Pick pocketing crime hot spots in London

Torbjoern Joerstad made this Freedom of Information request to Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

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 successful.

Torbjoern Joerstad

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I wish to enquire about reported pick pocketing hot spots in London. Could you please supply to following information:

1) The ten (10) locations (preferably as specific as possible, e.g. not just which Boroughs) in London where your force has received the most number of pick pocketing reports so far in 2018.
2) The number of reported pick pocketing crimes from each of the ten locations, including when the crime occurred.
3) The total number of reported pick pocketing crimes in all of London so far in 2018.
4) The total loss of value from pick pocketing crimes in all of London so far in 2018.

Additionally, does the MPS possess any recent statistics or reports as to why certain areas are hot spots for pick pocketing? If so, may I also enquire to receive said information.

Yours faithfully,

Torbjoern Joerstad

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Joerstad

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2018100000410

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 06/10/2018.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

"I wish to enquire about reported pick pocketing hot spots in London.
Could you please supply to following information:

1) The ten (10) locations (preferably as specific as possible, e.g. not
just which Boroughs) in London where your force has received the most
number of pick pocketing reports so far in 2018.
2) The number of reported pick pocketing crimes from each of the ten
locations, including when the crime occurred.
3) The total number of reported pick pocketing crimes in all of London so
far in 2018.
4) The total loss of value from pick pocketing crimes in all of London so
far in 2018.

Additionally, does the MPS possess any recent statistics or reports as to
why certain areas are hot spots for pick pocketing? If so, may I also
enquire to receive said information."  

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act).  You will receive a response within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act.  

If you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please contact
us at [email address] quoting the reference number above. Should your
enquiry relate to the logging or allocations process we will be able to
assist you directly and where your enquiry relates to other matters (such
as the status of the request) we will be able to pass on a message and/or
advise you of the relevant contact details.

Yours sincerely

R. Loizou
Support Officer - Freedom of Information Triage Team
 
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Information Rights Unit
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively, write to or
phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 0303 123 1113

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

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Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr. Joerstad

Freedom of Information Request No: 2018100000410

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). Firstly, may I apologise for the
delay to this response. I note you seek access to the following
information:

1) The ten (10) locations (preferably as specific as possible, e.g. not
just which Boroughs) in London where your force has received the most
number of pick pocketing reports so far in 2018.
2) The number of reported pick pocketing crimes from each of the ten
locations, including when the crime occurred.
3) The total number of reported pick pocketing crimes in all of London so
far in 2018.
4) The total loss of value from pick pocketing crimes in all of London so
far in 2018.

Additionally, does the MPS possess any recent statistics or reports as to
why certain areas are hot spots for pick pocketing? If so, may I also
enquire to receive said information.

DECISION

Please note, the MPS does not define ‘pickpocketing’ as a specific
category of offence and it is part of a minor category grouping of ‘theft
person’. The offences provided in this response therefore relates to the
offence of ‘Theft Person’.  

I have today decided to provide you with the ten locations with the
highest number of reported offences of theft – person, together with the
total offences and total value stolen.

Any further breakdown of when the offence occurred, including the number
for each location and value for each location is exempt by virtue of
section 40(2)(3)(4) personal information and s.31(1) law enforcement,
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) -  reasons for which can be
found at Annex A below.

In accordance with the Act, this response represents a partial Refusal
Notice for this particular request under Section 17(1) of the Act.

DISCLOSURE

Please find below the locations with the highest number of recorded
offences of theft – person, for the period 1st January to 21st October
2018, together with the total offences and total value – for both the
locations and the whole of the MPS.

