Dear West Midlands Police,

As part of ongoing data sharing protocols, incidents stored either on a log or the Force Crime System (FCS) relating to slavery and human trafficking are shared with the Home Office for reporting purposes.

Please provide the number of incident reports logged by your constabulary under the following opening codes between the periods of 1 June 2019 and September 31 2019.

N200/01 - NRM referral pending reasonable grounds decision
N200/02 – NRM referral negative reasonable grounds decision
N200/03 – NRM referral - Duty to notify only
N200/04 – NRM referral – Positive reasonable Grounds/Police Referral – Outside England and Wales
N200/05 – NRM referral – Negative reasonable Grounds – Outside England/Wales
N200/06 –NRM referral – transferred to another force in England and Wales

Please note that logged incidents should not be omitted on the basis of their eventual recording status. This request is for incident reports that fit the above criteria, which may or may not eventually be recorded.

Kind regards,
M Esslemont

Freedom of Information,

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Freedom of Information,

4 Attachments

Dear M Esslemont

 

FOI Request Reference: 017934/19

 

Thank you for your request for information, received 14/10/2019

 

REQUEST

 

As part of ongoing data sharing protocols, incidents stored either on a
log or the Force Crime System (FCS) relating to slavery and human
trafficking are shared with the Home Office for reporting purposes.

 

Please provide the number of incident reports logged by your constabulary
under the following opening codes between the periods of 1 June 2019 and
September 31 2019.

 

N200/01 - NRM referral pending reasonable grounds decision

N200/02 - NRM referral negative reasonable grounds decision

N200/03 - NRM referral - Duty to notify only

N200/04 - NRM referral - Positive reasonable Grounds/Police Referral -
Outside England and Wales

N200/05 - NRM referral - Negative reasonable Grounds - Outside
England/Wales

N200/06 - NRM referral - transferred to another force in England and Wales

 

Please note that logged incidents should not be omitted on the basis of
their eventual recording status. This request is for incident reports that
fit the above criteria, which may or may not eventually be recorded.

 

RESPONSE

 

We can confirm that some relevant information is held by West Midlands
Police. However, we are withholding that information since it is exempt by
virtue of the following exemption:

 

Section 23(1) Information supplied by or concerning certain Security
Bodies

 

Section 23 is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement
to consider the public interest in this case.

 

This exemption and explanatory notes are shown here:

 

[1]https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-co...

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

For further information and data on West Midlands Police see our
publication scheme and disclosure log

 

[2]http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/

 

RIGHT OF APPEAL

 

Your attention is drawn to your right to request a re-examination of your
case under West Midlands Police review procedure, which can be found at:

 

[3]http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/revie...

 

Please note that such an appeal must be received within 40 working days of
the date of this correspondence. Any such request received after this time
will only be considered at the discretion of the FOI Unit.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Justine Barrett | Freedom of Information Officer
Corporate Communications | West Midlands Police
T: 101 (ext. 801 2068) |

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Dear Freedom of Information,

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

I wish to request an internal review of case ref 017934/19.

My internal review request is being made on the basis that a FOIA 2000 section 23 and section 23(1) exemption has been incorrectly applied. Therefore, I am raising this matter internally with the view of escalating with the Information Commissioner's Office should I not receive the data requested.

- Security exemption -
Whilst the Act does provide exemptions on data provision which "directly" or "indirectly" reference a named security body within the Act, including the National Crime Agency (NCA), the original request (case ref 017934/19) petitions for information which is no longer provided as part of data-sharing protocols with the NCA as a Competent Authority (CA). As you know, as of 2019 the Home Office subsumed all the functions of other CAs (including the NCA) as one new 'Single Competent Authority'. The original Freedom of Information request falls significantly outside of the cessation of the NCA's involvement in NRM decision-making which is now solely managed by the Home Office. The Act does not list the Home Office as a named "security body" which, therefore, invalidates your rejection on the grounds of Section 23(1).

