Please provide the following information concerning Operation Rome, an investigation into complaints of criminal harassment that, according to the North Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner, cost local taxpayers £409,970 and ran from 2011 until July 2014.

1. Name(s)/rank(s) of Gold Commander of this operation.
2. Name(s)/rank(s) of Senior Investigating Officer(s).
3. Policy log (sometimes described as the policy book)
4. Final investigation report
(it is accepted that items 3. and 4. will be redacted to protect exempted personal information).
5. All documents connected with collection, classification and codifying of financial information that produced the alleged final investigation cost of £409,970.

Please also provide the following information concerning Operation Hyson, the civil harassment claim that followed Operation Rome.

6. Name(s)/rank(s) of Gold Commander of this operation.
7. Name(s)/rank(s) of Senior Investigating Officer(s).
8. Policy log (sometimes described as the policy book)
9. Final investigation report
(it is accepted that items 8. and 9. will be redacted to protect exempted personal information).

Civil Disclosure, North Yorkshire Police

Classification: PROTECT

Dear Mr Wilby,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request below.

This has now been logged under ref 441.2016-17. If you have any queries regarding your request then please quote the reference on your correspondence.

Regards

Caroline Williams
Legal Officer (Civil Disclosure)
Collar Number 5982
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.

Williams, Caroline, North Yorkshire Police

1 Attachment

Classification: PROTECT

Dear Mr Wilby,

 

Please find attached a reply to your Freedom of Information request
441.2016-17.

 

Regards

 

Caroline Williams

Legal Officer (Civil Disclosure)

Collar Number 5982

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.

 

441.2016-17 Response.pdf
PROTECT

 

Dear North Yorkshire Police,

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's handling of my FOI request 'Operation Rome documents'. The following grounds are submitted and referenced to the same paragraph numbers in the request and the response:

1. Information provided - therefore no complaint

2. The response discloses that there is more than one officer holding the position.

a. Detective Superintendent

b. Head of Professional Standards

The data controller misdirects himself in relying on a S40 (2) exemption.

(i) There can be no reasonable expectation from the data subjects that, having attained superintending rank in the police service, they would suffer harm or distress by disclosure.

(ii) There is a legitimate public interest in disclosure owing to the wider public interest in the events to which this request relates. Operation Rome has attracted widespread publicity in local, regional and national press, on websites and on social media. It continues to do so.

(iii) Disclosure of the specific information in question here would add substantively to public understanding of how and why this investigation was conducted, or the reasons why it remains the case that no one was convicted after a three year investigation into harassment without allegations. Particularly, as the well grounded suspicion remains that the detective superintendent made the transition from SIO in the criminal investigation to claimant in the civil claim that foillowed (Operation Hyson).

3. and 4. It is noted that by the response to the request that it is confirmed by the data controller that the policy log and final investigation report exists. The data controller misdirects himself by relying on S31 and S40 exemptions.

(i) Section 31 is a prejudice-based exemption. The actual harm which the data controller alleges would, or would be likely to, occur if the withheld information was disclosed has to relate to the applicable interest within the relevant exemption:
a. The data controller has failed to demonstrate that any causal relationship exists between the potential disclosure of the information being withheld and the prejudice which the exemption is designed to protect. b. Furthermore, the data controller has failed to demonstrate that the resultant prejudice which is alleged is real, actual or of any substance.

(ii) Any personal data exempt under S40 could, reasonably, be excluded by way of redaction. It is the audit trail of decision making and resultant actions that is the principal feature of a properly maintained policy log (or book). A properly constituted investigation report is a narrative summary of the policy log with an executive summary that provides overview and a summary of lessons learned.

(iii) There is a strong public interest argument in favour of openness and transparency by showing the public how an investigation almost entirely lacking in merit, that did not secure a single conviction, was pursued for over three years. Disclosure would also show how public funds are being spent. The data controller, in his response, claims that over £400,000 was spent on Operation Rome.

