Stop! Armed Police!: Inside the Met's Firearms Unit" that
Combined Response Firearms Teams were specifically set up for the Games,
so it may also be prudent to check with SCO15 Counter-Terrorism Command
and SCO19 Specialist Firearms Command.

As the subject matter is sensitive, I absolutely appreciate that redaction
may be necessary on the subject material and would invite this. I would
also like to limit my request specifically to any documentation written
solely for the Olympic Games, as I imagine any other documentation is
still in place today in contrast to that written primarily for the Games.
I thank you for your assistance in responding to my request, and I
absolutely hope that we can move forward from this stage.

I am sorry to inform you that we have not been able to complete our
response to your request by the date originally stated.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act), we have 20 working
days to respond to a request for information unless we are considering
whether the information requested is covered by one of the 'qualified
exemptions' (exemptions which must be tested against the public interest
before deciding whether they apply to the information in question).

Where we are considering the public interest test against the application
of relevant qualified exemptions, Section 17(2)(b) provides that we can
extend the 20 day deadline.  Please see the legal annex for further
information on this section of the Act.

For your information we are considering the following exemption:

Section 31 - Law Enforcement

I can now advise you that the amended date for a response is 16/02/2018.

May I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me via email at [email address], quoting the
reference number above.

Yours sincerely

C. Gayle-Petrou
Information Manager

LEGAL ANNEX

Section 17(2) provides:

(2) Where-

a) in relation to any request for information, a public authority is, as
respects any information, relying on a claim-
i) that any provision of Part II which relates to the duty to confirm or
deny and is not specified in section 2(3) is relevant to the request, or
ii) that the information is exempt information only by virtue of a
provision not specified in section 2(3), and
b) at the time when the notice under subsection (1) is given to the
applicant, the public authority (or, in a case falling within section
66(3) or (4), the responsible authority) has not yet reached a decision as
to the application of subsection (1)(b) or (2)(b) of section 2,
the notice under subsection (1) must indicate that no decision as to the
application of that provision has yet been reached and must contain an
estimate of the date by which the authority expects that such a decision
will have been reached.

 
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 to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

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
Information Rights Unit
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.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively, write to or
phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  0303 123 1113

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Gurney

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2017120000559

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 20/12/2017.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

I am specifically looking for any planning for your response to a
terrorist attack on the Olympic Park. I intend to use this information as
part of a short fictional story that I am writing surrounding the scenario
of a marauding firearms incident, involving a suicide bomber attacking the
London 2012 Games.

Would it be possible to follow up with your colleague to find any
documentation regarding the response to a marauding firearms incident or
suicide attack written specifically for the Games? I understand from a
book titled "Stop! Armed Police!: Inside the Met's Firearms Unit" that
Combined Response Firearms Teams were specifically set up for the Games,
so it may also be prudent to check with SCO15 Counter-Terrorism Command
and SCO19 Specialist Firearms Command.

As the subject matter is sensitive, I absolutely appreciate that redaction
may be necessary on the subject material and would invite this. I would
also like to limit my request specifically to any documentation written
solely for the Olympic Games, as I imagine any other documentation is
still in place today in contrast to that written primarily for the Games.
I thank you for your assistance in responding to my request, and I
absolutely hope that we can move forward from this stage.

SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION

To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted
at the Counter Terrorism Command and Specialist Firearms Command.  The
searches located information relevant to your request.

DECISION

Having located and considered the relevant information, I am afraid that I
am not required by statute to release the information requested. This
response serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act).  Please see the legal annex for further
information on the exemptions applied in respect of your request.

REASONS FOR DECISION

To provide documentation which relates to how the MPS would respond to a
firearms or terrorist incident at the Olympic Games would allow terrorists
to be aware of MPS/police tactics employed to respond to incidents of this
nature, which would hinder our law enforcement role and dramatically
weaken the MPS’s ability to safeguard national security in the fight
against terrorism on a local and national scale. As such Sections 24(1)
and 31(1)(a) are engaged.

In addition, the Metropolitan Police Service can neither confirm nor deny
whether it holds any further information as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) does not apply by virtue of
the following exemptions:

Section 23(5) - Information supplied by, or concerning, certain security
bodies
Section 27(4) – International Relations

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me or via email at [email address], quoting
the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

C. Gayle-Petrou
Information Manager

LEGAL ANNEX

Section 17(1) of the Act provides:

(1)        A public authority which, in relation to any request for
information, is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision in
part II relating to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request
or on a claim that information is exempt information must, within the time
for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which-

(a) states the fact,
(b) specifies the exemption in question, and
(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies.