- Precedent -
Forms of this data are already in the public domain. MS1 forms, or 'duties to notify', are outlined in HM Government's annual Modern Slavery Report released on 18th October in three consecutive years. Furthermore, one constabulary (City London) has already provided the report logs requested. The disclosure of identical information by a similar policing body, along with Government and Home Office's willingness to provide similar data on referrals, further discredits your claim that the requested data has any security implications under Section 23 in its entirety, let alone 23(1) specifically.

- Public interest test -
In light of the irrelevant application of Section 23(1) in the rejection of case ref 003703/19, a public interest test therefore applies to this request. The data requested does not pertain to any sensitive information with security implications or information relating to the crime itself. The data references opening codes listed in the Home Office Counting Rules which pertain only to referrals to support for victims. To deny the clear public interest in victims' recourse to both justice and crime-specific aftercare as a result of crime reporting is to ignore the significant attention media outlets, the public, and policy makers pay to data integrity matters. The simple information requested by myself in the first instance is clearly capable of passing a public interest test.

For these reasons outlined, I wish for this case to be reconsidered as part of an internal review, and will revoke my corresponding complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office upon a satisfactory response.

Yours sincerely,

M Esslemont

Freedom of Information,

Dear Sir/Madam

 

FOI Internal Review Reference: 019118/19

 

Thank you for your correspondence, received 04/11/2019 where you requested
West Midlands Police to review its response to your request for
information concerning slavery and human trafficking incident reports
logged by the force under specified NRM opening codes.

The force responded to you on 1^st November 2019, under FOI reference
17934/19, and refused to supply the information as it was exempt from
disclosure by virtue of Section 23(1) Information supplied by or
concerning certain Security Bodies.

 

REQUEST

You have requested that the force reviews its response on the basis that
you believe that FOIA 2000 Section 23(1) exemption has been incorrectly
applied.

 

RESPONSE

I have reviewed the request and the reply provided on 1^st November 2019
and can advise that the force followed national guidance in relation to
the application of exemption/s and so acted appropriately in its initial
response to you. However, the national stance has now changed and this
means that the force is now in a position to re-consider providing the
information requested. Please see the force updated response below.

 

Question/s:

Please provide the number of incident reports logged by your constabulary
under the following opening codes between the periods of 1 June 2019 and
September 31 2019.

 

N200/01 - NRM referral pending reasonable grounds decision

N200/02 - NRM referral negative reasonable grounds decision

N200/03 - NRM referral - Duty to notify only

N200/04 - NRM referral - Positive reasonable Grounds/Police Referral -
Outside England and Wales

N200/05 - NRM referral - Negative reasonable Grounds - Outside
England/Wales

N200/06 - NRM referral - transferred to another force in England and Wales

 

Please note that logged incidents should not be omitted on the basis of
their eventual recording status. This request is for incident reports that
fit the above criteria, which may or may not eventually be recorded.

Updated REPLY:

 

N200/01 3
N200/02 0
N200/03 0
N200/04 0
N200/05 0
N200/06 3

 

Please be advised that there is currently a backlog of transposing NRM
referrals onto force systems. Consequently, at the point of recording, a
Reasonable Grounds decision has been reached in nearly all cases. This
effectively removes the demand for N200/01 in all but the most urgent
cases. Recording is prioritised by those that are most likely to be
investigated by WMP, broadly speaking, this may not include referrals that
fall into the categories of N200/02-05.

 

I hope that this is of assistance.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mrs R Williams

 

 

59614 Rebecca Williams l FOI Manager

Lloyd House l West Midlands Police

T: 101 (ext 801 2068)

Preventing crime, protecting the public and helping those in need.

[1]If it’s not 999, search WMP Online

 

This email is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged
or confidential information. If received in error, please notify the
originator immediately. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. Views or opinions
expressed in this email do not necessarily represent those of West
Midlands Police. All West Midlands Police email activity is monitored for
virus, racist, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate activity. No
responsibility is accepted by West Midlands Police for any loss or damage
arising in any way from the receipt or use of this email.

References

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