5. The data controller has misdirected himself by relying on S42 Legal Professional Privilege relating to documents concerning the collection of financial data.
(i) It is argued that such documents - even if they exist - would fall under LPP.
(ii) The claim has now concluded save for the assessment of costs to be awarded to one of the three defendants, Mr Nigel Ward.
(ii) The public interest in this case has been substantial and remains so. Disclosure would go some way to satisfying the public as to whether the civil claim was justified and/or lawful.
(iv) The repeating of information of such doubtful provenance only serves to further undermine the data controller's standing. An article that forensically deconstructs those figures, first published in March 2016, stands unchallenged: https://neilwilby.com/2016/03/20/409970-... It is submitted in that article - and repeated in this review - that those figures and the manner in which they were collected is an artifice. Disclosure would satisfy the public interest in that argument.

6. 7. 8.and 9. Information provided - therefore no complaint.

I turn now to your comments on vexatious requests and make the following submissions:

a. Using Dransfield as the applicable test there is nothing in this request that could be remotely construed as vexatious.
b. I am an investigative journalist conducting a lengthy and forensic probe into a spectaculary failed criminal investigation (Rome) followed by a hugely expensive and largely failed, publicly funded civil claim (Hyson). It is my inalienable right to continue to ask relevant, opublic interest questions presented in an appropriate manner.
c. In the course of my interaction with the data controller I have been obstructed at almost every turn and generally dealt with by the data controller in a most appallingly negligent and discriminatory manner. To the extent that court proceedings have been issued against the data controller. In which the solicitor dealing with the matter on behalf of the data controller has lied in the Defence filed at court and served on me.
c. In order to ease the burden of the Civil Disclosure Unit I have used other legitimate means to seek answers to pressing public interest matters. For example this open letter to the police commissioner was published on 29th July, 2016. She wrote to me refusing to respond.
https://neilwilby.com/2016/07/29/open-le...
d. I have sought comment on articles from the data controller and/or his press office but have been rebuffed on every occasion except one.
e. You will, therefore, forgive me if I find your reference to my requests being 'vexatious' offensive. Any attempt to label any other requests in the same way will result in further civil action being instigated against the data controller which will seek a declaration from the court that none of my requests are vexatious and an order restraining you from arbitrarily labelling them as such.

Finally, I point out that the officer who has finalised the present request - Caroline Williams - told a fellow journalist, Mr Mark Gregory (who for many years worked for the BBC), that all requests for information concerning Hyson were subject to 'special treatment' and he was, unlawfully, asked to provide proof of his identity before she would record his request for information.

When assessing whether it is the actions of the data controller that are vexatious, or those of mine, this new information should be put into the balance. In any event, this review requests a detailed explanation as to who made the decision to place requests for Hyson information as special cases and why the data controller sought to act unlawfully in seeking Mr Gregory's identity. It is further noted from the WhatDoThey Know website that a previous request for identity was made to a Ms Angela Snodgrove in March, 2016 concerning a Hyson request.

Please also confirm that the data controller has referred himself to the Police Commissioner over these actions, which constitute a clear breach of not only the Act but the Code of Ethics.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby

Civil Disclosure, North Yorkshire Police

Classification: PROTECT

Good afternoon,

Confirming that North Yorkshire Police have received your request for an internal review.

A full response will be sent to you in due course.

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

Dear Civil Disclosure,

I have now located the response to Mr Mark Gregory's freedom of information request (398.2016.17) referred to in my request for internal review.

https://northyorkshire.police.uk/access-...

Please add this further query to the review:

In the outcome to my request you have stated that the two SIO's for Operation Rome were a Detective Superintendent and the Head of Professional Standards.

In the response to Mr Gregory's request you have stated that the SIO was a Detective Inspector.

You have, therefore, on any reasonable view, provided a false outcome to either Mr Gregory or myself. Or, alternatively, the possibility of both being untrue cannot now be ruled out.

