Operation Waffle Edge (or Waffleedge)

Neil Wilby made this Freedom of Information request to West Yorkshire 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 partially successful.

Dear West Yorkshire Police,

A. Operation Waffleedge (this was spawned from the widely reported Operation Thatcham cash-for-crash joint investigation by WYP, the Ministry of Justice and the Motor Fraud Bureau.

Please disclose the following information, by way of the Act, concerning Waffleedge, an investigation carried out by the Professional Standards Department of WYP in, or around, 2012 or 2013:

1. Date of first entry in policy book (or log).

2. Date last action is recorded in policy book (or log).

3. Name of Gold Commander

4. Name of Silver Commander.

5. Terms of reference (redacted to exclude any personal information).

Operation Wafflehead was referred to a number of times by the parties and the judge, in open court, on 8th February, 2019 at Bradford Combined Court Centre. At the conclusion of those proceedings, I was given permission by HHJ Neil Davey QC to address him from the press seats on the matter of reporting. He stated, unequivocally, that he did not intend to put any restrictions in place and what was heard that day could be fully reported. Which is, of course, my intention.

Having obtained the Order dated 13th February, 2019 consequent to those proceedings, and re-checked my own notes taken on the day, there are no residual matters in issue concerning this investigation that would impede disclosure, by way of the Act.

B. Other data held by WYP, believed not to be connected to either Operation Thatcham or Waffleedge but, more broadly, concerning insurance fraud.

6. Any electronic data held by WYP that can be retrieved by using the search term 'Insurance Fraud Consultants Ltd'.

7. Any electronic data that can be retrieved by using either of the search terms 'QV Investigation Services' or 'QV Forensics' or 'qvforensics.com'

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Freedom of Information, West Yorkshire Police

Classification: NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Dear Mr Wilby,

Thank you for your request for information which has been logged today.

Your request will now be considered and you will receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, subject to the information not being exempt.

In some circumstances West Yorkshire Police may be unable to achieve this deadline. If this is likely you will be informed at the earliest opportunity.

If you no longer require the information, please inform us at your earliest convenience.

Kind regards
Emily Dawson
Disclosure Officer
Information Management
Tel. 01924 296006

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Dear Freedom of Information,

Thank you for the prompt acknowledgement of the request. I am grateful.

To assist you further, having checked my notes from the hearing in Bradford Combined Court Centre, on 8th February, 2019, Olivia Ceca-Dover, counsel for WYP, told HHJ Davey QC, in submissions, that Operation Waffleedge was NOT a covert investigation.

The judge ruled that the policy log should be disclosed to the claimant in those civil proceedings.

Whilst I readily accept that disclosure to, or before, a court requires a different test to the one required under the Act, this information request has been carefully framed so as to avoid the possibilty of a NCND response.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Freedom of Information, West Yorkshire Police

Classification: NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Dear Mr Wilby

 

Thank you for your request for information received by West Yorkshire
Police on 06/03/19.

 

You requested the following information:

A. Operation Waffleedge (this was spawned from the widely reported
Operation Thatcham cash-for-crash joint investigation by WYP, the Ministry
of Justice and the Motor Fraud Bureau.

 

Please disclose the following information, by way of the Act, concerning
Waffleedge, an investigation carried out by the Professional Standards
Department of WYP in, or around, 2012 or 2013:

 

1. Date of first entry in policy book (or log).

 

2. Date last action is recorded in policy book (or log).

 

3. Name of Gold Commander

 

4. Name of Silver Commander.

 

5. Terms of reference (redacted to exclude any personal information).

 

Operation Wafflehead was referred to a number of times by the parties and
the judge, in open court, on 8th February, 2019 at Bradford Combined Court
Centre. At the conclusion of those proceedings, I was given permission by
HHJ Neil Davey QC to address him from the press seats on the matter of
reporting. He stated, unequivocally, that he did not intend to put any
restrictions in place and what was heard that day could be fully reported.
Which is, of course, my intention.

 

Having obtained the Order dated 13th February, 2019 consequent to those
proceedings, and re-checked my own notes taken on the day, there are no
residual matters in issue concerning this investigation that would impede
disclosure, by way of the Act.

 

B. Other data held by WYP, believed not to be connected to either
Operation Thatcham or Waffleedge but, more broadly, concerning insurance
fraud.

 

6. Any electronic data held by WYP that can be retrieved by using the
search term 'Insurance Fraud Consultants Ltd'.

 

7. Any electronic data that can be retrieved by using either of the search
terms 'QV Investigation Services' or 'QV Forensics' or 'qvforensics.com'

 

Section 17 of the Act provides:

(1) A public authority which, in relation to any request for information,
is to any extent relying on a claim that information is exempt information
must, within the time for complying with Section 1(1), give the applicant
a notice which:-

(a) states the fact,

(b) specifies the exemption in question, and

(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 obliges us to respond to requests
promptly and in any case no later than 20 working days after receiving
your request. We must consider firstly whether we can comply with S1(1)(a)
of the Act, which is our duty to confirm whether or not the information
requested is held and secondly we must comply with S1(1)(b), which is the
provision of such information. However, when a qualified exemption applies
either to the confirmation or denial or the information provision and the
public interest test is engaged, the Act allows the time for response to
be longer than 20 working days, if the balance of such public interest is
undetermined.

