Met Police actions in Operation Grange

Anthony Bennett made this Freedom of Information request to Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

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 successful.

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

re: Operation Grange (Madeleine McCann case)

Please provide the following information:

1. On what I.T. system, whether Holmes, ANCAPA or otherwise, is the work of Operation Grange recorded?

2. Dates of all occasions when the Senior Investigating Officer, or other responsible officer, has (a) reconsidered the remit of Operation Grange (b) made a recordable policy decision or (c) given reconsideration to the necessary or appropriate lines of enquiry for Operation Grange to follow.

Yours faithfully,

Anthony Bennett

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr. Bennett

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2015120000612

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 12/12/2015.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

"re: Operation Grange (Madeleine McCann case)
   
Please provide the following information:
   
1. On what I.T. system, whether Holmes, ANCAPA or otherwise, is the work
of Operation Grange recorded?
   
2. Dates of all occasions when the Senior Investigating Officer, or other
responsible officer, has (a) reconsidered the remit of Operation Grange
(b) made a recordable policy decision or (c) given reconsideration to the
necessary or appropriate lines of enquiry for Operation Grange to follow."

Your request will now be allocated to the relevant unit within the MPS and
will be processed in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(the Act).  

You will receive your response directly from the relevant unit within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act.  

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.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

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

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, phone or
write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 745

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

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Bennett,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2015120000612

I write in response to your request for information that was received by
the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 12 December 2015. I note that you
seek access to the following information:

"Operation Grange (Madeleine McCann case)
     
 Please provide the following information:
     
1. On what I.T. system, whether Holmes, ANCAPA or otherwise, is the work
of Operation Grange recorded?
     
2. Dates of all occasions when the Senior Investigating Officer, or  other
responsible officer, has (a) reconsidered the remit of Operation Grange
(b) made a recordable policy decision or (c) given reconsideration to the
necessary or appropriate lines of enquiry for Operation Grange to follow."

When a request for information is made under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 (the Act), a public authority must inform you, when permitted,
whether the information requested is held. It must then communicate that
information to you. If a public authority decides that it cannot comply
with all or part of a request, it must cite the appropriate section or
exemption of the Act and provide you with an explanation. It is important
to note that the Act is designed to place information into the public
domain, that is, once access to information is granted to one person under
the Act, it is then considered public information and must be communicated
to any individual should a request be received. Any information released
under the Act is also published upon the MPS website.  

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT DECISION
In response to your request for:

"2. Dates of all occasions when the Senior Investigating Officer, or
 other responsible officer, has (a) reconsidered the remit of Operation
Grange (b) made a recordable policy decision or (c) given reconsideration
to the necessary or appropriate lines of enquiry for Operation Grange to
follow."

The MPS is unable to respond to this part of your request for information
as the cost of collating the information to answer your request would
exceed the cost threshold set out by the Freedom of Information and Data
Protection Act Fees Regulations 2004. In this regard, I estimate that the
cost of complying with your request would exceed the appropriate limit.
For agencies outside central Government, the cost threshold is set at £450
and represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours [at a
rate of £25 per hour] determining whether the public authority holds the
information. This also includes locating, retrieving and extracting the
information requested. This email constitutes is a formal Refusal Notice
for this request. A full explanation, including the relevant sections of
the Act and the Fees Regulations, is given in the Legal Annex below.

Please also note that when one part of a request is refused because the
cost of completing that part of the request would exceed the appropriate
limit, this results in the refusal of the request in its entirety. This
approach is inline with Freedom of Information Decision Notice (Reference:
FS50194062).

DUTY TO ADVISE AND ASSIST
Under Section 16 of the Act, there is a duty to advise and assist
applicants in making requests for information.

In response to your request for:

"1. On what I.T. system, whether Holmes, ANCAPA or otherwise, is the work
of Operation Grange recorded?"
 
I can confirm that Operation Grange is recorded on the Holmes system.

In response to your request for:

"2. Dates of all occasions when the Senior Investigating Officer, or
 other responsible officer, has (a) reconsidered the remit of Operation
Grange (b) made a recordable policy decision or (c) given reconsideration
to the necessary or appropriate lines of enquiry for Operation Grange to
follow."