This will go further to the evidence of misfeasance in the county court claim (C1QZ56W6) in which I am claimant and the data controller is defendant. It should also form part of the package that forms the self-referral by the data controller, to the PCC, over Code of Ethics breaches.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby

Nigel Ward left an annotation ()

It may prove impossible to determine whether the contradictory FOIA responses arise out of sheer incompetence, or whether there has been a witting attempt to mislead - perhaps only masquerading as inadvertent error.

In the case of the latter, the question arises: has there been a witting attempt to mislead the public at large (to whom, beyond the requestor, all FOIA responses are directed), or have you and/or Mark Gregory been singled out for special attention?

It is this personal element that I find most disturbing.

Fryar, Liz, North Yorkshire Police

Good morning,

Thank you for your request for internal review of FOI 441.2016-17. Within your request, the following questions have been identified:

When assessing whether it is the actions of the data controller that are vexatious, or those of mine, this new information should be put into the balance. In any event, this review requests a detailed explanation as to who made the decision to place requests for Hyson information as special cases and why the data controller sought to act unlawfully in seeking Mr Gregory's identity. It is further noted from the WhatDoThey Know website that a previous request for identity was made to a Ms Angela Snodgrove in March, 2016 concerning a Hyson request. Please also confirm that the data controller has referred himself to the Police Commissioner over these actions, which constitute a clear breach of not only the Act but the Code of Ethics. Please also confirm that the data controller has referred himself to the Police Commissioner over these actions, which constitute a clear breach of not only the Act but the Code of Ethics.

In the outcome to my request you have stated that the two SIO's for Operation Rome were a Detective Superintendent and the Head of Professional Standards.
In the response to Mr Gregory's request you have stated that the SIO was a Detective Inspector.
You have, therefore, on any reasonable view, provided a false outcome to either Mr Gregory or myself. Or, alternatively, the possibility of both being untrue cannot now be ruled out.

This has therefore been logged as a new request received on 8 September 2016, reference 587.2016-17, and is being considered in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Both responses will be sent to you in due course.

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

Dear North Yorkshire Police,

It is noted that every email posted by NYP Civil Disclosure Unit on the WhatDoTheyKnow website carries the strapline 'Committed to the Code of Ethics'

The matter of false outcomes (in the instant request at least one and possibly two) made in plain sight, in an open space should be a matter for the force's Professional Standards Unit to investigate under the Code of Ethics - Neglect of Duty and/or Honesty and Integrity.

Can you please confirm whether the Head of CDU has referred him/herself (or the officer(s) responsible) to PSU over this particular breach of the Code?

For context, I also refer you to this thread on WDTK concerning 299.2016.17:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

You may notice that I left an annotation on 2nd August, 2016 in an effort to assist Mr Michael Price, the requester.

There is also the unresolved matter of false information provided by NYP CDU in 427.2016.17 which has (so far) been the subject of correspondence away from the WDTK website.

An independent reviewer, particularly from outside NYP CDU, may well conclude that these repeated incidents go beyond the inadvertent.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby

Fryar, Liz, North Yorkshire Police

Good afternoon,

I confirm that NYP have received your below email, which I have added to your request for internal review 441.2016-17. I note within your email that you ask the following:

It is noted that every email posted by NYP Civil Disclosure Unit on the WhatDoTheyKnow website carries the strapline 'Committed to the Code of Ethics'

The matter of false outcomes (in the instant request at least one and possibly two) made in plain sight, in an open space should be a matter for the force's Professional Standards Unit to investigate under the Code of Ethics - Neglect of Duty and/or Honesty and Integrity.

Can you please confirm whether the Head of CDU has referred him/herself (or the officer(s) responsible) to PSU over this particular breach of the Code?

I have therefore logged this under a new request reference of 597.2016-17, and it will be considered in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

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

Dear North Yorkshire Police,

Please add this to the internal review:

I do not agree that the conduct issues raised in the previous email falls for disposal under FOIA.

Providing false information in FOIA finalisations is a Standards of Professional Behaviour/ Code of Ethics matter and, as such, should be dealt with by the force's Professional Standards Department, not the Civil Disclosure Unit.

