Operation Circus request

Martin Walkerdine 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 partially successful.

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Between 1985 to 1988 approx the Met ran a police operation called Circus which certains suspects were convicted of abusing children at King's Cross and Piccadilly Circus, London.

Can you confirm which Security Services provided information for your police operation to get convictions was it MI5 or MI6 or was it Special Branch within The Met.

Can you confirm that former MET Commander Sir Trevor Lloyd-Hughes was suspect who lived at 14 Westminster Gardens, Victoria, London during his time at The MET and was this the reason the security services were involved in Operation Circus.

Can you confirm if that any members of the House of Commons staff were suspects and if so how many were arrested, charged and convicted and what were the charges relating to each person and also the ages of each person and what were the prison sentences for each.

How many other suspects were charged and convicted including ages and what were the prison sentences for each.

Who made the decision to close down Operation Circus and what was the reason for it to end was it cost of manpower or was it other factors etc.

Yours faithfully,
Mr Martin Walkerdine

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr. Walkerdine

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2015120001145

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 24/12/2015.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

"Between 1985 to 1988 approx the Met ran a police operation called Circus
which certains suspects were convicted of abusing children at King's Cross
and Piccadilly Circus, London.
     
Can you confirm which Security Services provided information for your
police operation to get convictions was it MI5 or MI6 or was it Special
Branch within The Met.
     
Can you confirm that former MET Commander Sir Trevor Lloyd-Hughes was
suspect who lived at 14 Westminster Gardens, Victoria, London during his
time at The MET and was this the reason the security services were
involved in Operation Circus.
     
Can you confirm if that any members of the House of Commons staff were
suspects and if so how many were arrested, charged and convicted and what
were the charges relating to each person and also the ages of each person
and what were the prison sentences for each.
     
How many other suspects were charged and convicted including ages and what
were the prison sentences for each.
     
Who made the decision to close down Operation Circus and what was the
reason for it to end was it cost of manpower or was it other factors etc."

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 Walkerdine

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2015120001145

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 24/12/2015.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

Between 1985 to 1988 approx the Met ran a police operation called Circus
which certains suspects were convicted of abusing children at King's Cross
and Piccadilly Circus, London.     Can you confirm which Security Services
provided information for your police operation to get convictions was it
MI5 or MI6 or was it Special Branch within The Met.     Can you confirm
that former MET Commander Sir Trevor Lloyd-Hughes was suspect who lived at
14 Westminster Gardens, Victoria, London during his time at The MET and
was this the reason the security services were involved in Operation
Circus.     Can you confirm if that any members of the House of Commons
staff were suspects and if so how many were arrested, charged and
convicted and what were the charges relating to each person and also the
ages of each person and what were the prison sentences for each.     How
many other suspects were charged and convicted including ages and what
were the prison sentences for each.     Who made the decision to close
down Operation Circus and what was the reason for it to end was it cost of
manpower or was it other factors etc.

I am sorry to inform you that we have not been able to complete our
response to your request by the date originally stated, as a result we
will not be able to respond within 20 working days.

I can now advise you that the amended date for a response is the
22/02/2016 although i hope to have a response to you before this date.

May I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

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 write
or email me, quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Paul O'Shea
Information Manager
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 Ms Walkerdine

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2015120001145

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 24/12/2015.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

Between 1985 to 1988 approx the Met ran a police operation called Circus
which certains suspects were convicted of abusing children at King's Cross
and Piccadilly Circus, London.     Can you confirm which Security Services
provided information for your police operation to get convictions was it
MI5 or MI6 or was it Special Branch within The Met.     Can you confirm
that former MET Commander Sir Trevor Lloyd-Hughes was suspect who lived at
14 Westminster Gardens, Victoria, London during his time at The MET and
was this the reason the security services were involved in Operation
Circus.     Can you confirm if that any members of the House of Commons
staff were suspects and if so how many were arrested, charged and
convicted and what were the charges relating to each person and also the
ages of each person and what were the prison sentences for each.     How
many other suspects were charged and convicted including ages and what
were the prison sentences for each.     Who made the decision to close
down Operation Circus and what was the reason for it to end was it cost of
manpower or was it other factors etc.