Section 24 - National Security

(1) Information which does not fall within section 23(1) is exempt
information if exemption from section 1(1)(b) is required for the purpose
of safeguarding national security.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...

Section 31 - Law enforcement

(1) Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is
exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be
likely to, prejudice—

(a) the prevention or detection of crime,

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...

Sections 24 and 31 are prejudice based qualified exemptions and there is a
requirement to articulate the harm that would be caused in disclosing the
requested information as well as carrying out a public interest test.  

Overall Evidence of Harm

In considering whether or not the MPS should release the information
requested I have considered the potential harm that could be caused by
such a disclosure.

A Freedom of Information Act request is not a private transaction.  Both
the request itself, and any information disclosed, are considered suitable
for open publication. This is because, under the Act, any information
disclosed is released into the wider public domain, effectively to the
world, not just to an individual.   Whilst not questioning the motives of
the applicant by providing details of how the MPS would respond to a
terrorist incident at the Olympic Games, such as a suicide or marauding
firearms attack would undermine the MPS and national armed capability and
capacity.  This could allow those who seek to cause harm to members of the
public to gain an understanding of the level of resources (with regards to
manpower and equipment) that could be deployed.  Disclosure of the
requested information would breach ongoing counter terrorism (CT) armed
response plans to existing and ongoing sporting events, which would allow
terrorists the opportunity to develop new plans/methods to circumvent
these MPS procedures.  

The threat from terrorism cannot be ignored.  It should be recognised that
the international security landscape is increasingly complex and
unpredictable.  The UK faces a sustained threat from violent terrorists
and extremists.  Since 2006, the UK Government have published the threat
level, as set by the security service (MI5) based upon current
intelligence and that threat has recently been reduced from ‘critical’ to
‘severe’ following recent events in Manchester and Parsons Green.  Prior
to this it remained at the second highest level, ‘severe’, except for two
short periods during August 2006 and June and July 2007, when it was
raised to the highest threat, ‘critical’, and in July 2009, when it was
reduced to ‘substantial’. With the current threat level to the UK given as
‘severe, the Home Office website explains that ‘this means that a
terrorist attack is highly likely’.

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/counter-ter...

In consideration of the ramifications of this threat level, it would not
be wise to disclose our armed response plans to these types of terrorist
incidents as to do so could possibly compromise the current or future law
enforcement role of the MPS and have a detrimental effect on the
operational effectiveness of this Force. There are significant risks
associated with the release of such information as this may provide those
seeking to commit criminal/terrorist acts with an advantage over the MPS
and other forces, as the information can indeed be viewed as operational
'intelligence' and operationally sensitive. Disclosure could have a
negative effect on the MPS’s ability to provide the necessary service
required should the release of information be used and manipulated by
those who are intent on promoting their terrorist activities. To disclose
the requested information would therefore provide them with an opportunity
of disrupting police activity.

This could be to the detriment of providing an efficient policing service
and a failure in providing a duty of care to all members of the public and
might require the MPS to actually have to increase the amount of officers
available to them thus increasing the cost to the public purse.

As stated the UK faces a serious and sustained threat from violent
terrorists and extremists and this threat is greater in scale and ambition
than any of the terrorist threats in the past. Government reports suggest
that at any one time the police and security agencies are contending with
many terrorist plots, terrorist groups or networks and individuals who are
judged to pose a threat to the well-being of the UK and or UK interests.
While the plots may not necessarily all be directed at specific
individuals or locations, the MPS have a duty to promote the safety of all
individuals.  Therefore, to release information held would allow
interested parties to gain an upper hand and awareness of policing
decisions used to safeguard national security. National security
encompasses a wide spectrum and it is our duty to protect the people
within the UK and abroad.  Public safety is of paramount importance to the
policing purpose and must be taken into account in deciding whether to
disclose information.  By providing the requested information, could
potentially be misused proving detrimental to national security.

In the current environment of an increased threat of terrorist activity,
providing any details that could assist an extremist, terrorist faction or
fixated individual who have the relevant time and know-how, would put
people’s lives at risk.

