Payments to expert witness

Neil Wilby made this Freedom of Information request to Durham Constabulary

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 Durham Constabulary.

Dear Durham Constabulary ("Durham"),

Please disclose the following information by way of the Freedom of Information Act, 2000.

Total amount paid to LYNDA LEE CONSULTING LTD in the following financial years:

Year ended 31.3.17

Year ended 31.3.18

Year ended 31.3.19

An unimpeachable policing source has confirmed that this company has produced at least one medico-legal report for Durham.

Please also disclose all information pertaining to how LYNDA LEE CONSULTING LTD was procured as an expert witness by Durham, including, but not limited to, sample tender documents.

It will assist the wider understanding of the hundreds of thousands of What Do They Know readers and fellow users to be aware that a 'Google' search reveals only one (unofficial) register upon which this company's name appears:

http://www.yourexpertwitness.co.uk/exper...

The company's profile on the well-known social media website, 'LinkedIn' shows no affiliations at all. Official or unofficial.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lynda-lee-77...

It does however reveal that the author of the profile cannot spell the word 'grammar' correctly (as in Leighton Buzzard *Grammer* School). That should have been apparent to the officer responsible for instructing LYNDA LEE CONSULTING LTD., if even the most basic due diligence had been undertaken.

These issues do raise significant concerns as to how public money came to be spent with a company with no geographic and, apparently, no legal or professional proximity to Durham.

In the light of your force's questionable history concerning information rights, you are respectfully reminded of the obligations placed on Durham by sections 10 and 17 of the Act. This request is very narrow, uncontroversial and the information requested for disclosure should be in readily retrievable form.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Freedom of Information, Durham Constabulary

Your request has been received by Durham Constabulary's Information Rights
& Disclosure Unit and will be actioned accordingly. If you have any
queries please contact 0191 375 2596 Mondays to Fridays between the hours
of 7.45am and 5pm.

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Freedom of Information, Durham Constabulary

1 Attachment

Good Afternoon Mr Wilby,

Please find attached response to your Freedom of Information request.

Yours Sincerely

Freedom of Information Decision Maker
Business Innovation & Development Command
Durham Constabulary
Police Headquarters
Aykley Heads
Durham DH1 5TT
Email: [email address]
Telephone: 0191 375 2594 Internal 752594

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Positive | Fair | Courageous | Inclusive | With Integrity
Protecting Neighbourhoods, Tackling Criminals, Solving Problems

show quoted sections

This message has been hidden. Internal review request removed due to extraneous potentially defamatory material. Please contact us if you have any questions. If you are the requester, then you may sign in to view the message.

Freedom of Information, Durham Constabulary

This message has been hidden. Internal review acknowledgement removed due to quoted extraneous potentially defamatory material. The reply stated (with quoted content removed): Good morning Mr Wilby, I acknowledge receipt of the request for an Internal Review of the response under our reference FOI 198/20. The request will be passed to the Internal Reviewer who will respond in due course. Yours sincerely Freedom of Information Decision Maker. Business Innovation & Development Command Durham Constabulary Our Values & Vision: Positive | Fair | Courageous | Inclusive | With Integrity Protecting Neighbourhoods, Tackling Criminals, Solving Problems Please contact us if you have any questions. If you are the requester, then you may sign in to view the message.

Freedom of Information, Durham Constabulary

This message has been hidden. Internal review response removed due to quoted extraneous potentially defamatory material. There is another below without the quoted problematic content. Please contact us if you have any questions. If you are the requester, then you may sign in to view the message.

Freedom of Information, Durham Constabulary

Dear Mr Wilby

 

I refer to your email of the 5th March 2020, in which you seek an Internal
Review of the Constabulary’s handling of the Freedom of Information
request dated 19th February 2020.

 

I have been asked to conduct an independent review on behalf of the
Constabulary due to not having been involved with the original request or
response. The Internal Review process allows for the original decision to
be overturned, modified or upheld in full.

 

I can confirm that I have undertaken an internal review of your
information request FOI 198/20. I have examined the decision maker’s
application of the Section 31(3) exemption which was applied.  I am in
agreement that the application of Section 31(3) was correct without the
need to quote any subsection. 1.    Section 31 (3) states: ‘The duty to
confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that, compliance with
section 1 (1) (a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice any of the
matters mentioned in subsection (1)’.

 

I can also confirm that the correct procedures and timescales were
followed within your information request and therefore there is no finding
that the information request was handled incorrectly by any means.

 

In relation to the comment in the request for Internal Review at point 5
in respect ‘deliberate and calculating’ breaching Section 77 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000, Durham Constabulary has not breached this
section. For clarity Section 77 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is
as follows:

77 Offence of altering etc. records with intent to prevent disclosure.

 (1)Where—

(a) a request for information has been made to a public authority, and

(b) under section 1 of this Act F1... the applicant would have been
entitled (subject to payment of any fee) to communication of any
information in accordance with that section,

any person to whom this subsection applies is guilty of an offence if he
alters, defaces, blocks, erases, destroys or conceals any record held by
the public authority, with the intention of preventing the disclosure by
that authority of all, or any part, of the information to the
communication of which the applicant would have been entitled.

(2)Subsection (1) applies to the public authority and to any person who is
employed by, is an officer of, or is subject to the direction of, the
public authority.

(3)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary
conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(4)No proceedings for an offence under this section shall be instituted—

(a) in England or Wales, except by the Commissioner or by or with the
consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions;

(b) in Northern Ireland, except by the Commissioner or by or with the
consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland.

Textual Amendments

F1Words in s. 77(1)(b) omitted (25.5.2018) by virtue of Data Protection
Act 2018 (c. 12), s. 212(1), Sch. 19 para. 63 (with ss. 117, 209, 210,
Sch. 20 para. 55); S.I. 2018/625, reg. 2(1)(g)

Commencement Information

I1S. 77 wholly in force at 1.1.2005; s. 77 not in force at Royal Assent,
see s. 87(3); s. 77 in force for certain purposes at 1.1.2005 by S.I.
2002/1909, art. 2 and otherwise in force at 1.1.2005 by S.I. 2004/3122,
art. 2

 

This concludes my review of your information request FOI 198/19 and I find
I am in agreement with the approach taken by the original decision maker
and can confirm that all procedures have been followed and exemptions have
been followed and applied correctly.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the Internal Review decision you have the
right to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office at
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF telephone number:
01625 545700; website of:

[1]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

 

 

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Internal Reviewer

Business Innovation & Development Command

Durham Constabulary.

 

Our Values & Vision:

Positive  |  Fair  | Courageous |  Inclusive | With Integrity

Protecting Neighbourhoods, Tackling Criminals, Solving Problems

 

DURHAM CONSTABULARY, Protecting Neighbourhoods, Tackling Criminals,
Solving Problems…Around the Clock

NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING: Use your postcode to get access to local news and
events from your Neighbourhood Policing Team, at
https://www.durham.police.uk

This email carries a disclaimer, a copy of which may be read at
https://www.durham.police.uk/Pages/E-Mai...

References

Visible links
1. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/

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