Accordingly, you are requested to de-log 597.2016-17.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby

Civil Disclosure, North Yorkshire Police

Good afternoon Mr Wilby,

Thank you for your email - as requested I have de-logged FOI 597.2016-17.

The matter you refer to is being dealt with internally, however if you do wish to make a complaint, please contact NYP's Professional Standards Department. Their details can be found on the following link:

https://northyorkshire.police.uk/contact...

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

Dear Civil Disclosure,

Thank you for de-logging the #FOIA request.

Please confirm under which delegated powers, regulations etc., conduct and ethics matters are being 'dealt with internally (within CDU)' and by whom?

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby

Civil Disclosure, North Yorkshire Police

Dear Mr Wilby,

Thank you for your email - I have added this further point to your request for internal review 441.2016-17.

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.

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

show quoted sections

Dear Civil Disclosure,

For emphasis, it is repeated that North Yorkshire Police is misdirecting itself in dealing with ethics breaches and/or misconduct matters via an internal review of a Freedom of Information Act disclosure request. Deliberately so, and not for the first time, in my informed submission.

The applicable legislative framework is:

1. a. Police Act, 1996 S39.5(A) College of Policing Code of Ethics

http://www.college.police.uk/What-we-do/...

1. b. College of Policing Authorised Professional Practice (APP) - Information Management

http://www.app.college.police.uk/app-con...

2. Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2012/...

3. Police Reform Act 2002 S22 IPCC Statutory Guidance

https://www.ipcc.gov.uk/sites/default/fi...

You are, once again, referred to NYP FOIA finalisation 1269.2015.16 in which misconduct towards and ethical breaches affecting the requester was followed by similar misdirection over resolution of those complaints. It is noted, in a wider context, that Mr Price's request also concerned Operation Rome.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Policing is an information-led activity, and information assurance is fundamental as to how police forces manage their many and varied day-to-day challenges. Without robust information processes and governance - so demonstrably lacking in North Yorkshire Police (and the PCC's office) - there is a significant risk of compromise, financial loss, damage to organisational reputation and, consequently, a reduction in confidence from both the public and journalists who hold policing bodies to account.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby

Malone, Ashley, North Yorkshire Police

Dear Mr Wilby

 

I have picked up your request for an Internal Review of the response to
your FOI request 441.2016-17.

 

I apologise for the delay in you receiving a response, however I hope to
have finalised my response to you by early next week.

 

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

 

show quoted sections

 

Dear North Yorkshire Police,

A S50 complaint has now been logged with the Information Commissioner's Office.

The grounds for complaint are:

1. (a) Internal review request not finalised within 20 days. Whilst this is not a statutory requirement, it forms part of ACPO Authorised Professional Practice (APP) for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests which, is in turn, embedded in the College of Policing Code of Ethics (Police Act 1996 S39(5)). Every communication from the data controller (DC) carries the strapline 'Committed to the Code of Ethics'. The requester submits that, in his extensive experience, no public authority with which he deals regularly, as an accredited investigative journalist, has a more flagrant disregard of the Code of Ethics (and APP) than North Yorkshire Police. The evidence of that is plain to see both within, and away from, the requesters own threads on the WhatDoTheyKnow website. Anecdotally, it is said by a police whistleblower that this DC has no intention of complying with FOIA (or APP) unless information requesters 'kick up a fuss'. The number of non-compliant requests finalised in the past three years (1,558) by this DC appear to bear that out.

(b) This ground for complaint should be resolved in the context that this DC has gone to considerable lengths, in legal proceedings, to deny that information requests, or internal reviews, are EVER finalised in a non-compliant manner. The DC further claims in his Defence filed in those proceedings that all future requests would be finalised in a compliant manner. The DC had also claimed that all the requesters requests were 'vexatious' - a claim later admitted to be a lie by the DC's solicitor.

