Operation Flight

Shona Scott made this Freedom of Information request to Gwent Police

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

The request was successful.

Dear Gwent Police,
Re Operation Flight

1 What was the purpose, remit and terms of reference of the
operation
2 What dates it ran
3 What results it achieved in terms of number of arrests, number charged, number of convictions and for what offences for each
4 Who the Police officer was in charge and how many officers were on the operation
5 Why the operation was instigated
6 Where the operation was run from and what area did it cover
7 Why was the name chosen and whether it had always had that name or whether there were connected operations
8 Where this information is now kept, and in what form -physical or electronic
9 Which childrens homes were investigated

Yours faithfully,

Shona Scott

Freedom Of Information,

NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Dear Ms Scott,

Freedom of Information Enquiry Ref : 2013/16492

I acknowledge receipt of your query received by this office on 05 December 2013 requesting the following information:

Re Operation Flight

1 What was the purpose, remit and terms of reference of the operation
2 What dates it ran
3 What results it achieved in terms of number of arrests, number charged, number of convictions and for what offences for each
4 Who the Police officer was in charge and how many officers were on the operation
5 Why the operation was instigated
6 Where the operation was run from and what area did it cover
7 Why was the name chosen and whether it had always had that name or whether there were connected operations
8 Where this information is now kept, and in what form -physical or electronic

As set out by the Freedom of Information Act it will be our aim to respond to your request by 07 January 2014. In some cases, however, we may be unable to achieve this deadline. If this occurs we will advise you of the likely timescale within which the response will be provided.

Some requests may also require transference to another Authority in order to answer the query. Again you will be contacted if this is required.

If you have any questions regarding your request please contact me.

Regards,
 
Dylan
 
Dylan Collins
Swyddog Rhyddid Gwybodaeth / Freedom of Information Officer Ystafell 195 / Room 195 Heddlu Gwent Police, Pencadlys yr Heddlu / Police HQ, Croesyceiliog, Cwmbrân / Cwmbran
NP44 2XJ
 
Ffôn / Tel: 01633 643014
Mewnol / Internal: 710 2006
E-bost / Email: [Gwent Police request email]
 
Oeddech chi’n gwybod bod modd gweld gwybodaeth am Heddlu Gwent drwy Gynllun Cyhoeddi a Chofnod Datgeliadau Heddlu Gwent? Mae’r ddau ar gael drwy’r ddolen isod:
 
Did you know you can access information about Gwent Police via the Gwent Police Publication Scheme and Disclosure Log?  Both are available via the below link:
 
http://corporate.gwent.police.uk/foi/

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Freedom Of Information,

1 Attachment

NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Dear Ms Scott,

 

Freedom of Information Request 2013/16492

 

Thank you for your recent request under the Freedom of Information Act
2000 which was received in this office on the 5^th December 2013.

 

Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) places two duties
on public authorities.  Unless exemptions apply, the first duty at,
Section 1(1) (a), is to confirm or deny whether the information specified
in a request is held. The second duty at, Section1 (1) (b), is to disclose
information that has been confirmed as being held.

 

Under the provisions of those sections of FOIA, I can confirm that
information you requested is held by Gwent Police for the below questions
so we are able to comply with your request to supply information.

 

The information that you are seeking is in relation to the following:

 

Re: Operation Flight

 

Q1. What was the purpose, remit and terms of reference of the operation?

 

A1. In 1997 the South Wales Police commenced enquiries into both sexual
and physical abuse in a number of Children’s Homes in their area, this
enquiry was entitled “Operation Goldfinch 1”.

 

On the 5th of January 1998, a number of complaints of sexual and physical
abuse were received from South Wales Police, for investigation by the
Gwent Police. 

 

As a result an Incident Room was set up and the enquiry entitled,
“Operation Goldfinch 2” (Flight).  Since its inception the number of
complaints increased and a number of officers were conducting enquiries.

 

Operation Flight covered 31 establishments.

 

Operation Flight – Terms of Reference

 

(a) To fully investigate historic allegations of abuse relating to
children in care within the Gwent Police area preparing prosecution files
of evidence where required.

 

(b) Working within a multi-agency framework to identify as many victims as
possible to ensure as complete an enquiry as possible, thus eliminating
the need for any future investigations of this nature.

 

(c) Through a ‘Steering Group’ the SIO will keep all interested agencies
informed as to the progress of the investigation.

 

(d) To be the point of contact and administrators of the National
Historical Abuse Database.

