Operation Kalmia

The request was partially successful.

Dear Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner,

Operation Kalmia was an IPCC managed investigation which arose after the Court of Appeal quashed the convictions of a number of men who had been jailed in connection with the murder of Kevin NUNES. The appeal court judges were very critical of the failure of Staffordshire Police to disclose a 'management review' which was referred to as the 'Costello Report' [Please see https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/... ]

The IPCC has publically annouced that Operation Kalmia is concluded and therefore there are no proceeding pending. Given the IPCC annoucement I feel that the public have a right to see the 'Costello Report' so that they can read what so appalled the appeal court judges. I feel that the information requested below can be fully justified on the grounds of Public Interest, failure to release this report is likely to damage public confidence in Staffordshire Police and the Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire.

Requested Information:

Request 1:
I am requesting a copy of the document referred to as the Costello Report in the case of Joof and others - vs - the Crown heard at the Court of Appeal in March 2012. It was a management review complied by Superintendent Joe Costello into the Sensitive Policing Unit in Staffordshire in 2006/07.

Request 2:
I am also requesting copies of any other reports submitted to the Criminal Case Review Commission as part of its review of the case.

Request 3:

I am also requesting copies of all correspondence between the IPCC and Staffordshire Police in respect of recommendations to discipline officers of any rank, the request includes any response sent to the IPCC following such recommendations being made.

Yours faithfully,

Mr L. Anderson

Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Acknowledgment of your Email to the Police and Crime Commissioner

Thank you for taking the time to contact the Office of the Police and
Crime Commissioner, please accept this email as confirmation of receipt.

Where your email requires a response this will be done within 20 working
days, however where possible we will look to respond to you sooner.

[1]Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner

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Veronica Powell,

1 Attachment

Mr Anderson

 

Further to your FOI Request the OPCC does not hold the information that
you have requested, could I have your permission to forward this onto
Staffordshire Police

 

Regards

 

Veronica Powell

Executive Assistant to:

 

Matthew Ellis - Police & Crime Commissioner

Sue Arnold - Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner

Glynn Dixon - Chief of Staff

 

Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner

Weston Road

Stafford

ST18 0YY

Tel: 01785 232270

Twitter: @StaffsPCC
OPCC Website: [1]www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk

 

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1. http://www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/

Dear Veronica Powell,

Thank you for your quick response. I am happy for you to pass my request to Staffordshire Police.

Yours sincerely,

Mr L. Anderson

Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Thank you for your FOI request.  You will receive a response in due
course.
Regards
Tracey Brindley
Freedom of Information
Corporate Communications
Staffordshire Police

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Julie Ferrie, Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Mr Anderson,

 

With regard to the above Freedom of Information request, I apologise for
the delay in responding.  We are still dealing with the request and
considering exemptions.

 

As soon as a response is prepared I will email it to you.

 

Once again apologies for any inconvenience caused.

 

Kind regards

 

Julie Ferrie

 

Freedom of Information

Staffordshire Police

Tel:  01785 232411

 

 

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Dear Julie Ferrie,

Thank you for you correspondence dated 21st April 2016, in which you apologise for the late response to my Freedom of Information Act request. Two weeks have now elapsed since your letter and I have still not had any reply to my request. Staffordshire Police has failed to deal with my FIO request within the period set by the the legislation and therefore I would like to request an internal review into the failure of Staffordshire Police to deal with my FIO application within the specified period.

Yours sincerely,

Mr L. Anderson

Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Mr Anderson,

I refer to your request of an internal review under the Freedom of Information Act.

You have requested a copy of the management review document produced by Supt. Joe Costello. I can advise that we are minded to disclose this document to you subject to appropriate redactions being made as permitted under the relevant exemptions of the Act. However, the document is held subject to a Document Handling Agreement with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) under which no disclosure can be made without the IPCC’s prior written agreement. We are presently seeking their agreement in this respect.

With regard to any reports submitted to the Criminal Case Review Commissioner and correspondence between the IPCC and Staffordshire Police, I am still liaising with respective data holders.

I was hoping to have a response available before now but this has been delayed by data holders not being available.

I once again apologise for the delay in responding but I am still dealing with the matter.

Kind regards

Julie Ferrie

Freedom of Information Decision Maker
Central Disclsoure Unit
Staffordshire Police
Tel: 01785 232411

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Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Mr Anderson,

 

I just want to keep you updated with how your Freedom of Information
request is being dealt with.

 

We have now received a response from the IPCC that they are considering
whether or not we can disclose the Costello Report.  Therefore, we are now
awaiting a further response from them.  Hopefully, this will be soon.

 

With regard to the other two requests do you want a response now or wait
until I can respond to all three requests.