More details of the civil claim can be found here. The requester is claimant and the DC is the defendant:

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

(c) It should be further considered in the context of the DC's representative making the final communication (Ashley Malone) before this complaint was made to the ICO, is a deponent for the defendant in that civil claim. He, therefore, lacks the necessary independence or objectivity. Since filing and serving his/her witness statement in the county court claim there has been a series of perverse, irrational (and the requester submits unlawful) finalisations of either information requests or internal reviews made by Mr/Ms Malone. In the past week the requester has complained to both the ICO and the DC about the continued involvement of Mr/Ms Malone in finalisations of the requester's information requests or internal reviews. Those representations have been ignored.

(d) In ordinary circumstances this complaint would not have been made in the face of a promise from a DC to resolve a complaint in the near future. However, in this particular instance, the requester's submission is that finalisation of this internal review was deliberately held back so as not to impact adversely on the prospects of the DC resisting the county court claim. The admission that the DC had either lied to the requester, or Mr Gregory (or both), would be very damaging. The issue of 'special treatment' of all information requests concerning Operations Rome and Hyson by the DC is denied in the county court claim. Apart from Mr Gregory's testimony concerning what Caroline Williams said to him, an examination of the information requests concerning these police operations, submitted via the WhatDoTheyKnow website, shows the 'special treatment' allegation to be true. Almost all information requests and internal reviews on those topics were non-compliant, in some cases many months overdue or still not finalised.

(e) The requester submits that the events at 1 (a) (b) (c) and (d) are part of a wider campaign against the requester by the DC to vex, annoy and harass. There have been repeated complaints by the requester to the DC over the past six months to this effect. This includes deliberately delaying requests (and internal reviews) for weeks and months, discrimination (preferring to finalise other requests ahead of those made by this requester) irrational and perverse finalisations, publishing personal information about the requester. Since it became clear that the county court claim would proceed to a hearing, matters between the requester and data controller have deteriorated markedly.

2. The requester submits that the DC's attempt (not for the first time) to resolve police misconduct, ethics complaints via an FOIA internal review as opposed to within the confines of appropriate legislative framework is unethical and, therefore, unlawful.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby

Malone, Ashley, North Yorkshire Police

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilby

 

Please find attached response to your internal review request.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dear North Yorkshire Police,

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

The grounds for complaint in connection with the above information request are:

1. Firstly, the police lawyer finalising the internal review is Ms Ashley Malone. She is a deponent, and has appeared as a witness, in a civil civil claim in which the requester is claimant and NYPCC is defendant. The claim concerns breaches of the Act, and the Data Protection Act, by the data controller.
https://neilwilby.com/2016/06/10/chief-c...

2. Ms Malone's intervention in information requests and internal review finalisations, made by the requester, since she made her witness statement in that claim plainly lack objectivity and independence. It is an ethical and regulatory requirement that a solicitor cannot continue to act where she adopts the cause of a client.

3. The cause of Ms Malone's client in this particular civil claim includes an inherently absurd Defence, made on 15th July, 2016, that states that no information request has EVER been finalised as non-compliant by NYPCC and that all future requests will be compliant.

4. Since Ms Malone made that witness statement, the finalisations she has provided have all been variously unreasonable, perverse, irrational. The time, and financial, burden this has placed on the requester has been close to intolerable.

5. Of those finalisations (they include NYP and NYPCC requests) four have necessitated internal reviews, four have necessitated complaints to the ICO. Part of each and every complaint is the objection to the involvement of Ms Malone in any matters concerning this requester's information requests, whilst the proceedings referred to at para 1 are extant.

6. This conduct and the 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. This is a complaint made to NYPCC (and NYP) and the ICO repeatedly, in writing, over the past six months.