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Highest locations (not in order of totals) | Offences | Value stolen |
|--------------------------------------------+----------+----------------|
| Camden  -  CAMDEN HIGH STREET NW1 |   |   |
|--------------------------------------------+----------+----------------|
| Camden  -  TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD W1T |   |   |
|--------------------------------------------+----------+----------------|
| Haringey  -  HIGH ROAD N22 |   |   |
|--------------------------------------------+----------+----------------|
| Lambeth  -  BRIXTON ROAD SW9 |   |   |
|--------------------------------------------+----------+----------------|
| Newham  -  MONTFICHET ROAD E20 |   |   |
|--------------------------------------------+----------+----------------|
| Westminster  -  GERRARD STREET W1D |   |   |
|--------------------------------------------+----------+----------------|
| Westminster  -  LEICESTER SQUARE WC2H |   |   |
|--------------------------------------------+----------+----------------|
| Westminster  -  OXFORD STREET W1C & W1D |   |   |
|--------------------------------------------+----------+----------------|
| Westminster  -  PICCADILLY W1J |   |   |
|--------------------------------------------+----------+----------------|
| Westminster  -  REGENT STREET W1B |   |   |
|--------------------------------------------+----------+----------------|
| Total for the 10 locations shown above | 3,658 | £2,038,159.59 |
|--------------------------------------------+----------+----------------|
| Total MPS | 33,033 | £16,704,793.98 |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

In regards to the final aspect of your request – for statistics or reports
as to why certain areas are hotspots, whilst it would not be possible
within the threshold of 18 hours to determine if such a report is held and
locate and extract, I can advise you of the following reports into
strengthening local policing (SLP) programme, which aims to deliver local
policing in a way that is more personal and responsive to the needs of
London, helping to tackle crime and disorder more effectively and helping
to make London the safest global city.

The follow MOPAC Executive Summary can be found by way of the following
link:
https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/may...

‘The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) faces a significant challenge in
addressing evolving and growing demands whilst achieving a real-term
reduction in its budget.  Local policing needs to become more effective
and efficient in tackling crime and disorder, and be able to deliver a
service that is more personal and responsive to the needs of London with
fewer resources.

In order to achieve this, the Strengthening Local Policing (SLP) Programme
will introduce a functional-based approach to local policing; coupled with
merging Borough Commands to create larger, more resilient Basic Command
Units (BCUs); improved strategic leadership; and incorporate a focused
safeguarding capability integrated with local services.

This approach was tested in two ‘pathfinder’ BCUs: East Area (previously
Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge Borough Commands) and Central
North (previously Camden and Islington Borough Commands). In response,
after initially experiencing issues remedial changes were implemented and
emergency response is now operating effectively. In light of this the MPS
has taken the operational decision that the changes be extended across
London to meet the challenges posed by planned budget reductions in 2018
and beyond and to deliver the operational benefits more widely.’

Learnings from the Pathfinders

The following statement on delivery of local policing can be found by way
of this link
https://www.met.police.uk/police-forces/...
 

‘Delivering local policing at a larger scale has been considered on
several occasions in recent years. The aim is not solely to obtain
efficiencies of scale and resilience. The objective is also to improve the
quality of policing, increase efficiency, improve decision making and
simplify team and leadership structures. Greater consistency of operating
practice, within a reduced number of operational commands, provides the
added benefit of a solid foundation for future change.

The Pathfinders were intended to test ideas that have been considered and
been in development for a number of years – providing learning as to what
works and what does not to support a wider roll-out.

Two sites were selected to provide an insight into how the proposals
operated in different policing environments in London. These sites were
"Central North" (CN) comprising the boroughs of Camden and Islington; and
"East Area" (EA) made up of Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge.
Preparation for the pathfinder started in October 2016 and a phased
implementation began in January 2017. The Pathfinders and associated
technology changes were fully in place by April 2017.’

Performance impact: the implementation of the BCU destabilised operational
delivery and had an initial impact on several areas. BCU pathfinders have
shown where the risk of these impacts is most acute enabling amendments to
the BCU design and implementation process. As training and experience beds
in, there has been a discernible performance improvement across the BCU.
Some indicators, however remain high (ONS, VCOP compliance) and this has
identified where additional training is still needed.

Performance management arrangements: while operating at a larger scale,
there remains a need for both functional, Borough and team level data and
performance processes. This is needed to support both senior and junior
leaders on the BCUs. On a similar theme, partnership requirements need to
be scoped and met so that partners are informed about the areas of
interest – particularly with regard to Borough rather than BCU level data.

Stabilisation and success criteria: BCUs need clear criteria to define
what success and stabilisation looks like. This is required both to ensure
that BCUs deliver against agreed priorities but also so that the
transition from a BCU “in transition” to “business as usual” is a
structured process.

