Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Three units were moved to the Metropolitan police from ACPO early in 2010, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit NPOIU, the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU) and the National Domestic Extremism Team (NDET).

They appear to be known now simply as the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU).

Under ACPO the annual budget for these teams was made public, the last available yearly figure being in the region of £9m.

Could you please supply me with the budget allocated to the NDEU for 2011.

Yours faithfully,

Val Swain

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Ms. Swain

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012010001301
I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 10/01/2012.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

"Three units were moved to the Metropolitan police from ACPO early in
2010, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit NPOIU, the National
Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU) and the National Domestic
Extremism Team (NDET).        
They appear to be known now simply as the National Domestic Extremism Unit
(NDEU).        

Under ACPO the annual budget for these teams was made public, the last
available yearly figure being in the region of **9m.        
Could you please supply me with the budget allocated to the NDEU for 2011.
"

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, subject to
the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third
party.  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.

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.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

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

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

Yours sincerely

R. Loizou
Policy and Support Officer
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 and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer 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 case officer that is nominated 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
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
Public Access Office
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.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

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).

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Ms Swain

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012010001301
I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 10/01/2012.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

Three units were moved to the Metropolitan police from ACPO early

     in 2010, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit NPOIU, the

     National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU) and the

     National Domestic Extremism Team (NDET).
   
     They appear to be known now simply as the National Domestic

     Extremism Unit (NDEU).

     Under ACPO the annual budget for these teams was made public, the

     last available yearly figure being in the region of £9m.

          Could you please supply me with the budget allocated to the NDEU

     for 2011.

Before I explain the decisions I have made in relation to your request, I
thought that it would be helpful to outline the parameters set out by the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) within which a request for
information can be answered.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 creates a statutory right of access to
information held by public authorities. A public authority in receipt of a
request must, if permitted, state under Section 1(a) of the Act, whether
it holds the requested information and, if held, then communicate that
information to the applicant under Section 1(b) of the Act.

The right of access to information is not without exception and is subject
to a number of exemptions which are designed to enable public authorities
to withhold information that is unsuitable for release. Importantly 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.

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 23 Information from or relating to certain security bodies
Section 24(1) National Security
Section 31 (1) (a) and (b) Law Enforcement)

See legal annexe for the full definitions of these exemptions.

Section 23 is an absolute exemption and I am therefore not required to
complete a Public Interest Test or provide evidence of harm

Section 24(1) and Section 31(1)
These are qualified exemptions for which I am required to conduct a public
interest test and provide evidence of harm

In order to provide you with a bit of background information in 2011 NDEU
became part of the MPS and came under the command of the  Operational
Command Unit (OCU )known as the Counter Terrorism Command which is under
the umbrella of Specialist Operations (SO)

Harm
FOIA is considered to be a release to the world as once the information is
published the public authority in this case the MPS has no control over
what use is made of that information. Whilst not questioning the motives
of the applicant it could be of use to those who seek to cause harm or
circumvent police tactics. To release details of the further breakdown
into various OCUs than that which is already publicly available would
enable any member of the public to calculate the size of the various OCUs
which come under the budget of SO. The MPS already publishes details of
salaries for Police Officers and given that any budget is considered to be
over 90% related to salary (inc overtime etc ) it would not take much
effort to calculate how many officers are working in each OCU. The effect
of this information being available to the applicant and more importantly
those who may wish to cause harm to the people of London by terrorist or
extremist action would require the MPS to actually have to increase the
amount of officers available to them thus increasing the cost to the
public purse.  There are a number of specialist OCUs under the banner of
SO and to start to breakdown the budget of SO into the various OCUs under
the SO banner would provide details of police arrangements which would
render security measures less effective.

Factors favouring disclosure for S24
The information simply relates to national security and disclosure would
not actually harm it. The public are entitled to know how public funds are
spent.

Factors against disclosure for S24
By disclosing any policing arrangements would render security measures
less effective. This would lead to the compromise of ongoing or future
operations to protect the security or infrastructure of the UK and
increase the risk of harm to the public. To counter this a full review of
security measures would be needed and additional costs would be incurred.