I am sorry to inform you that we have not been able to complete our
response to your request by the revised date stated, as a result we will
not be able to respond within 20 working days.
I can now advise you that the amended date for a response is the
21/03/2016 although i hope to have a response to you before this date.
May I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

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 write
or email me, quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Paul O'Shea
Information Manager
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 Walkerdine

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2015120001145

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 24/12/2015.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

Between 1985 to 1988 approx the Met ran a police operation called Circus
which certains suspects were convicted of abusing children at King's Cross
and Piccadilly Circus, London.     Can you confirm which Security Services
provided information for your police operation to get convictions was it
MI5 or MI6 or was it Special Branch within The Met.     Can you confirm
that former MET Commander Sir Trevor Lloyd-Hughes was suspect who lived at
14 Westminster Gardens, Victoria, London during his time at The MET and
was this the reason the security services were involved in Operation
Circus.     Can you confirm if that any members of the House of Commons
staff were suspects and if so how many were arrested, charged and
convicted and what were the charges relating to each person and also the
ages of each person and what were the prison sentences for each.     How
many other suspects were charged and convicted including ages and what
were the prison sentences for each.     Who made the decision to close
down Operation Circus and what was the reason for it to end was it cost of
manpower or was it other factors etc.
I am sorry to inform you that we have not been able to complete our
response to your request by the revised date stated, as a result we will
not be able to respond within 20 working days.

I can now advise you that the amended date for a response is the
20/04/2016 although i hope to have a response to you before this date.

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

Paul O'Shea
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

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)

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Walkerdine,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2015120001145

I respond in connection with your request for information which was
received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 24/12/2015.  I note
you seek access to the following information:

Between 1985 to 1988 approx the Met ran a police operation called Circus
which certains suspects were convicted of abusing children at King's Cross
and Piccadilly Circus, London.

1) Can you confirm which Security Services provided information for your
police operation to get convictions was it MI5 or MI6 or was it Special
Branch within The Met.
   
2) Can you confirm that former MET Commander Sir Trevor Lloyd-Hughes was
suspect who lived at 14 Westminster Gardens, Victoria, London during his
time at The MET and was this the reason the security services were
involved in Operation Circus.

3) Can you confirm if that any members of the House of Commons staff were
suspects and if so how many were arrested, charged and convicted and what
were the carges relating to each person and also the ages of each person
and what were the prison sentences for each.

4) How many other suspects were charged and convicted including ages and
what were the prison sentences for each.
 
5) Who made the decision to close down Operation Circus and what was the
reason for it to end was it cost of manpower or was it other factors etc.

EXTENT OF SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION

To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted
within the MPS.

DECISION

In relation to question 4 (How many other suspects were charged and
convicted including ages and what were the prison sentences for each?) it
has been decided to release this information.

Please find attached a spreadsheet entitled "Data" which answers this part
of the request.
 
In relation to any other information the MPS neither confirms nor denies
that any information exists in relation to your request

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 Act 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.

In accordance with the Act, this response represents a refusal under
Section 17(1) of the Act.

Your request relates to police investigations into allegations of historic
child sexual abuse and in that regard the MPS at this time neither
confirms nor denies that any information exists in relation to your
request by virtue of the following exemptions:

Section 23(5) Information Supplied by or concerning certain Security
Bodies
Section 30(3) Investigations
Section 31(3) Law Enforcement
Section 40(5) Personal Information

Should it be held, constituents of this information would attract Section
23, other constituents Section 30, other constituents Section 31and other
constituents attract Section 40 of the Act.

It should not be surmised that should the information be held by the MPS
that we would be applying Sections 23, 30, 31 and 40 to the same pieces of
information.

Please see the legal annex for the sections of the Act that are referred
to in this response.    

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

Section 30 is a class based qualified exemption and consideration of the
public interest must be given as to whether neither confirming nor denying
the information exists is the appropriate response.

Section 31 is a qualified exemption for which the MPS is required to
articulate the harm that would be caused in confirming or denying that the
information is held as well as carrying out a public interest test.

Section 30 Factors against maintaining a neither confirm nor deny stance

To confirm whether or not the MPS holds information relevant to your
request would satisfy the public need to know which individuals are linked
to investigations related to historic child sexual abuse. This would allow
them to exercise their rights to access such material and would allow the
public to be better informed.

Section 30 Factors favouring maintaining a neither confirm nor deny stance

By confirming or not that information is held would in this case disclose
what facts may or may not exist in relation to ongoing investigations of
this nature. If doing so would harm an investigation, denying justice to
the victims or jeopardising such an investigation from reaching a
satisfactory conclusion then it would not be in the public interest to do
so.

