Oversight arrangements to monitor and control the use of "covert communications data capture"

Mr F Clarke made this Freedom of Information request to West Midlands Police 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.

The request was refused by West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.

Dear West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner,

I would like to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

On October 17 2016 the Express and Star published an article titled ‘Privacy fears as Midlands police forces use new 'Stingray' spy technology’.

In the article you are quoted as saying: “We maintain close oversight of this important area of work.”

I request information about the oversight arrangements that are in place for the Police and Crime Commissioner to monitor and control the use of "covert communications data capture", “CCDC”, "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations", “mobile phone jammers”, “stingrays” or similar mobile phone surveillance and tracking devices by West Midlands Police. This includes all guidelines, presentations, policy statements, legal opinions, memoranda, briefs, training manuals, emails and any other documents.

As per Section 4a of Part 1 of the Freedom of Information Act I would like the information in question held at the time when my request is received (draft or otherwise), except that account may be taken of any amendment or deletion made between now and the latest time by which the information is to be communicated to me, being an amendment or deletion that would have been made regardless of the receipt of my request.

If my request is denied in whole or in part, or specific items within the responses are withheld from disclosure, then you must justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the Act, as per Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act. Where you rely on a qualified exemption to withhold disclosure, you are obliged to consider the public interest in your decision and the refusal notice must explain not only which exemption applies and why, but also the public interest arguments addressed in reaching the decision.

I would be grateful if you would kindly acknowledge receipt of this request as recommended by the ICO ("It would be good practice to acknowledge receipt of requests and to refer to the 20 working day time limit, so that applicants know their request is being dealt with").

I am not working together with any other parties to obtain this information.

If you feel that a response to this request is not possible within the limits provided by the Act, I would be grateful if you could contact me by telephone or email to advise me as to how I could refine the request.

If you believe that some of the information requested falls under an exemption in the Freedom of Information Act, I would request that you release the full list of affected documents and endeavour to redact them rather than withhold them in full. I believe that there is a public interest in releasing these documents and would ask that you explain in detail how any exemption is engaged.

I would prefer to receive all correspondence and information in an electronic, machine-readable format such as .DOC/.ODT or .PDF rather than scans of documents.

Please be aware that I may publish this request or further correspondence online.

Finally, please confirm that you have received this request. I look forward to your response within 20 working days, as outlined by the statute.

Yours faithfully,

Mr F Clarke

West Midlands Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

Dear Mr F Clarke,

This brief acknowledgement is sent to confirm safe receipt of your Freedom
of Information request dated 15^th February regarding Oversight
arrangements to monitor and control the use of "covert communications data
capture".

Please be assured that this will be brought to the attention of the Police
and Crime Commissioner at the earliest opportunity and a more detailed
response sent in due course.

Meanwhile, should you need to contact the Office of the Police and Crime
Commissioner about this matter please quote the reference number in the
subject line of this e-mail.

 

Regards,

 

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner

 

Nominations for the PCC’s Outstanding Citizens Awards 2017 are open
[1]here

 

[2]cid:image001.jpg@01D27ADF.1AFD28A0

 

This email is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged
or confidential information. If received in error, please notify the
originator immediately. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. Views or opinions
expressed in this email do not necessarily represent those of West
Midlands Police. All West Midlands Police email activity is monitored for
virus, racist, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate activity. No
responsibility is accepted by West Midlands Police for any loss or damage
arising in any way from the receipt or use of this email.

This email is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged
or confidential information. If received in error, please notify the
originator immediately. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. Views or opinions
expressed in this email do not necessarily represent those of West
Midlands Police. All West Midlands Police email activity is monitored for
virus, racist, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate activity. No
responsibility is accepted by West Midlands Police for any loss or damage
arising in any way from the receipt or use of this email.

References

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1. http://westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/key-issue...

Dear West Midlands Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner,

I am emailing to remind you that I have not yet received a response to the Freedom of Information request I submitted on 15 February 2017.

By law, public authorities must respond promptly to requests, normally within 20 working days. 20 working days have now passed. Please can you update me on the current status of my request and when I can expect to receive a response.

Yours sincerely,

Mr F Clarke

West Midlands Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Mr Clarke

Thank you for your email regarding your FOI request, and I am sorry that 20 working days have lapsed and we have not yet responded to you.

I will be speaking to the person responsible for FOIs and will come back to you later today.

Karen Dawes
Business Support Officer

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner
Lloyd House
Colmore Circus Queensway
Birmingham
B4 6NQ

Internal: 801 6034
Office: 0121 626 6060
Twitter: @WestMidsPCC
www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk

Nominations for the PCC’s Outstanding Citizens Awards 2017 are open here

To find out about the use of stop and search by West Midlands Police in your area visit http://www.police.uk/

Are you subscribed to the email newsletter from the Police and Crime Commissioner? Get the latest information by signing up here: http://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/newsl...

This email is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged or confidential information. If received in error, please notify the originator immediately. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. Views or opinions expressed in this email do not necessarily represent those of West Midlands Police. All West Midlands Police email activity is monitored for virus, racist, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate activity. No responsibility is accepted by West Midlands Police for any loss or damage arising in any way from the receipt or use of this email.

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Karen Dawes, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Mr Clarke

I write following my email of this morning to you. I have been informed that the person responsible for your request is currently on leave. However, I have spoken to one of my senior managers who confirms that the information you have requested is contained within this office, and he will prepare a response for you, albeit, he will not be able work on this until sometime next week.