Factors favouring disclosure for S31
Providing budget or cost information in relation to SO OCUs would see
where public funds are being spent and people would be able to take steps
to protect themselves and their families. Better public awareness may
reduce crime or lead to more information from the public.

Factors against disclosure for S31
Providing budget or cost information in relation to SO OCUs would lead to
law enforcement tactics being compromised which would hinder the
prevention and detection of crime. Security arrangements and tactics are
re-used and have been monitored by criminal groups, fixated individuals
and terrorists. These security arrangements and tactics would need to be
reviewed which would require more resources and would add to the cost to
the public purse.

Balance test
The security of the country is of paramount importance and the Police
Service will not divulge information if to do so would place the safety of
any individual at risk or undermine National Security. Whilst there is a
public interest in the of transparency of policing operations and
providing assurance that the police service is appropriately and
effectively engaging with the threat posed by criminals, there is a very
strong public interest in safeguarding both national security and the
integrity of police investigations and operations in the highly sensitive
area of terrorism prevention. The public interest is defined not as what
the public might find interesting but there must be some tangible benefit
to the public in the disclosure of the interest. In this case whether the
request is about a budget or the size of a unit the net result of
publishing that information would be that a review would need to be
conducted, plans changed to ensure that the threat level was effectively
challenged and new plans would need to be developed to counter terrorist
activity which invariably would require extra resources, adding extra
burden to the public purse if the information had not been released.

Furthermore the police along with other organizations are expected to
implement and work towards the government counter terrorism strategy
CONTEST. The NDEU aim is to provide support for all the four Contest
strands Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare. To disclose the costs of
working towards these goals would undermine the aims and objectives of the
government counter terrorism strategy.

As much as there is public interest in knowing that policing activity is
appropriate and balanced, in matters of national security this will only
be overridden in exceptional circumstances. The area of counter terrorism
is a sensitive one and it is of our opinion that for these reasons the
balancing test for providing a breakdown of Specialist Operation budgets
to provide the budget of the NDEU for 2012 is not made out

   
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

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

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

Yours sincerely,

Karen Fox
Information Manager

Legal Annexe
Section 23
(1) Information held by a public authority is exempt information if it was
directly or indirectly supplied to the public authority by, or relates to,
any of the bodies specified.
Section 24(1)
(1) Information which does not fall within section 23 is exempt
information if exemption from section1(1)(b) is required for the purpose
of safeguarding bational security
Section 31(1) 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,
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,
In complying with their statutory duty under sections 1 and 11 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed information, the
Metropolitan Police Service 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 MPS Directorate of Legal
Services, 1st Floor (Victoria Block), New Scotland Yard, Victoria, London,
SW1H 0BG.
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.

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
Public Access Office
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.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

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).

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)'s handling of my FOI request 'National Domestic Extremism Unit Budget'.

The MPS have refused to provide a budget figure for the running of the domestic extremism unit. The MPS claim that this could circumvent policing operations, and it is not in the public interest for this information to be provided.

This unit transferred to the MPS from ACPO, who, in contrast to the MPS, were able to provide figures for its annual running costs. The last figure which was made public put annual costs in the region of £9m.

The work of the domestic extremism unit has attracted a great deal of public concern, and HMIC was prompted by those concerns to carry out an investigation and publish its recent report. There is clearly a very strong case that the public should be allowed to know the cost to the public purse of policing this unit.

Additionally, it is hard to see how publishing the costs to the public of this unit would 'circumvent policing' whereas last year under ACPO the figures were freely available without, it seems, causing significant problems.

Please could you review the decision to issue a refusal notice for this request.

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

Yours faithfully,

Val Swain

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

You stated in the last correspondence I received from you that you would aim to respond to my complaint within 20 days

More than 20 working days have now passed since I submitted my request for an internal review on 7th February. You have not provided any reason for the continued delay. Please could you advise me as to when I should expect to receive your response?