 

Kind regards

 

Julie Ferrie

 

Freedom of Information Decision Maker

Central Disclosure Unit

Staffordshire Police

Tel:  01785 232411

 

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Dear Freedom of Information,

Thank you for the update regarding the Costello report. In respect of the other elements of my FIO request, I would be grateful if you would deal with those point now rather than delay until a decision is reached on the Costello report.

Yours sincerely,

Mr L. Anderson

Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Anderson,

 

Please see attached response to your Freedom of Information request.  We
are still awaiting a response from the IPCC.

 

Kind regards

 

Julie Ferrie

 

Freedom of Information Decision Maker

Central Disclosure Unit

Staffordshire Police

Tel:  01785 232411

 

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Dear Julie Ferrie,

Thank you for your update dated 20th June 2016. Your response mentions that you are still awaiting a reply from the IPCC regarding release of the Costello Report, however I understood that there was a meeting between the IPCC and Staffordshire Police to discuss this point over two weeks ago. Could you please confirm whether the meeting I refer to took place and if so the date of that meeting.

Whilst I understand that you may wish to include the IPCC in your decision making, The managed investigation linked to this report has been formally concluded, therefore I do not understand why the decision cannot be simply taken by the holders of the information, i.e. Staffordshire Police. I do not feel that the continued delays are reasonable or compliant with the provisions of the FIO Act.

On the 10th May 2016, I requested an internal review into the delays in dealing with my FIO request, could you please advise me regarding the progress or outcome of that review.

Yours sincerely,

Mr L. Anderson

Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Mr Anderson,

I corresponded the below to you on the 12 May in response to the delay of the request/in answer to your request for an internal review.

" I refer to your request of an internal review under the Freedom of Information Act.

You have requested a copy of the management review document produced by Supt. Joe Costello. I can advise that we are minded to disclose this document to you subject to appropriate redactions being made as permitted under the relevant exemptions of the Act. However, the document is held subject to a Document Handling Agreement with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) under which no disclosure can be made without the IPCC’s prior written agreement. We are presently seeking their agreement in this respect.

With regard to any reports submitted to the Criminal Case Review Commissioner and correspondence between the IPCC and Staffordshire Police, I am still liaising with respective data holders.

I was hoping to have a response available before now but this has been delayed by data holders not being available.

Once again I apologise for the delay in responding but I am still dealing with the matter."

Staffordshire Police has yet to receive the agreement of the IPCC for the disclosure of the Costello Report without which it is unable to release it under the Document Handling Agreement which it is bound by. If we had not sought the agreement from the IPCC I would have cited the exemption under Section 44 (Information Covered by Prohibitions on Disclosure). I can do this if you are not satisfied with the response. However, I would not then be obliged to provide the report to you once the IPCC has responded.

If you are not content with the outcome, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner to investigate. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45

Kind regards

Julie Ferrie

Freedom of Information Decision Maker
Central Disclosure Unit
Staffordshire Police
Tel: 01785 232411

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Dear Julie Ferrie,

Thank you for your last correspondence dated 21st June 2016., in which you detail the cause of the delay in processing my request I.e. awaiting a reply from the IPCC. I sense some frustration in you reply which I understand and share, it is difficult to understand why the IPCC have not responded before now.

I note your comments about possible exemptions to disclosure being applied due to the data sharing agreement. I have made a similar request to the IPCC for disclosure of the ' Costello Report' and whilst they have not made a final decision on disclosure they have mentioned that it was information provided by a security body therefore it could be exempt from disclosure.

Given that Staffordhire Police have indicated that they are 'minded' to disclosure the information i.e. Costello Report' the application of exemptions by either public body under the FIO would seem to be inappropriate. Clearly any judgment on the whether the allocation of either exemption is justified would be a matter for the Information Commissioner.

i do hope that you are able to obtain a reply from the IPCC very soon.

Yours sincerely,

Mr L. Anderson

Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Anderson,

 

Please see attached response to your Freedom of Information request.  I
apologise for the delay.

 

Kind regards

 

Julie Ferrie

 

Freedom of Information Decision Maker

Central Disclosure Unit

Staffordshire Police

Tel:  01785 232411

 

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Dear Freedom of Information,

Thank you for your response dated 11 July 2016. I note that you have indicated that Staffordshire Police has previous given responses to requests 2 and 3 therefore your latest correspondence deals solely with request 1

"I am requesting a copy of the document referred to as the Costello Report in the case of Joof and others - vs - the Crown heard at the Court of Appeal in March 2012. It was a management review complied by Superintendent Joe Costello into the Sensitive Policing Unit in Staffordshire in 2006/07."

Your response refuses my requests "citing the exemptions under Section 31(1)(g) (Law Enforcement) by virtue of Section 31(2)(b) the purposes of ascertaining whether any person is responsible for any conduct which is improper and Section 40(2) (Personal Information).