Operation Grange is an ongoing MPS 'investigative review' of the
investigation(s) that have been conducted into the circumstances of
Madeleine McCann's disappearance. The MPS considers that if this request
were capable of answer within the cost regulations of the Act, this
information would be exempt under the Act. I cannot therefore propose a
meaningful way in which to refine this part of your request for
information.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS
This notice concludes your request for information. I would like to take
this opportunity to thank you for your interest in the MPS.

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to make a complaint.  

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on 0207 161 6510 or at the address at the top of this email,
quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Damion Baird

LEGAL ANNEX

EXPLANATION OF DECISION
The MPS is unable to respond to part two of your request being:

"2. Dates of all occasions when the Senior Investigating Officer, or
 other responsible officer, has (a) reconsidered the remit of Operation
Grange (b) made a recordable policy decision or (c) given reconsideration
to the necessary or appropriate lines of enquiry for Operation Grange to
follow."

The MPS cannot answer this part of your request as to do so would exceed
18 hours.

To answer your request, a member of staff would have to locate, obtain and
review the decision logs for the duration that Operation Grange has been
undertaking an investigative review of the circumstances of Madeleine
McCann's disappearance. A member of staff would also have to review all
messages and actions recorded throughout the course of Operation Grange.
Operation Grange began its review on 12 May 2011 when the MPS announced,
at the request of the Home Secretary, that it had agreed to bring its
particular expertise to the Madeleine McCann case.

Whilst it is difficult to be precise as to the amount of time such a
review would take, owing the size of the investigative review undertaken
by the MPS, it is clear that this review would take a single member of
staff many weeks (or longer) to complete. This would clearly exceed the 18
hour cost threshold of the Act.  

Please note that the Information Commissioner's guidance states that
'Section 12 makes it clear that a public authority does not have to make a
precise calculation of the costs of complying with a request.  Only an
estimate is required ... what amounts to a reasonable estimate can only be
considered on a case by case basis.'  The Information Commissioner also
advises 'where a reasonable estimate has been made that the appropriate
limit would be exceeded, there is no requirement for a public authority to
undertake work up to the limit.'

EXEMPTIONS CLAIMED

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this email acts as
a Refusal Notice for the requested information.

Section 17(5) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 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(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."

The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and
Fees) Regulations 2004 provide:

"3 (1) This regulation has effect to prescribe the appropriate limit
referred to in section 9A(3) and (4) of the 1998 Act and the appropriate
limit referred to in section 12(1) and (2) of the 2000 Act.

(2) In the case of a public authority which is listed in Part I of
Schedule 1 to the 2000 Act, the appropriate limit is £600.

(3) In the case of any other public authority, the appropriate limit is
£450.

4 (3) In a case in which this regulation has effect, a public authority
may, for the purpose of its estimate, take account only of the costs it
reasonably expects to incur in relation to the request in-

(a) determining whether it holds the information,

(b) locating the information, or a document which may contain the
information,

(c) retrieving the information, or a document which may contain the
information, and

(d) extracting the information from a document containing it.

(4) To the extent to which any of the costs which a public authority takes
into account are attributable to the time which persons undertaking any of
the activities mentioned in paragraph
(3) on behalf of the authority are expected to spend on those activities,
those costs are to be estimated at a rate of £25 per person per hour.

5. (1) In circumstances in which this regulation applies, where two or
more requests for information to which section 1(1) of the 2000 Act would,
apart from the appropriate limit, to any extent apply, are made to a
public authority -

(a) by one person, or
(b) by different persons who appear to the public authority to be acting
in concert or in pursuance of a campaign, the estimated cost of complying
with any of the requests is to be taken to be the total costs which may be
taken into account by the authority, under regulation 4, of complying with
all of them.

(2) This regulation applies in circumstances in which-
(a) the two or more requests referred to in paragraph (1) relate, to any
extent, to the same or similar information, and
(b) those requests are received by the public authority within any period
of sixty consecutive working days.

(3) In this regulation, "working day" means any day other than a Saturday,
a Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday or a day which is a bank holiday
under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971(b) in any part of the
United Kingdom."  
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, phone or
write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 745

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

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