7. More particularly, in the instant complaint, Ms Malone has either misdirected herself, or not discharged her responsibilities under the Act, as follows:

(i) At Q2 (a) She does not set out satisfactorily why false information was provided in the information request finalisation by a Legal Disclosure Officer. Her explanation is inherently absurd. (b) Attempts to introduce an officer as lead investigator (SIO) whom has never featured previously. In the requester's submission this is to shield the two senior officers (Heather Pearson and Steve Read) from further criticism over a spectacularly failed operation. It is a matter of public record that Ms Pearson went on to be a claimant in Operation Hyson. I hold documents that show this to be the case and will disclose these to the ICO when a case officer is allocated. I also hold documentary evidence of Mr Read's involvement with the Gold Commander in this operation. (c) With regard to Ms Malone's muddled comments over Senior Investigating Officer's (SIO), the relevant facts are these: Operation Rome was a three year investigation costing over £400,000. It has been disclosed by the data controller that a Gold Commander was appointed (Tim Madgwick) who was, during the investigation's life, variously, an ACC, T/DCC and T/Chief Contable and DCC. In line with ACPO's Core Investigation Doctrine ( http://library.college.police.uk/docs/ac... superceded by the College of Policing's Authorised Professional Practice (APP) on Managing Investigations (https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-co..., for an investigation of this size and length, commended by an officer of such seniority, a SIO should have been appointed. Indeed, it is argued strongly that one was and that Ms Malone's responses to the requester's complaints are an artifice.

(ii) At complaints 3 and 4. Ms Malone now claims that no policy book (also sometimes referred to policy or decision log or, in more contemporary parlance, Gold book) or final investigation report exists. Despite the finalisation of the information request clearly disclosing that they did. No plausible explanation whatsoever is provided for this discrepancy. It is, in effect, swept under the carpet. The relevant facts are these: It would be beyond incredible if a police force carried out Operation Rome with no such records. For the benefit of the wider world, a policy log records key actions and rationales for those actions as set out in the Core Investigative Doctrine at Section 7.7. There is now also a greater emphasis on full and accurate record keeping within an investigation in order to comply with 3.7 Criminal Procedure and Investigation Act 1996

An investigation outcome, which normally has a lessons learned section, is not referred to under either the Doctrine or APP but it would seem, on any independent view, extraordinary if, after a major complex, three year £400,000 investigation that either the chief constable or the police commissioner had not sought a final report from the Gold Commander. The admission that none existed, if that line is persisted with by the data controller, would amount to a catastrophic failing of their duties to the public, by both of those police chiefs.

(iii) At complaint 5. Ms Malone offers no rationale in support of her decision to uphold the finalisation of the information request to the effect that Legal Professional Privilege applies in relation to the costings document(s). Apart from the absent rationale, Ms Malone does not burden the requester with responses to specifics complaints set out at 5(i)(ii)(iii) or (iv). There are also other findings from other information requests made by this requester (and others) to this data controller (and the North Yorkshire police commissioner) that show, even if the documents sought actually exist, privilege has been waived:

a. The request to collate the figures was allegedly made on 3rd October, 2014 verbally by the chief constable (also data controller) and the North Yorkshire police commissioner in their professional capacity. Neither was ever a party to any legal action in that capacity. The chief constable (David Graham Jones) became a party to the action in a personal capacity.

b. No information is held by either NYP and NYPCC to support the proposition that formal legal advice was either sought or given in respect of the information sought in this request.

c. The total sum calculated has been disclosed (in multiple locations).

d. The hourly rates of staff and the total number of hours allegedly worked by them has been disclosed.

e. Further, and in any event, ICO guidelines in addressing the complaint have not been followed:

(i) Ms Malone does not state whether she is relying on advice or litigation privilege.
(ii) As the information sought is 'back of the envelope' accounting this can only be advice privilege, in the submission of the requester.
(iii) Advice privilege can only be relied upon if it is clear whom the client is. Plainly, on the data controller's own prior disclosures, it is not.
(iii) The Guidance is clear that advice from a lawyer about financial matters or on an operational or strategic issue is unlikely to be privileged.