Yours faithfully,

Val Swain

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Apologies for the delay and I have forwarded your email to the Public Access Office as they are the people who should be carrying out the internal review

Karen Fox

Information Manager
Freedom of Information
Room 1514
Counter Terrorism Command
New Scotland Yard
Broadway
London
SW1H 0BG

-----Original Message-----
From: Val Swain [mailto:[FOI #99873 email]]
Sent: 12 March 2012 10:22
To: Fox Karen - SO15
Subject: Re: NDEU budget for 2011

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

You stated in the last correspondence I received from you that you
would aim to respond to my complaint within 20 days

More than 20 working days have now passed since I submitted my
request for an internal review on 7th February. You have not
provided any reason for the continued delay. Please could you
advise me as to when I should expect to receive your response?

Yours faithfully,

Val Swain

-----Original Message-----

Dear Ms Swain

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012010001301
I write in connection with your request for information which was
received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 10/01/2012.  I note
you seek
access to the following information:

Three units were moved to the Metropolitan police from ACPO early

     in 2010, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit NPOIU,
the

     National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU) and the

     National Domestic Extremism Team (NDET).
   
     They appear to be known now simply as the National Domestic

     Extremism Unit (NDEU).

     Under ACPO the annual budget for these teams was made public,
the

     last available yearly figure being in the region of £9m.

          Could you please supply me with the budget allocated to
the NDEU

     for 2011.

Before I explain the decisions I have made in relation to your
request, I
thought that it would be helpful to outline the parameters set out
by the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) within which a request
for
information can be answered.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 creates a statutory right of
access to
information held by public authorities. A public authority in
receipt of a
request must, if permitted, state under Section 1(a) of the Act,
whether
it holds the requested information and, if held, then communicate
that
information to the applicant under Section 1(b) of the Act.

The right of access to information is not without exception and is
subject
to a number of exemptions which are designed to enable public
authorities
to withhold information that is unsuitable for release.
Importantly 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.

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 23 Information from or relating to certain security bodies
Section 24(1) National Security
Section 31 (1) (a) and (b) Law Enforcement)

See legal annexe for the full definitions of these exemptions.

Section 23 is an absolute exemption and I am therefore not
required to
complete a Public Interest Test or provide evidence of harm

Section 24(1) and Section 31(1)
These are qualified exemptions for which I am required to conduct
a public
interest test and provide evidence of harm

In order to provide you with a bit of background information in
2011 NDEU
became part of the MPS and came under the command of the
 Operational
Command Unit (OCU )known as the Counter Terrorism Command which is
under
the umbrella of Specialist Operations (SO)

Harm
FOIA is considered to be a release to the world as once the
information is
published the public authority in this case the MPS has no control
over
what use is made of that information. Whilst not questioning the
motives
of the applicant it could be of use to those who seek to cause
harm or
circumvent police tactics. To release details of the further
breakdown
into various OCUs than that which is already publicly available
would
enable any member of the public to calculate the size of the
various OCUs
which come under the budget of SO. The MPS already publishes
details of
salaries for Police Officers and given that any budget is
considered to be
over 90% related to salary (inc overtime etc ) it would not take
much
effort to calculate how many officers are working in each OCU. The
effect
of this information being available to the applicant and more
importantly
those who may wish to cause harm to the people of London by
terrorist or
extremist action would require the MPS to actually have to
increase the
amount of officers available to them thus increasing the cost to
the
public purse.  There are a number of specialist OCUs under the
banner of
SO and to start to breakdown the budget of SO into the various
OCUs under
the SO banner would provide details of police arrangements which
would
render security measures less effective.

Factors favouring disclosure for S24
The information simply relates to national security and disclosure
would
not actually harm it. The public are entitled to know how public
funds are
spent.

Factors against disclosure for S24
By disclosing any policing arrangements would render security
measures
less effective. This would lead to the compromise of ongoing or
future
operations to protect the security or infrastructure of the UK and
increase the risk of harm to the public. To counter this a full
review of
security measures would be needed and additional costs would be
incurred.

Factors favouring disclosure for S31
Providing budget or cost information in relation to SO OCUs would
see
where public funds are being spent and people would be able to
take steps
to protect themselves and their families. Better public awareness
may
reduce crime or lead to more information from the public.