Public Interest Test

Factors favouring disclosure for S24 – The information simply relates to
national security and disclosure would not actually harm it. Disclosing
the information would allow individuals to contribute to more accurate
public debate on matters that are of public relevance - in this case
information pertinent to counter-terrorism and the MPS’s planning process
to manage an attack at the Olympic Games.

The public are entitled to know how public funds are spent and by
disclosing this information the public would be able to see where public
money is being spent to deal with possible incidents of this nature.  This
would demonstrate that the MPS is working robustly to `combat all types of
terrorist incidents and therefore, what measures are in place in
safeguarding national security.  
Factors against disclosure for S24 – By supplying any policing
arrangements of this nature would render security measures less effective.
In order to safeguard national security, there is a need for the MPS to
protect information held as to release it would likely have a detrimental
effect on policing resources, particularly in the sensitive area of
national security.

Policing resources would be negatively affected should those with intent
to map and obtain an operational advantage over MPS resources (allocated
for national security purposes) manipulate the disclosed information.
Should our CT armed capability and proposed deployment plans to such
incidents be smaller than envisaged, terrorists/criminals may perceive
this as an opportunity to initiate several attacks.

To provide information on how the MPS plans to respond to an attack at the
Olympic Games would breach ongoing CT armed response plans to existing
and ongoing sporting events, and thereby identify procedures in place
which may be across all police forces resulting in increased opportunities
for terrorist planning on a national scale.

Factors favouring disclosure for S31 - Where public funds are being spent,
there is a public interest in accountability and justifying the use of
public money. For the MPS to be fully transparent and open, I appreciate
there is a public interest in providing documentation pertinent to the
planned policing response to a marauding firearms incident or suicide
attack at the Olympic Games. To disclose this information would provide
the public with the knowledge that MPS is appropriately using public funds
to carry to protect the citizens of London.

Factors against disclosure for S31 - By providing details of operational
capability and tactics to be employed in the event of a terrorist incident
at the Olympic Games would mean there is a strong possibility that the
current or future law enforcement role of the Counter Terrorism Command
and Specialist Firearms Command will be compromised by the release of this
information, which would hinder the prevention and detection of crime.  It
can be argued that there are significant risks associated with providing
this information, since they may reveal the relative vulnerability of what
we may be trying to protect.  

To disclose documentation relating to the planning in response to this
type of incident would technically be releasing sensitive information into
the public domain, which would enable those with the time, capacity and
inclination to calculate the physical resources, in terms of manpower and
equipment, available to the MPS in these circumstances.

Any details disclosed may give a negative perception of our armed
capability, leading to an increase in attacks either at sporting events or
in the general public arena. Therefore, MPS resources and its ability to
operate effectively and efficiently would directly be affected as this
information, could be manipulated by those with criminal intent to operate
in those areas.

In addition, disclosure of this information would infer the importance the
MPS and the Government place on combating terrorism.  

Balance Test

The security of the country is of paramount importance and the Police
Service will not divulge information if to do so would undermine National
Security or law enforcement and therefore place the safety of the public
at risk. Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of
policing, and in this case providing assurance that the police service is
appropriately and effectively engaging with the threat posed by terrorist
activity, there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding the
integrity of police operational planning in the highly sensitive area of
terrorism prevention.

As much as there is a public interest in knowing that policing activity is
appropriate and balanced this will only be overridden in exceptional
circumstances.  Any disclosure of information which relates to the MPS’s
CT armed capability and capacity to deal with a terrorist attack at the
Olympic Games would undermine our ability to combat terrorism at other
sporting events.  Any documentation held will have a legacy for use at
another sporting occasion, such as the Commonwealth Games and would
therefore be of intelligence value to a terrorist.  The disclosure of
which would not only have a negative effect on the safeguarding of
national security, but also hinder law enforcement functions through the
prevention and detection of crime.

Therefore, it is our opinion that for this reason the balancing test
favours non-disclosure of the requested information.

In addition, the Metropolitan Police Service can neither confirm nor deny
that it holds any further information in relation to your request as the
duty in s1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply, by
virtue of the following exemptions:

Section 23 - Information supplied by, or relating to, bodies dealing with
security matters

(5) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that,
compliance with section 1(1)(a) would involve the disclosure of any
information (whether or not already recorded) which was directly or
indirectly supplied to the public authority by, or relates to, any of the
bodies specified in subsection (3).