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

(iv) a. With regard to the part of the complaint concerning vexatious requests, Ms Malone's responses are once again muddled and do not address the complaints either sequentially or, in most parts, at all. For example, with regard to the remark with which she agrees with her police colleague, she takes no account at all of the deceit and subterfuge surrounding the Operation Rome and Hyson disclosures that have made multiple requests necessary. Not just from this requester. The present request (and review) - in which deleiberate untruths have been told - is a perfect example of that. Neither does Ms Malone address the point that of all the other many requests, made by a number of others either interested in or affected financially these two police operations, the instant request is the only one that carries a vexatious warning.

b. The questions in the complaint concerning Mr Gregory's request require to be answered. They are germane to the rest of both this request, and others on the same topic. Ms Malone offers no raionale behind her decision not to respond. It is her duty under the Act, APP and Guidance to do so.

c. It is not accepted that the data controller did not intend to mislead the public. The evidence is clear: Not only that he did, but persuasive in the argument that he continues to do so over Operation Rome (and Hyson).

d. Ms Malone presents herself as an expert in the Code of Ethics. It is respectfully submitted by the requester that, as an experienced police complaints advocate and an investigative journalist, his knowledge of the Code, and it's application, would comfortably exceeed Ms Malone's. The breach of the Code is clear, and the logical and professional approach for Ms Malone to take in seeking to appropriately resolve the complaint was for Ms Malone to make the requested referral to the Professional Standards Department and invite a response as to whether the Code was breached, or not. In that way the data controller (a chief constable of a police force) can fully satisfy the public that robust processes are in place for dealing with alleged breaches. In the circumstances of the instant request and internal review it should not be necessary for a separate complaint to be made by the requester.

e. It is unclear to the requester, at least, to what Ms Malone refers to as 'point e'.

8. Of the requests, and subsequent internal reviews, this requester has made to this data controller over the past two years - the first one famously took 373 days to finalise - this one best demonstrates the data controller's flawed approach to his responsibilities under the Act. It is lmost entirely underpinned by deceit, with a mealy mouthed partial admission of untruth and misdemeanour and an attempt to smear the requester with a 'vexatious warning'. It should come, therefore, as no surprise to the ICO to read the recent findings of the Lord Chief Justice concerning this same data controller (the chief constable of North Yorkshire, no less) in connection with disclosure. The conduct of his force towards it's responsibilities was described as 'reprehensible' and the blame for that was laid squarely at the door of the data controller, not the disclosure officer.

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim...

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 faithfully,

Neil Wilby

Dear North Yorkshire Police,

As you are doubtless aware, the complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has progressed to an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal.

Within the pleadings concerning that appeal, reference is made by North Yorkshire Police (NYP) to the existence of Terms of Reference for the Operation Rome investigation, drawn up by the Gold Commander (now disclosed by NYP, under the Freedom of Information Act, as DCC Madgwick).

Please disclose those Terms of Reference, by way of the Act.

It is accepted that you may wish to treat this posting as a new request under the Act.

Finally, you are reminded, yet again, of the requirements of section 10 of the Act: Requests should be finalised PROMPTLY and, in any event, within 20 working days. I continue to use all available means to pressure the ICO into placing NYPCC/NYP CDU into their monitoring scheme over industrial scale breaches of the Act by CDU, over a period of five years, or more.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Civil Disclosure, North Yorkshire Police

Thank you for your email, please treat this as an acknowledgement of receipt.

Your email will be dealt with accordingly.

Civil Disclosure Unit

Web: www.northyorkshire.police.uk<http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/>

Civil Disclosure, North Yorkshire Police

Dear Mr Wilby,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request below.

I have logged your new request under the reference 782.2017-18.

If you have any queries relating to your request then please quote the reference on your correspondence.

Regards

Caroline Williams
Legal Officer (Civil Disclosure)
Collar Number 5982
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.

Please note  that North Yorkshire Police is moving to its new HQ from 5 July 2017. With immediate effect the address is:

North Yorkshire Police HQ
Alverton Court
Crosby Road
Northallerton
North Yorkshire
DL6 1BF

The DX will remain as DX 68810 Northallerton 2 and telephone numbers will remain the same.

Dear North Yorkshire Police,

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's handling of my FOI request 'Operation Rome documents'.

The grounds for complaint are:

1. Section 10 of the Act requires a public authority to respond PROMPLY and in any event within 20 working days. Accordingly, the request fell due for finalisation on 20th November, 2017.

