Operation Hyson

Neil Wilby made this Freedom of Information request to North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

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

Dear North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner,

In pursuit of detail to incorporate into an article challenging the validity of the Decison Notice 011/2015 dated 29th September, 2015 please provide the following information:

1. How many victims of crime in North Yorkshire have been provided with police funds to pursue civil claims in the financial years 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016 to date. Please also provide the sums involved and the nature of the civil claim.

2. Minutes of meetings, briefing notes and emails (internal and external) concerning Hyson. Emails where the sender or recipient holds the rank of superintendent or above should have their name visible.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby

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Information NYPCC,

Mr Wilby

Thank you for your request.

Simon

Simon Jones
Digital Engagement Officer

Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire
12 Granby Road | Harrogate | North Yorkshire | HG1 4ST
: 01423 569 562 | :  [email address]

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Malone, Ashley,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilby

 

Please find attached response to your Freedom of Information Act request
523.2016-17 made to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner on 5
September 2016.

 

Kind Regards

 

 

Ashley Malone

Collar Number 4951

Police Lawyer (Civil Disclosure)

Solicitor

Joint Corporate Legal Services

North Yorkshire Police

Committed to the Code of Ethics

Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number.
If using my collar number please state each number individually.

 

www.northyorkshire.police.uk

 

 

THIS EMAIL AND ANY ATTACHMENT(S) MAY BE SUBJECT TO LEGAL PROFESSIONAL
PRIVILEGE - PLEASE DO NOT DISCLOSE THE CONTENT TO ANYONE ELSE WITHOUT
ASKING JOINT CORPORATE LEGAL SERVICES

 

 

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Dear North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner's handling of my FOI request 'Operation Hyson'.

These are the grounds for complaint:

1. a. The policy regarding publication of personal information on this website is, presently, the subject of separate email discussions with CDU staff.

b. One is with Liz Fryar concerning the publication of personal data on this website in redacted form. I last emailed Ms Fryar on 28th September, 2016 in which I made my position clear. That email remains unacknowledged.

c. Another with Robert Bates (now taken over by Liz Fryar) concerning remedy for not only personal information published about me on this website by NYP/NYPCC CDU as part of finalisations (427.2016.17 and 330.2016.17), but false information. The remedy proposed thus far concerning those data breaches falls far short of what would be regarded, on an independent view, as satisfactory.

d. It is a ground for complaint that those matters at a. b. and c. should have been resolved prior to finalisation of this request. Even if it was necessary to delay the finalisation of the instant request. For the avoidance of doubt, and in the present circumstances, this complaint is made on the face of the finalisation provided on this website.

e. It is also a ground for complaint that the finalisation was not provided in full, and personal information redacted where deemed necessary.

2. The request has been refused as 'vexatious'. The test for a request to be deemed as such is “a manifestly unjustified, inappropriate or improper use of FOIA” (Information Commissioner v Devon County Council & Dransfield [2012] UKUT 440 (AAC)). The instant request does not go anywhere near reaching that threshold.

3. Judge Wikeley in Dransfield further held that "(classifying a request as vexatious) must not be used to avoid being held to account, or simply because the public authority faces a request the objective reason for which is not immediately self-evident".

4. The request has a serious and proper purpose. No evidence has been provided by the PCC, or sought, to the contrary. There has already been widespread publicity about Operation Hyson and the misuse of public funds, including this article in the national press headlined 'North Yorks Boors':

https://www.scribd.com/document/32317185...

5. It places no significant burden on either NYPCC, or it's CDU staff. The requested information should be readily to hand.

6. The request is short, plainly expressed and cannot, concievably, have been construed to cause distress, alarm or harassment.

7. It is part of a series of other requests made to NYP made by both myself and a large number of other requesters on the WhatDoTheyKnow website. None of the other requests have been deemed vexatious on WDTK. Each of my own requests on the topic of Operation Hyson has had a precise purpose which is self evident upon reviewing them. The matter of the wholesale abuse of public funds by the PCC has created widespread discontent amongst the PCC's constituents and tyhe press. The granting of police funds in excess of £100,000 to a political crony, to pursue what amounts to a personal vendetta against another journalist exposing wrongdoing, is deeply troubly and of significant public interest.

8. It's value to the wider world is:

(a) to place into context the holder of an elected policing oversight role where the highest standards of conduct and observance of statute is paramount. She has sworn an Oath of Office to that effect. On all known evidence, disclosure of the requested data would reveal further misconduct and add context to the misuse of public funds.