Balance Test

Confirming or denying that certain material was or was not held in this
case would harm any ongoing investigation and would hinder any review of
child sexual abuse on a national level, therefore it cannot be in the
public interest to do so.

However, this should not be taken as necessarily indicating that any
information that would meet your request does or does not exist.

Section 31 - Evidence of Harm

In considering whether or not the MPS confirm or deny they hold the
information requested,  I have considered the potential harm that could be
caused by such a disclosure.

Section 31 - Public Interest Test

The public interest is not what interests the public but what will be of
greater good if released to the community as a whole. It is not in the
public interest to disclose information that may compromise the MPS's
ability to complete any ongoing or future criminal investigations.

The release of such information if it exists would reveal policing tactics
regarding who was of interest to the police generally. 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.

Information disclosed under the Act 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 disrupt any police investigation as it would by a
process of elimination, enable them to identify whether specific people
have or have not been subject of a police investigation.
This would lead to an increase of harm to either the investigation itself
or the subject of the investigation.

To release details as to whether specific individuals have or have not
been investigated would enable any member of the public to define and
identify who or who is not of interest to the MPS.

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.

Section 31 Factors favouring confirmation or denial

By confirming or denying whether any information is held would enable the
public to have a better understanding of the type of police processes
employed by the MPS in carrying out their law enforcement role.

Better public awareness may reduce crime or lead to more information from
the public about individuals who they believe may be linked to crimes of
child abuse.

This information, if it exists, could be a useful deterrent to those with
criminal intent as the abilities and capabilities of the MPS who are
charged with enforcing the law by preventing and detecting crime and
protecting the communities we serve will be apparent.

Section 31 Factors against confirmation or denial

By confirming or denying that any information exists, law enforcement
would be compromised which would hinder the prevention and detection of
crime. More crime would be committed and individuals would be placed at
risk. This would result in further risks to the public and consequently
require the use of more MPS resources.

Disclosure of information, if it exists would provide valuable
intelligence which would be useful to criminals in identifying methods of
legitimate law enforcement techniques which may or may not be used by the
MPS

Disclosure of information, if held would technically be releasing
sensitive operational information into the public domain which would
enable those with the time, capacity and inclination to try and map
strategies used by the MPS.

Additionally, MPS resources and its ability to operate effectively and
efficiently would directly be affected as information, if it exists can be
manipulated by those with criminal intent to operate in those areas.

Release of this information, if it exists would adversely affect the
public's willingness to come forward if they know how the MPS gathers
intelligence on such matters and how witness statements are garnered and
assured.

Balance Test - Section 31 Law Enforcement

If it exists, the disclosure of this information to the public by the MPS
would undermine individuals' confidence in helping the MPS and would
furthermore impact on the trust of witnesses in making statements in the
future.

Anything that undermines this would have a detrimental affect reducing the
quality of information the MPS receives and consequently compromise any
ongoing or future investigations.

Therefore, I consider that considerations favouring non-disclosure of the
requested information, if it exists, far outweighs the considerations
favouring disclosure.

Section 40 - Personal Information

Section 40 is an absolute class based exemption.

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.

To confirm or deny whether personal information exists in response to your
request could publicly reveal information about an individual or
individuals, thereby breaching the First Principle of the Data Protection
Act, that of fairness.

No inference can be drawn from this response as to the existence or not of
the information requested.

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

Yours sincerely

James Young
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 23(5) of the Act provides:

(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).

Section 30(3) of the Act provides:

(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to information
which is (or if it were held by the public authority would be) exempt
information by virtue of subsection (1) or (2).

Section 31(3) of the Act provides:

(3)The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that,
compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice
any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1).

Section 40(5) of the Act provides:

(5) The duty to confirm or deny-
(a) does not arise in relation to information which is (or if it were held
by the public authority would be) exempt information by virtue of
subsection (1), and
(b) does not arise in relation to other information if or to the extent
that either-
(i) the giving to a member of the public of the confirmation or denial
that would have to be given to comply with section 1(1)(a) would (apart
from this Act) contravene any of the data protection principles or section
10 of the [1998 c. 29.] Data Protection Act 1998 or would do so if the
exemptions in section 33A(1) of that Act were disregarded, or
(ii) by virtue of any provision of Part IV of the [1998 c. 29.] Data
Protection Act 1998 the information is exempt from section 7(1)(a) of that
Act (data subject's right to be informed whether personal data being
processed).
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.

 

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