2. No Section 17 notice has been issued.

3. I continue to press the Information Commissioner's Office to place the NYP/NYPCC in their monitoring scheme concerning industrial scale breaches of the Act.

4. This latest breach will also go to the evidence of seriously improper conduct under section 77 of the Act, with which the ICO's Criminal Complaints Manger is already seized, concerning 681.2017.18.

5. The above matters are exacerbated by the nonsensical creation of a 'FOIA request' that I have never made. A 'finalisation' (which couldn't even quote the date the request was allegedly made) was sent to my personal email address yesterday (20th November, 2017).

6. I regard all of the above as a continuation of the course of conduct by the chief constable (and his police commissioner) to vex, annoy and harass me at every opportunity. Particularly, in the light of the fact that NYP has disclosed, in First Tier Tribunal proceedings (EA/2017/0121), that the information is held and readly retrievable.

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
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Civil Disclosure, North Yorkshire Police

Thank you for your email, please treat this as an acknowledgement of receipt.

Your email will be dealt with accordingly.

Civil Disclosure Unit

Web: www.northyorkshire.police.uk<http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/>

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Civil Disclosure, North Yorkshire Police

Good morning Mr Wilby

Thank you for your email.

Your request for an internal review of FOI 0782.2017-18 has been logged. A response shall be issued in due course.

Kind regards

Sarah Saunders
Collar Number 4868
Administrative Assistant (Civil Disclosure)
Joint Corporate Legal Services
North Yorkshire Police HQ
Alverton Court
Crosby Road
Northallerton
North Yorkshire
DL6 1BF

Tel: 0160 9643526

DX 68810 Northallerton 2

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

Web: www.northyorkshire.police.uk
Facebook: facebook.com/NorthYorkshirePolice
Twitter: twitter.com/NYorksPolice

show quoted sections

Dear Civil Disclosure,

A complaint has been logged with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) on the following grounds:

1. Breach of section 10 of the Act.

2. Breach of section 17 of the Act.

3. Breach of section 77 of the Act.

I have also repeated, with appropriate force, my request for NYP/NYPCC Civil Disclosure Unit (CDU) to be placed in the ICO's monitoring scheme - and this latest flagrant disregard of the Act will be broadcast widely on social media.

The matter of this request, and other breaches of the Act since the last Police Scrutiny Panel (PCP) meeting, will also be raised at the next PCP meeting in January, 2018. The police commissioner (PCC), who employs all CDU staff, and her interim chief executive, can, quite properly, expect a torrid (and humiliating) time.

Further, and in any event, failure to provide either a response to the information request or the internal review request discloses breaches of the College of Policing's Authorised Professional Practice (APP). As APP is embedded in the College of Policing's Code of Ethics these two failures disclose the following breaches of the Code:

a. Disrespect/discourtesy
b. Neglect of duty
c. Disreputable conduct

These complaints should be recorded against either the CDU manager or the Head of the Joint Corporate Services Department (which incorporates the CDU), or both.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Civil Disclosure, North Yorkshire Police

Thank you for your email, please treat this as an acknowledgement of receipt.

Your email will be dealt with accordingly.

PLEASE NOTE: If your query is to address an urgent safeguarding concern then please redirect your enquiry to the Vulnerability Assessment Team on [email address]<mailto:[email address]>
The Vulnerability Assessment Team is available during office hours Monday to Friday.

Civil Disclosure Unit

Web: www.northyorkshire.police.uk<http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/>

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Williams, Caroline, North Yorkshire Police

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilby,

 

Please find attached a reply to your Freedom of Information request
782.2017-18.

 

Regards

 

Caroline Williams

Legal Officer (Civil Disclosure)

Collar Number 5982

Joint Corporate Legal Services

North Yorkshire Police HQ

Alverton Court

Crosby Road

Northallerton

North Yorkshire

DL6 1BF

 

DX68810 Northallerton 2

 

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

 

show quoted sections

 

References

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