(b) The PCC has been asked questions in public and in private meetings by me and has steadfastly refused to answer any concerning. This is an article seeking answers to fifteen questions concerning Operation Hyson put to the PCC an an open letter published on two different websites:

https://neilwilby.com/2016/07/29/open-le...

The PCC did not answer any of them. Further, she wrote to me with a warning not to ask any more questions about Operation Hyson. My solicitor wrote back to her, on my behalf, asserting my rights to ask questions, using lawful means, in order to pursue my craft as an investigative journalist.

A further article concerning the withholding of information about Hyson followed:

https://neilwilby.com/2016/08/06/there-a...

(c) Classification of this request as vexatious is further evidence of the PCC attempting to misuse both her powers as an elected policing body and, more specifically, FOIA in order avoid further revelations about the biggest scandal in her four year incumbency as PCC.

(The matters raised at paras 4 to 8 also reflect the appropriate tests in Judge Wikeley's findings).

9. This is the type of information (or performance data), concerning the key roles of elected policing bodies (and senior police officers), that should be publicly available in any event. At the very least, the rationale for the provision for the decision to provide the funding referred to above at para 7 should form part of a Decision Notice as required by the The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) ( Amendment) Order 2012. As with the FOIA, the PCC regards compliance with this Order very much as an optional extra, rather than a statutory obligation:

https://neilwilby.com/2016/09/03/deceit-...

10. a. There is an ulterior motive behind NYP classifying this request as 'vexatious', more concerned with the county court claim (C5QZ21V8) in which I am claimant and the PCC is defendant. The case pleaded does, of course, concern the lawless conduct of the PCC over FOIA and DPA requests:

https://neilwilby.com/2016/06/10/chief-c...

b. It is unethical, an abuse of data principles and of the court's process to finalise an information request with that purpose in mind.

c. It offends natural justice that the officer finalising the instant request, Ashley Malone, is a witness for the PCC in that claim.

d. The finalisation in the instant request, together with this complaint, may be used in submissions at the final hearing in that county court claim (the evidence has already been filed and served).

11. This latest clasification of an information request as 'vexatious' (the fourth in four days) is part of a lengthy and sustained campaign to vex, annoy and harass me by NYP/NYPCC CDU staff, particularly it's Head of Department. An observation I have made previously on a number of occasions - and reserved my complaint rights accordingly. This latest episode goes to the evidence of that complaint.

12. The campaign referred to at para 11 is also designed to add the burden of time and expense to every request I make. Presumably, in the hope I will cease to make further requests.

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

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby

Civil Disclosure,

Dear Mr Wilby,

I confirm that the Civil Disclosure Unit, serving the OPCC and NYP, have received your request for review of PCC FOI 523.2016-17 and will send you a response in due course.

In point 1b, I note that you claim not to have had a response following your email on 28 September, however a reply was sent to you on 29 September, which was acknowledged. Please could you confirm whether you would still like this point to be considered in the internal review?

Kind Regards

Liz

Liz Fryar
Collar Number 4437
Legal Officer – Civil Disclosure
Joint Corporate Legal Services
North Yorkshire Police

Please note my normal working days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number. If using my collar number please state each number individually.

www.northyorkshire.police.uk

Committed to the Code of Ethics

THIS EMAIL AND ANY ATTACHMENT(S) MAY BE SUBJECT TO LEGAL PROFESSIONAL PRIVILEGE - PLEASE DO NOT DISCLOSE THE CONTENT TO ANYONE ELSE WITHOUT ASKING JOINT CORPORATE LEGAL SERVICES

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Dear Civil Disclosure,

This is the part of my email to Liz Fryar dated 28th September, 2016 that remains unacknowledged and unanswered:

"The comments in your final paragraph and, particularly, the ICO guidance is noted: Whilst I understand your reasoning with respect to 499.2016.17, my clear preference remains for all WDTK requests, comments, finalisations, internal reviews and finalisations of those reviews to be published on that website. This is for audit trail purposes, the main benefit of using the site. For me, at least. If redactions are necessary, then so be it"

For the avoidance of doubt, those representations made by me on 28th September have been repeatedly ignored by NYP CDU; in the instant request and three others since that email was sent.

As such, it would seem entirely reasonable to expect that question 1b. remains as part of the internal review of the instant request.