 

(e) To be the Gwent point of contact with other forces conducting similar
investigations in other areas of the United Kingdom.

 

(f) To identify good and bad practice in all aspects of the principles of
“Working Together” relevant to the investigation of historical child abuse
and to disseminate this information.

 

The above initial terms of reference were subject to amendment as the
enquiry progressed.

 

Q2. What dates it ran?

 

A2. Operation Flight ran from approximately 1998 to 2003.

 

Q3. What results it achieved in terms of number of arrests, number
charged, number of convictions and for what offences for each?

 

A3. There are 176 suspects, 3 were convicted and the others are made up of
NFA (no further action), charged, acquitted, not guilty etc.  Offences
included sexual and physical complaints.

 

Q4. Who the Police officer was in charge and how many officers were on the
operation?

 

A4. The Police Officer in charge of the operation at the time the Senior
Investigating Officer was Superintendent Ian Johnston and the Deputy
Senior Investigating Officer was Detective Inspector Llewellyn, however
over time there were many staff changes.

 

There were also a number of officers attached to the operation including
Police Officers (comprising of a DI, DS’s, DC’s and PC’s), Police Staff,
retired Police Officers, Social Services and Admin personnel.

 

There was a fully operating incident room which included an Office
Manager, a Statement Reader, Action Allocator, 3 Indexers, and a
Researcher.

 

It is quite difficult to put an exact number on the staff as there were
many changes over this period.

 

Q5. Why the operation was instigated?

 

A5. Please see answer one.

 

Q6. Where the operation was run from and what area did it cover?

 

A6. The operation was based and run from Abergavenny Police Station. The
establishments covered the areas of Newport, Blackwood, Caldicot,
Monmouth, Chepstow, Ebbw Vale, Abergavenny and Caerphilly, however
enquiries took officers country wide.

 

Q7. Why was the name chosen and whether it had always had that name or
whether there were connected operations?

 

A7. Initially as a result of Operation Goldfinch 1 the Gwent Police
incident became Operation Goldfinch 2 and then changed to Operation
Flight. No Information is held as to why the name was changed.

 

Q8. Where this information is now kept, and in what form - physical or
electronic?

 

A8. The information in relation to Operation Flight is available to view
on an electronic database. There are also hard copies stored at Police
Headquarters.

 

In response to this Freedom of Information request Gwent Police would like
to point out the following.

The Freedom of Information Act is a piece of legislation which quite
rightly opens up public authorities to greater scrutiny and
accountability.

Under the provision of the Act an authority must process a request in
writing from a named applicant under the terms and conditions of the
legislation.  Whilst giving maximum support to individuals genuinely
seeking to exercise the right to know, the Commissioner's general approach
will be sympathetic towards authorities where requests can be
characterised as being part of a campaign. 

Therefore with regard to this request we are including a warning under
Section 14(1)(Vexatious Request)  of the Freedom of Information Act that
any future requests may attract this exemption.

 

The Freedom of Information Act is a public disclosure regime, not a
private regime. Any information disclosed under the Act is thereafter
deemed to be in the public domain, and therefore freely available to the
general public and will be published on the Gwent Police website.

 

I hope this information is satisfactory to your request however, should
you feel dissatisfied with this response or the way in which your request
was handled, I have attached the Gwent Police FOI Appeals Procedure for
your information.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Regards,

 

Dylan

 

Dylan Collins

Swyddog Rhyddid Gwybodaeth / Freedom of Information Officer

Ystafell 195 / Room 195

Heddlu Gwent Police,

Pencadlys yr Heddlu / Police HQ,

Croesyceiliog,

Cwmbrân / Cwmbran

NP44 2XJ

 

Ffôn / Tel: 01633 643014

Mewnol / Internal: 710 2006

E-bost / Email: [1][Gwent Police request email]

 

Oeddech chi’n gwybod bod modd gweld gwybodaeth am Heddlu Gwent drwy
Gynllun Cyhoeddi a Chofnod Datgeliadau Heddlu Gwent? Mae’r ddau ar gael
drwy’r ddolen isod:

 

Did you know you can access information about Gwent Police via the Gwent
Police Publication Scheme and Disclosure Log?  Both are available via the
below link:

 

[2]http://corporate.gwent.police.uk/foi/

 

NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

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Dear Dylan Freedom Of Information,

Freedom of Information Request 2013/16492

Many thanks for your reply on this, it was very useful.
Seasons Greetings

Yours sincerely,

Shona Scott