In this case, we have not yet reached a decision on where the balance of
the public interest lies in respect of either of the above obligations. We
estimate that it will take an additional 20 working days to take a
decision on where this balance lies.

 

Section 30 Investigations

Section 31 Law Enforcement

 

I would like to apologise in advance for the delay in responding to your
request. Please be assured that we will endeavour to send a response out
to you as soon as possible.

 

Kind regards

Gemma Burton

Disclosure Officer

Information Management

Tel. 01924 296006

 

Read about the West Yorkshire Police Positive Action Recruitment Campaign - click to find out more:
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Dear Freedom of Information,

Thank you for the update. I'm grateful.

Kind regards,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Freedom of Information, West Yorkshire Police

1 Attachment

Classification: NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Dear Mr Wilby

 

Please see the attached document in relation to your request.

 

Kind regards

Gemma Burton

Disclosure Officer

Information Management

Tel. 01924 296006

 

Read about the West Yorkshire Police Positive Action Recruitment Campaign - click to find out more:
http://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/recru...

This email transmission may contain confidential or legally privileged information and is intended for the addressee(s) only. If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution, retention or reliance upon the contents of this e-mail and any attachment(s) is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful.

If you have received this in error, please use the reply function to notify us immediately and permanently delete the email and any attachment(s) from your computer or electronic device.

West Yorkshire Police reserves the rights to routinely monitor incoming and outgoing e-mail messages and cannot accept liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content and, as internet communications should not be considered as secure, for changes made to this message after it was sent.

Any views or opinions expressed in this message may not be those of the West Yorkshire Police.

This email was scanned for viruses by the West Yorkshire Polices' anti-virus services and on leaving the Force was found to be virus and malware free. You must take full responsibility for any subsequent virus or malware checking.

Edward Williams left an annotation ()

if the op. was referred to in court then NCND cannot be used.

Hopefully, Mr Wilby will take this to tribunal (the ICO is useless).

Dear West Yorkshire Police,

I am writing to request an internal review of West Yorkshire Police's handling of my FOI request 'Operation Waffle Edge (or Waffleedge)'.

1. To assist the reviewer, this is a report of the proceedings published after the most recent hearing of the civil claim referred to in the request, in which Operation Waffleedge is referenced. On the basis of submissions to the court, by counsel for WYP, there can be no reasonable basis for a NCND response.

http://neilwilby.com/2019/04/08/court-se...

2. Questions 6 and 7 are perfectly valid under the Act, in my respectful submission. They are plainly expressed and clearly indicate the information sought for disclosure.

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

Freedom of Information, West Yorkshire Police

Classification: NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Dear N. Wilby,

Thank you for your request for an internal review which has been logged today.

Your request will now be considered and you will receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act.

In some circumstances West Yorkshire Police may be unable to achieve this deadline. If this is likely you will be informed at the earliest opportunity.

If you no longer require the information, please inform us at your earliest convenience.

Kind regards
Emily Dawson
Disclosure Officer
Information Management
Tel. 01924 296006

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Dear Freedom of Information,

May I politely remind you that the response to the IRR should have been provided to meby close of business yesterday?

If you require a short extension of time, I am amenable to that. Provided, of course, you keep me informed.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Freedom of Information, West Yorkshire Police

Classification: NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Dear N. Wilby,

Our systems have this as showing a due date of today. I would like to inform you that your response is in the final proceedings and I aim to have this to you today if possible or no later than tomorrow.

Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Kind regards
Emily Dawson
Disclosure Officer
Information Management
Tel. 01924 296006

show quoted sections

Freedom of Information, West Yorkshire Police

Classification: NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Dear N. Wilby,

Please accept my apologies in the further delay in receiving your response, I had hoped that I would be in a position to send this to you by the close of play today. Unfortunately the member of staff that I am currently awaiting a response from has been out of the office yesterday and today, therefore they have not yet answered my query. I have been informed that they are due back tomorrow, and a response to myself will be prioritised.

Thank you once again for your patience in this matter.

Kind regards
Emily Dawson
Disclosure Officer
Information Management
Tel. 01924 296006

show quoted sections

Freedom of Information, West Yorkshire Police

1 Attachment

Classification: NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Dear N. Wilby,

 

Please see the attached document in relation to your internal review.

 

Kind regards

Emily Dawson

Disclosure Officer

Information Management

Tel. 01924 296006

 

Read about the West Yorkshire Police Positive Action Recruitment Campaign - click to find out more:
http://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/recru...

This email transmission may contain confidential or legally privileged information and is intended for the addressee(s) only. If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution, retention or reliance upon the contents of this e-mail and any attachment(s) is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful.

If you have received this in error, please use the reply function to notify us immediately and permanently delete the email and any attachment(s) from your computer or electronic device.

West Yorkshire Police reserves the rights to routinely monitor incoming and outgoing e-mail messages and cannot accept liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content and, as internet communications should not be considered as secure, for changes made to this message after it was sent.

Any views or opinions expressed in this message may not be those of the West Yorkshire Police.

This email was scanned for viruses by the West Yorkshire Polices' anti-virus services and on leaving the Force was found to be virus and malware free. You must take full responsibility for any subsequent virus or malware checking.

Edward Williams left an annotation ()

Can only hope that this garbage response is subject to a s50 FOIA complaint.

Dear Freedom of Information,

Thank you for the belated response.

A complaint under section 50 of the Act has been made to the ICO.

They will, no doubt, be in touch with you in due course.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com