Factors against disclosure for S31
Providing budget or cost information in relation to SO OCUs would
lead to
law enforcement tactics being compromised which would hinder the
prevention and detection of crime. Security arrangements and
tactics are
re-used and have been monitored by criminal groups, fixated
individuals
and terrorists. These security arrangements and tactics would need
to be
reviewed which would require more resources and would add to the
cost to
the public purse.

Balance test
The security of the country is of paramount importance and the
Police
Service will not divulge information if to do so would place the
safety of
any individual at risk or undermine National Security. Whilst
there is a
public interest in the of transparency of policing operations and
providing assurance that the police service is appropriately and
effectively engaging with the threat posed by criminals, there is
a very
strong public interest in safeguarding both national security and
the
integrity of police investigations and operations in the highly
sensitive
area of terrorism prevention. The public interest is defined not
as what
the public might find interesting but there must be some tangible
benefit
to the public in the disclosure of the interest. In this case
whether the
request is about a budget or the size of a unit the net result of
publishing that information would be that a review would need to
be
conducted, plans changed to ensure that the threat level was
effectively
challenged and new plans would need to be developed to counter
terrorist
activity which invariably would require extra resources, adding
extra
burden to the public purse if the information had not been
released.

Furthermore the police along with other organizations are expected
to
implement and work towards the government counter terrorism
strategy
CONTEST. The NDEU aim is to provide support for all the four
Contest
strands Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare. To disclose the
costs of
working towards these goals would undermine the aims and
objectives of the
government counter terrorism strategy.

As much as there is public interest in knowing that policing
activity is
appropriate and balanced, in matters of national security this
will only
be overridden in exceptional circumstances. The area of counter
terrorism
is a sensitive one and it is of our opinion that for these reasons
the
balancing test for providing a breakdown of Specialist Operation
budgets
to provide the budget of the NDEU for 2012 is not made out

   
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

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

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

Yours sincerely,

Karen Fox
Information Manager

Legal Annexe
Section 23
(1) Information held by a public authority is exempt information
if it was
directly or indirectly supplied to the public authority by, or
relates to,
any of the bodies specified.
Section 24(1)
(1) Information which does not fall within section 23 is exempt
information if exemption from section1(1)(b) is required for the
purpose
of safeguarding bational security
Section 31(1) 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,
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,
In complying with their statutory duty under sections 1 and 11 of
the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed
information, the
Metropolitan Police Service 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 MPS Directorate of
Legal
Services, 1st Floor (Victoria Block), New Scotland Yard, Victoria,
London,
SW1H 0BG.
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.

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
Public Access Office
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.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

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).

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #99873 email]

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Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

It is now more than two months since I requested an internal review of this decision. Other than an apology for the delay (received a month ago) I have not had a response.

Please could you advise me as to when you will be in a position to provide me with the outcome of your internal review?

Yours faithfully,

Val Swain

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Ms Swain

Freedom of Information Internal Review Reference No: 2012020001106

I write in connection with your correspondence dated 07/02/2012 requesting
that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) review its response dated
07/02/2012 to Freedom of Information request reference number
2012010001301.  The request was as follows:

'Could you please supply me with the budget allocated to the NDEU for
2011.'

DECISION

The MPS response dated 19/07/2011 advised you that the information
requested was exempt subject to the provisions of:

· Section 17(1) - Refusal of Request
· Section 23(1) - Information supplied by, or concerning, certain security
bodies
· Section 24(1) - National Security
· Section 31(1) - Law Enforcement

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has completed its review and has
decided to:
· Vary the decision

Upon review, I have decided to withdraw the application of section 23(1).

REASON FOR DECISION

Please see the legal annex for the sections of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 are referred to in this letter.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 creates a statutory right of access to
information held by public authorities. A public authority in receipt of a
request must confirm whether they hold the requested information and if
so, communicate it to the applicant. Furthermore, the Freedom of
Information Act is designed to place information into the public domain.
Therefore, once access to information is granted to one person under the
Act, it is then considered to be public information and must be
communicated to any individual upon request. In accordance with this
principle, the MPS routinely publishes information disclosed under the
Freedom of Information Act on the MPS Internet site
(http://www.met.police.uk/foi/disclosure/...).

