Machine guns raised at Work & Pensions Committee public 9th December 2013

jimmy3 made this Freedom of Information request to Ministry of Justice

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Ministry of Justice,

My questions refer to security surrounding the Work &
Pensions meeting held on 9th December 2013 at 16:30 in the Wilson room.

Background:
According to multiple witnesses (members of the public, mainly physically or mentally disabled) who arrived to observe the above meeting, they were initially met by standard airport and court type security, metal detectors, belongings checked, they were frisked - all pretty much what I would expect.

The public area was off camera (although some public members did appear in view of the camera to find their seats and I did witness one electric wheelchair user briefly on camera).

However the witnesses stated something rather disturbing which wasn't seen on camera which could explain their unusual silence throughout the proceedings. There were several policemen or security guards with machine guns, not pointed down, instead pointing TOWARDS the public area throughout this meeting.

My questions:

1. Who asked for these guards with machine guns to be
present at this meeting?

2. Who specifically asked for these guards to keep their machine guns pointed toward the public area?

3. Please provide the report which deemed it necessary to have guards with machine guns pointed toward the public during this meeting.

4. Please can you confirm that you hold, and if possible provide the document(s)which state security with machine guns were present in that room throughout those proceedings?

5. Were members of the attending public informed in advance
that they would have to sit with machine guns pointed at them during these proceedings?

My sixth question is only for if you're unable to answer any one of the above questions.

6. Please specify the Government department I should send this FoI request to if you don't hold the above information on any question I ask above.

(For public reference, the meeting can be watched here although the public area and the guards with machine guns are off camera: http://alturl.com/k4sk2 )

Yours faithfully,
Mr Glynne Powell.

Data Access & Compliance Unit, Ministry of Justice


 

Freedom of Information Request

 

Dear Mr Glynne Powell,

 

Thank you for your email of 11/12/13, in which you asked for the following
information from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ):

 

“My questions refer to security surrounding the Work & Pensions meeting held on
9th December 2013 at 16:30 in the Wilson room.

 

1. Who asked for these guards with machine guns to be present at this meeting?

 

2. Who specifically asked for these guards to keep their machine guns pointed
toward the public area?

 

3. Please provide the report which deemed it necessary to have guards with
machine guns pointed toward the public during this meeting.

 

4. Please can you confirm that you hold, and if possible provide the
document(s)which state security with machine guns were present in that room
throughout those proceedings?

 

5. Were members of the attending public informed in advance that they would have
to sit with machine guns pointed at them during these proceedings?

 

My sixth question is only for if you're unable to answer any one of the above
questions.

 

6. Please specify the Government department I should send this FoI request to if
you don't hold the above information on any question I ask above.”

 

Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(FOIA).

 

I can confirm that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) does not hold the
information that you have requested. To establish whether the information
was held I conducted a thorough search, and made enquires within the
Ministry of Justice Head Office Department. When assessing whether or not
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o Electronic records which would have revealed any information held.
o Hardcopy files were checked.
o Checks were made with policy officials responsible for the issue in
MoJ.

 

It may help if I clarify that information is not held by MoJ because there
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However, you may wish to contact the Department of Works and Pensions
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You can contact the DWP at the following website:

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[5]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Sara Lemos

 

Data Access & Compliance Unit

Information Directorate

Post point 10.34

102 Petty France

London

SW1H 9AJ

E [email address]

 

[6]www.gov.uk

 

 

How to Appeal

 

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102 Petty France,

London

SW1H 9AJ

 

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Dear Data Access & Compliance Unit,

Thanks very much for the information you were able to supply.

Yours sincerely,
Mr Glynne Powell.