Whilst writing I would like a further point of complaint to be inserted at 3b (the present point 3. will become 3a): The data controller's conclusion that this request was vexatious within section 14(1) of FOIA was also, arguably, in error of law in the light of Arden LJ’s observation that “vexatiousness primarily involves making a request which has no reasonable foundation, that is no reasonable foundation for thinking that the information sought would be of value to the requester, or to the public or to any section of the public” (para 68, Dransfield)

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby

Fryar, Liz,

1 Attachment

Good morning,

 

Please see attached response to your request for internal review
(523.2016-17),

 

Kind Regards

 

Liz

 

Liz Fryar

Collar Number 4437

Legal Officer – Civil Disclosure

Joint Corporate Legal Services

North Yorkshire Police

 

Please note my normal working days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and
Friday.

 

Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number.
If using my collar number please state each number individually.

 

[1]www.northyorkshire.police.uk

 

 

Committed to the Code of Ethics

 

THIS EMAIL AND ANY ATTACHMENT(S) MAY BE SUBJECT TO LEGAL PROFESSIONAL
PRIVILEGE - PLEASE DO NOT DISCLOSE THE CONTENT TO ANYONE ELSE WITHOUT
ASKING JOINT CORPORATE LEGAL SERVICES

 

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References

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Dear Civil Disclosure,

A S50 complaint has now been lodged with the Information Commissioner's Office and acknowledged by them.

The grounds for complaint are:

1. The response to the internal review was provided on the 20th working day. Authorised Professional Practice and ICO Guidance requires a data controller to deal with information requests and internal reviews PROMPTLY, with the 20th working day to be regarded as a backstop.

2. It is estimated that the sum amount of time Liz Fryar has spent on this internal review would be less than 30 minutes. It is equally clear, at least to the requester, that the outcome was pre-determined, either by Ms Fryar or her line manager, and no meaningful review has taken place, at all. An outcome of this type could have been provided on the day the internal review was requested.

3. It is noted on the WhatDoTheyKnow website that other requests to this data controller, posted well after this internal review, have been finalised ahead of it. This goes to the evidence of discrimination previously complained of, both to this data controller and the ICO.

4. The internal review was finalised by Ms Fryar who was a subject in one of the heads of complaint. It offends natural justice that she investigates complaints against herself. Ms Fryar is also the Legal Disclosure Officer who has twice, in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998, posted personal information about the requester on two different threads on this website. The requester maintains that the publishing of that personal information was deliberate. Those matters remain unresolved. Until such times as they are, then Ms Fryar should have no further involvement in complaint matters concerning this requester.

5. The outcome provided completely avoids addressing any of the complaints at paras 2 to 12. It also relies on a false outcome given previously by this data controller - already complained about to the ICO - in not addressing paras 1 c and d.

6. The outcome states that it upholds the decision to classify the information request as vexatious but does not provide a reasoned argument for doing so. There is no reference at all to the recognised Dransfield tests.

7. This woeful standard of complaint outcome and the persistently unlawful, unethical, discriminatory approach to finalising this requester's information requests or reviews, it is submitted with increasing force as part of this complaint, is part of a wider and persistent campaign by NYPCC (and NYP) to cause distress, vex and annoy. It is also placing an almost intolerable time and financial burden on the requester. These are complaints made to NYPCC (and NYP) and the ICO repeatedly, in writing, over the past six months.

In summary, it is the overarching submission of the requester that the response to this internal review was carried out inappropriately, by an officer lacking the necessary independence; with ill-intent and with an outcome that is almost wholly misconceived under the requirements of the Act, ICO Guidance and Approved Professional Practice.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby

Civil Disclosure,

Dear Mr Wilby,

Confirming that The Civil Disclosure Unit have received your email.

Kind Regards

Liz

Liz Fryar
Collar Number 4437
Legal Officer – Civil Disclosure
Joint Corporate Legal Services
North Yorkshire Police

Please note my normal working days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number. If using my collar number please state each number individually.

www.northyorkshire.police.uk

Committed to the Code of Ethics

THIS EMAIL AND ANY ATTACHMENT(S) MAY BE SUBJECT TO LEGAL PROFESSIONAL PRIVILEGE - PLEASE DO NOT DISCLOSE THE CONTENT TO ANYONE ELSE WITHOUT ASKING JOINT CORPORATE LEGAL SERVICES

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