The right of access to information is subject to a number of exemptions
that are designed to enable public authorities to withhold information
that is not suitable for release.

Summary of MPS response dated 07/02/2012 (ref:2012010001301)

The MPS response dated 07/02/2012 explained the following:
·        The letter served as a refusal notice under section 17(1) of the
Act.
·        The information requested is exempt subject to section 23(1),
section 24(1) and section 31(1).
·        Section 23 is an absolute exemption, therefore the MPS is not
required to evidence the harm in disclosure or consider the public
interest.
·        An FOIA disclosure is considered to be a release to the world.
·        The information requested could be of use to those who seek to
cause harm to any person in receipt of protection for whatever reason.
·        In 2011, the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU) became part
of the MPS Counter Terrorism Command which is under the umbrella of
Specialist Operations (SO)
·        To release budgetary details of the various Operational Command
Units (OCUs) in addition to information that is available in the public
domain would facilitate the calculation of the size of the various OCUs
that come under the budget of SO.
·        The information requested would provide details of police
arrangements which would render security measures less effective.
·        The effect of this information being available to those who may
wish to cause harm to the people of London by terrorist or extremist
action would be to increase the costs associated with Specialist
Operations

Public Interest factors favouring disclosure
·        Public funds (section 24, section 31)
·        Public awareness (section 31)

Public Interest factors favouring non-disclosure
·        Compromise national security (section 24)
·        Prevention and detection of crime (section 31)

Balance Test
·        Disclosure would require a review to be conducted and existing
plans to be amended and an increase in the allocation of resources to
maintain existing levels of security.
·        The harm has also been considered in the context of the
government counter terrorism strategy CONTEST
·        The balance of the public interest favoured non-disclosure

I believe that the MPS response has correctly identified the relevant harm
and public interest considerations.  Furthermore, the response is
consistent with previous MPS responses, Information Commissioner’s Office
(ICO) decision notices and First-Tier Information Rights Tribunal
decisions in relation to similar requests for information.

With this in mind, I have identified additional harm to support the
decision explained to you in the original response to you request.

Section 24(1) - National Security

The Information Commissioner’s guidance on the National Security exemption
states the following:

‘The exemption is based on the effect that disclosure would have, not on
the content or source of the information.’

‘“National security” is not defined in law but it is capable of a wide
interpretation. The interests of national security are not limited
directly to preventing military and terrorist attacks on the UK but
include the safety of UK citizens abroad, the protection of our democratic
constitution, the effective operation of national security bodies, and
co-operation with other countries in fighting international terrorism.’

http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/...

Your request relates to domestic extremism which is within the remit of
the MPS Counter Terrorism Command (CTC) unit, also known as SO15.

Your correspondence dated 07/02/2012 states:

‘it is hard to see how publishing the costs to the public of this unit
would 'circumvent policing' whereas last year under ACPO the figures were
freely available without, it seems, causing significant problems.’

The fact that the NDEU has been transferred to the MPS means that the
budget for the NDEU is part of the budget for the MPS Specialists
Operations.  Whilst the overall budget for Specialist Operations is in the
public domain, additional detail in relation to specific units within
Specialist Operations is not in the public domain.  Disclosing the budget
allocation in relation to specific Specialist Operations units may be
harmful as it would facilitate further comparisons and calculations that
may enable a group or individuals to ascertain or infer the relative
strength and resources allocated to other Specialist Operations Units
dealing with issues of national security.  This would include
Counter-Terrorism and Specialist Protection Units.  This would not have
been a consideration when the unit was part of ACPO.

Furthermore, individuals and groups with criminal intent are known to
conduct reconnaissance, study past patterns of movement and behaviour and
collect information using open sources.  

For example, the United Nations ‘Report of the Working Group on Countering
the Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes’ cites 2 recent examples of
terrorist attacks that were facilitated by access to information available
on the Internet and states the following in relation to data mining:

‘15. Three States wrote that they considered data mining on the Internet
to be an important use of the medium by terrorists or for terrorist
purposes. The Al-Qaida terrorist manual captured in Afghanistan notes that
‘using sources openly available, it is possible to gather at least 80 per
cent of all information acquired about the enemy.’

http://www.un.org/terrorism/pdfs/wg6-int...