I hope the above is acceptable, and once again, I apologise for you not receiving this request within 20 days.

Karen Dawes
Business Support Officer

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner
Lloyd House
Colmore Circus Queensway
Birmingham
B4 6NQ

Internal: 801 6034
Office: 0121 626 6060
Twitter: @WestMidsPCC
www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk

Nominations for the PCC’s Outstanding Citizens Awards 2017 are open here

To find out about the use of stop and search by West Midlands Police in your area visit http://www.police.uk/

Are you subscribed to the email newsletter from the Police and Crime Commissioner? Get the latest information by signing up here: http://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/newsl...

This email is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged or confidential information. If received in error, please notify the originator immediately. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. Views or opinions expressed in this email do not necessarily represent those of West Midlands Police. All West Midlands Police email activity is monitored for virus, racist, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate activity. No responsibility is accepted by West Midlands Police for any loss or damage arising in any way from the receipt or use of this email.

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Linda Kirk, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Clarke

 

Please find attached scanned correspondence sent on behalf of Jonathan
Jardine, Chief Executive.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Linda Kirk

Senior Business Support Officer

 

West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner

Lloyd House

Colmore Circus Queensway

Birmingham

B4 6NQ

 

Tel: 0121 626 6060

Int: 801 2062

 

Web: [1]www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk

Twitter: @WestMidsPCC

Facebook: [2]www.facebook.com/WestMidsPCC

 

Nominations for the PCC’s Outstanding Citizens Awards 2017 are open
[3]here

 

[4]cid:image001.jpg@01D27ADF.1AFD28A0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This email is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged
or confidential information. If received in error, please notify the
originator immediately. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. Views or opinions
expressed in this email do not necessarily represent those of West
Midlands Police. All West Midlands Police email activity is monitored for
virus, racist, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate activity. No
responsibility is accepted by West Midlands Police for any loss or damage
arising in any way from the receipt or use of this email.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/
2. http://www.facebook.com/WestMidsPCC
3. http://westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/key-issue...

Dear West Midlands 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 West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner's handling of my FOI request 'Oversight arrangements to monitor and control the use of "covert communications data capture"'.

I am unhappy with the reasons that were given for refusing my FOI request. My request was focused on asking about the oversight arrangements in place for the Police and Crime Commissioner to monitor and control the use of mobile surveillance. You have refused my request on the grounds of providing details of oversight would reveal that the police have access to covert mobile surveillance capabilities and "may further encourage criminal/terrorist activity".

I disagree with the reason you have given for refusing my request. The Police and Crime Commissioner is already on record in a 2016 Express and Star article on police use of mobile surveillance capabilities as saying “We maintain close oversight of this important area of work” (reference: http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2016/.... I therefore do not agree that providing information on oversight would newly reveal the existence of mobile surveillance.

Secondly, I am concerned that the reason for refusing my request could be applied to other areas of policing, reducing public transparency, accountability and trust that is so important. This point is made at the bottom of page 3 of the response, "This argument is obviously transferable to all police tactics." For example, by the same logic public discussion about neighbourhood policing priorities could be said to advantage burglars.

By refusing my FOI request it has not been possible for me to verify the Police and Crime Commissioner's claim about mobile surveillance that "We maintain close oversight of this important area of work”. Given the growing concerns over surveillance powers and recent efforts by central government to modernise surveillance powers and safeguards I believe the public interest would be served by answering my request.

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,

Mr F Clarke

West Midlands Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

Dear Mr F Clarke,                

This brief acknowledgement is sent to confirm safe receipt of your
correspondence dated 4^th April.

Please be assured that this will be brought to the attention of the Police
and Crime Commissioner at the earliest opportunity and a more detailed
response sent in due course.

Meanwhile, should you need to contact the Office of the Police and Crime
Commissioner about this matter please quote the reference number in the
subject line of this e-mail.

 

Regards,

 

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner

 

Nominations for the PCC’s Outstanding Citizens Awards 2017 are open
[1]here

 

[2]cid:image001.jpg@01D27ADF.1AFD28A0

 

This email is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged
or confidential information. If received in error, please notify the
originator immediately. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. Views or opinions
expressed in this email do not necessarily represent those of West
Midlands Police. All West Midlands Police email activity is monitored for
virus, racist, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate activity. No
responsibility is accepted by West Midlands Police for any loss or damage
arising in any way from the receipt or use of this email.

 

This email is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged
or confidential information. If received in error, please notify the
originator immediately. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. Views or opinions
expressed in this email do not necessarily represent those of West
Midlands Police. All West Midlands Police email activity is monitored for
virus, racist, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate activity. No
responsibility is accepted by West Midlands Police for any loss or damage
arising in any way from the receipt or use of this email.

References

Visible links
1. http://westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/key-issue...

Linda Kirk, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Clarke

Please find attached scanned correspondence sent to you on behalf of Darlene Waithe, Legal Advisor.

Yours sincerely

Linda Kirk
Senior Business Support Officer

West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner
Lloyd House
Colmore Circus Queensway
Birmingham
B4 6NQ

Tel: 0121 626 6060
Int: 801 2062

Web: www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk
Twitter: @WestMidsPCC
Facebook: www.facebook.com/WestMidsPCC

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