In the narrative that follows you outline your considerations which appear to rely heavily on a "Document Handling Agreement which prohibited dissemination of the Costello Report without the IPCC’s written" and stating that "The IPCC have not agreed to the disclosure of the report by Staffordshire Police."

In your correspondence dated 12 May 2016, you wrote:-

"You have requested a copy of the management review document produced by Supt. Joe Costello. I can advise that we are minded to disclose this document to you subject to appropriate redactions being made as permitted under the relevant exemptions of the Act. However, the document is held subject to a Document Handling Agreement with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) under which no disclosure can be made without the IPCC’s prior written agreement. We are presently seeking their agreement in this respect."

It was clear from your comments on the 12th May 2016, that Staffordshire Police felt able to disclose a redacted copy of the Costello Report, subject to the IPCC's agreement. At that point the exemptions under the Act did not appear to prevent disclosure. On the 7 June 2016, your wrote to advise me that Staffordshire Policer were still awaiting a decision from the IPCC. It is unclear from your letter dated 11 July 2016, whether the IPCC have expressly objected to the release of the Costello Report or merely failed to respond.

In my view the decision of the IPCC should not prevent Staffordshire Police from meeting it's statutory duties under the act. The IPCC are a statutory body apparently "Independent" from the police and therefore should not be interfering with such decision, particularly as the managed investigation know as "Operation Kalmia" has been concluded.

It is interesting to note that the IPCC have declined a similar request for disclosure of the Costello Report on citing the exemption that the report was provided by a security body i.e. Staffordshire Police. The situation now seems farcical, in that on one hand the IPCC are unable to disclose as the Costello Report belongs to Staffordshire Police, on the other hand Staffordshire Police state that they are 'minded' to disclose the Costello Report but cannot do so because the IPCC have not given their consent.

I would like to request an internal review into the time in which it has taken Staffordshire Police to reach this point, and into the failure of Staffordshire Police to disclose the "Costello Report". The exemptions quoted have in my opinion been wrong applied, this is evidenced by the fact that in May 2016 Staffordshire Police wrote to say that they were minded to disclose.

There is huge public interest in this case and the Costello Report both because of the serious errors during the court case and also in the part the IPCC played in investigating the errors and behaviour of a number of senior officer. Openness and transparency is vital to restore public trust in Staffordshire Police and the IPCC and I feel that refusal to disclose based on the exemptions cited do not meet the standards expected. The suggestion that the IPCC are blocking the disclosure may appear to some as collusion between the IPCC and Staffordshire Police to hide the true facts.

Yours sincerely,

Mr L. Anderson

Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Thank you for your FOI internal review request.  You will receive a
response in due course.
Regards
Tracey Brindley
Freedom of Information Decision Maker
Central Disclosure Unit
Staffordshire Police

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Mr L. Anderson left an annotation ()

I have not received any response since the 12th July 2016, therefore I have referred the matter to the Information Commissioner.

Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Anderson,

 

Apologies, I did not pick-up on this.  Please see attached response.

 

Kind regards

 

Julie Ferrie

 

Freedom of Information

Central Disclosure Unit

Staffordshire Police

Tel. 01785 232411

 

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Dear Freedom of Information,

Thank you for response.

Yours sincerely,

Mr L. Anderson

Mr L. Anderson left an annotation ()

A response was received on the 27rh September 2016, however due to an error it was actually sent Via Whatdotheyknow.com to separate FIO request made by myself. I contacted Staffordshire Police and response was resent on the 28th September 2016 to the correct FIO request.

Mr L. Anderson left an annotation ()

I have referred this matter to the Informatio Commissioner.

Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

2 Attachments

 

Dear Mr Anderson

 

Please see attached response to the ICO complaint regarding Freedom of
Information requests 6804 and 7147 prepared by Julie Ferrie.

 

Regards

 

 

 

Tracey Brindley

Freedom of Information Decision Maker

Central Disclosure Unit

Staffordshire Police HQ

PO Box 3167

Stafford

ST16 9JZ

T:  Switchboard 101

T:  Direct dial 01785 232195

E:  [1][email address]

 

 

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Mr L. Anderson left an annotation ()

This matter is now being considered by the Office of Information Commissioner.

Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Anderson,

 

Please see response relating to the above complaint.

 

Regards

 

Julie Ferrie

 

OFFICIAL

 

Central Disclosure Unit

Staffordshire Police HQ

P.O. Box 3167

Stafford

ST16 9JZ

T: switchboard 101

T: direct dial 01785 232195

E: [email address]

 

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Mr L. Anderson left an annotation ()

The ICO has issued a decision notice directing Staffordshire Police to release previously redacted material and adversely commenting on the failure of the public body to deal with the FIO Requests.

For the full decision notice please go to :-

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

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