The Al-Qaeda terrorist training manual also describes how the degree to
which a society is open will affect the amount of information that can be
obtained from open sources such as newspapers, magazines, books,
periodicals, official publications, broadcasts and the opinion comments or
jokes of common people.

In relation to the remaining 20%, the manual indicates that this can be
obtained through covert means.  The manual identifies 2 types of
information that may need to be gathered via covert means.  The first of
these relates to ‘Information about government personnel, officers,
important personalities, and all matters related to those (residence, work
place, times of leaving and returning, wives and children, places
visited)’

http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/aqmanu...

The fact that individuals with criminal intent are known to data mine open
sources of information means that disclosing the information requested
presents a real risk of harm to the law enforcement and national security
functions of Specialist Operations Units.

It should be noted that the current terrorist threat level to the UK, as
set by the security service (MI5), is ‘Substantial’. The Home Office
website explains that ‘this means that a terrorist attack is a strong
possibility’.

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

Similar arguments were cited by the MPS in relation to a different request
regarding the cost of Royalty Protection. Decision Notice FS50368290
stated the following in relation to this request:

’26. The Commissioner can understand why the complainant considers the
disputed information is itself insignificant in the context of national
security. However, it is the potential value of the disputed information
in the hands of those who constitute a threat to national security that
must be considered. There is no requirement for the public authority to
demonstrate that there is a specific and imminent threat from disclosure,
it is sufficient that the public authority has been able to demonstrate
that, the disputed information in the wrong hands could indirectly create
a real possibility of harm to national security.’

‘The Commissioner therefore finds that in all the circumstances of the
case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the
public interest in disclosure. Whilst the disclosure of the headline
figure requested would provide relatively limited insight into national
security matters, the Commissioner accepts that the effect of disclosure
could be to undermine aspects of the public authority’s Protection Command
and those, including the public, who are served by it.’

http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/...

Public Interest Test - Section 24 & 31

The harm identified above supports the rationale provided to you in the
initial response to your request regarding section 24 and 31 of the Act.
 Having reviewed the response to your request, I have agreed with the
original public interest test rationale and decision that favoured neither
confirming nor denying whether information was held.  This is with the
exception of the use of section 23(1).  This is because the exemptions
provided by section 23(1) and 24(1) are mutually exclusive i.e. they
cannot both be used in relation to the same information.  Therefore,
please refer to the original MPS response dated 07/02/2012 for a full
public interest test.

Advice and Assistance

You may be interested in the following recent decision notices and
First-Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) decisions in relation to similar
FoIA requests where the MPS have been able to demonstrate the harm that
may be caused by disclosing the cost or budget allocation in relation to
Specialist Operations units:

Decision Notice FS50368290
http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/...

Decision Notice FS50251014
http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/...

Case No. EA/2011/0186
http://www.informationtribunal.gov.uk/DB...

Although these decision notices are in relation to requests for the cost
of a different Specialist Operations unit (i.e. SO14 Royalty Protection),
the considerations are broadly similar in relation to your request.

I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise for the time taken
to provide a substantive response to your request for an internal review.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to contact the Information
Commissioner with your complaint.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on 0207 161 3705 or at the address at the top of this letter,
quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Brian Wilson
FOIA Complaints Officer

LEGAL ANNEX

Section 1 (General right of access to information held by public
authorities) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 states:
(1) Any person making a request for information to a public authority is
entitled—
(a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds
information of the description specified in the request, and
(b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him.

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

Section 17(1) (Refusal of a request) of the Freedom of Information Act
2000 states:
A public authority which, in relation to any request for information, is
to any extent relying on a claim that any provision of 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 that fact,
(b)specifies the exemption in question, and
(c)states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies.

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

Section 23(1) (Information supplied by, or relating to, bodies dealing
with security matters) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 states:

(1)Information held by a public authority is exempt information if it 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 24(1) (National Security) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
states:
(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(1)(a) & (b) (Law Enforcement) of the Freedom of Information Act
2000 states::
(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,
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...
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 and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer 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 case officer that is nominated 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
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
Public Access Office
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.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

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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