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...

Section 27 - International Relations

(4) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that
compliance with section 1(1)(a)

(a) Would or would likely to, prejudice any matters of the matters
mentioned in subsection (1) or

(b) would involve the disclosure of any information (whether or not
already recorded) which is confidential information obtained from a State
other than the United Kingdom or from an international organisation or
international court.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...

Section 23 is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement
to consider the public interest in this case.  Confirming or denying
whether any information is held would contravene the constrictions laid
out within Section 23 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in that this
stipulates a generic bar on disclosure of any information supplied by, or
concerning, certain Security Bodies.
With Section 27 being a prejudice based qualified exemption, there is a
requirement to articulate the harm that would be caused in confirming or
not whether information is held as well as carrying out a public interest
test.

Evidence of Harm for NCND

In considering whether or not we hold any further information, I have
considered the potential harm that could be caused by disclosure.

The British Government develops and maintains a robust relationship with
other nation states which can promote mutual interest in trade, defence,
environmental issues, human rights and the fight against terrorism and
international crime.

Confirmation or denial that any further information is held relevant to
your request, could be detrimental to the UK’s relationship with one
country, would in all likelihood result in other countries or
international organisations reconsidering their affinity with the UK.

This would consequently affect the UK's international abilities relating
to its overseas citizens, consular and commercial interests. It could also
influence the sharing of information provided during the course of
political and diplomatic exchanges.

In addition, to confirm or deny whether any further information is held,
could highlight liaisons which might or might not have taken place with
countries who are scheduled to host future Olympic Games or major sporting
events.  This could lead to a lack of trust, undermine law enforcement
agreements in the future and affect the safety and security of these
events.

It would not be in the best interests of the public to possibly disrupt
relations between the UK and another foreign government, due to any
further information, if held, being released which may not give the whole
picture and may in fact give a misleading view of policing events. It is
not in the public interest to disclose information that may compromise the
MPS's relationship with another Country or its citizens.

To confirm or deny whether any further information is held relevant to
this request could be detrimental to the international partnership
approach to law enforcement and ultimately to the detriment of providing
an efficient policing service and a failure in providing a duty of care to
all members of the public.

Public Interest Test

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for S27 - Confirming or denying
whether any further information is held relevant to your request would
allow the public to be better informed and would be in the interests of
open government and public accountability. Disclosure of any further
information, if held, could increase understanding on international
matters and participation in the public debate of the issues raised in the
process in planning for an Olympic Games and responding to any threats
posed.

Confirmation of any further information, if held, which promotes good
relations between the United Kingdom and any other State, can assist in
raising public awareness around partnership working between overseas
police forces or foreign agencies and the MPS.

Factors against confirmation or denial for S27 - The effective conduct of
international relations depends upon maintaining trust and confidence
between Governments. To confirm or deny whether any further information is
held which would reveal liaisons with another country surrounding the
planning and response to threats posed at an Olympic Games, would
undermine relations between the UK and states. If the United Kingdom does
not maintain this trust and confidence, its ability to protect and promote
UK interests through international relations will be hampered.

Confirmation or denial that any further information exists which might or
might not detail our relationship with specific countries could
potentially damage the bilateral relationship between the UK and other
states. This would reduce the UK government's ability to protect and
promote UK interests through its relations with those other states.

Balance Test

The strongest reason favouring confirming or denying whether any further
information is held would be transparency.  This would allow the general
public to gain an understanding of whether the MPS has been able to impart
their knowledge of managing such a large sporting event to other countries
who might be staging the Olympic Games or another major similar type of
event in the near future.  To confirm or deny that any further information
exists would demonstrate that the MPS is highly regarded in the
international law enforcement community in responding to attacks of this
nature and their assistance is widely sought.

However, confirmation or denial whether any further information is held in
relation to this request could be providing details of the MPS’s liaisons
with another international police organisation, and therefore could
undermine law enforcement partnership approach in the future.  Similarly,
to disclose the UK’s relationship with another country would or would be
likely to prejudice international relations and this would not be in the
public interest, as we need to protect the interests of the United Kingdom
abroad.  It is for these reasons that the balance test favours neither
confirmation or denial.

However, this should not be taken as necessarily indicating that any
information that would meet your request exists or does not exist.
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 to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

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
Information Rights Unit
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.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively, write to or
phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  0303 123 1113

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