Continuous Improvement: the pathfinders have not waited until the current
learning process to make necessary changes – but have done so at the
earliest appropriate moment. This experience is likely to be repeated on
every BCU – and so a structured and controlled approach to learning, that
takes into account both local and pan-London requirements is essential.
This will both ensure the Pathfinders return to business as usual in a
structured way and that BCUs, moving forward, are able to continue to
learn and evolve.’

Further reference to the BCU Pathfinder Review (January 2018) can be found
by way of this link
https://www.met.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/...

Please also find below a link to the Police and Crime Plan 2017-2021 which
I hope you find useful
https://www.met.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/...

I hope you find the information provided in this response useful. Should
you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please email
[email address], quoting the reference number above.

Thank you for your interest in the MPS

Yours sincerely

Mr. Lyng
Information Manager

ANNEX A

A Freedom of Information Act request is not a private transaction. Both
the request itself, and any information disclosed, are considered suitable
for open publication. This is because, under Freedom of Information, any
information disclosed is released into the wider public domain,
effectively to the world and not just to one individual.

PERSONAL INFORMATION

Section 3 of the Data Protection Act 2018 confirms that information which
relates to an identified or identifiable living individual is Personal
Data.

The Freedom of Information Act provides an exemption for Personal Data and
this is known as the section 40 exemption.  

The information sought under your Freedom of Information request includes
the following which we consider to be Personal Data.

I have applied this exemption in that any further breakdown of when an
offence occurred (such as date/time) together with the details of the
location as already provided in this response - could cause a person's
identity to be revealed. If this occurs due to the information provided by
the MPS, this constitutes personal data, which would be in breach of the
rights provided by the DPA.
 
Where the request is seeking access to third party personal data the
section 40(2) exemption may be engaged.  

In order to apply the Section 40(2) exemption the disclosure of the
requested information must satisfy either the first, second or third
conditions as defined by subsections 3A, 3B and 4A of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (as amended by Section 58 of the Data Protection Act
2018).  

The first condition ensures that the exemption would apply in
circumstances where the disclosure of the information would breach any of
the Data Protection Act 2018 principles.

There are six Data Protection principles set out in the 2018 act and these
can be found at section 34.  

In this instance I have decided that the disclosure of the Personal Data
would be incompatible with the first Data Protection principle which
states that the processing (in this case the disclosure) of the data must
be both lawful and fair.

The basis for determining whether such a disclosure would be lawful and
fair is outlined under section 35 of the 2018 act which states that the
subject of the data must have given his/her consent for disclosure or the
processing must be necessary for the performance of a task carried out by
a competent authority. Publication of any further information from the
crime reports such as when the offence occurred would potentially breach
the rights to privacy of the victims in these cases.

As we do not have consent for the disclosure of personal data and the
disclosure is not necessary for any law enforcement purposes it would not
be considered lawful processing.  Such a disclosure would therefore
contravene the first data protection principle.

I have applied the exemption provided under Section 40(2) of the Freedom
of Information Act to this information as the first condition, defined in
subsection 3(A)(a) of Section 40 has been satisfied.  

LAW ENFORCEMENT

Section 31(1) of the Act provides:
(1)Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is
exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be
likely to, prejudice—
(a) The prevention or detection of crime,
(b) The apprehension or prosecution of offenders,

Harm

In considering whether or not any further breakdown of data as would be
held within each crime report should be disclosed, the MPS has considered
the potential prejudice that could be caused by disclosure. The prejudice
in this instance relates specifically to the law enforcement functions of
the MPS.

This is because to disclose any further data for these ten specific
locations would ultimately harm the law enforcement functions mentioned
above, of the MPS. The MPS is therefore satisfied that the provision of
any further data would be harmful.

Public Interest Test

Section 31 Public Interest Considerations Favouring Disclosure

The MPS recognises the general public interest argument in ensuring
transparency in the activities of public authorities.  It is recognised
that transparency is the fundamental objective of the freedom of
information act and this leads itself to a presumption of disclosure.
Disclosure of any further breakdown of data as would be held within each
crime report would reassure the general public that the MPS had effective
procedures in place concerning the effectiveness of operational policing
matters.

Section 31 Considerations Favouring Non-Disclosure  

However, this has to be balanced with the factors against disclosure,
namely to disclose any further breakdown of data as would be held within
each crime report  may harm the MPS in its ability in the prevention and
detection of offences.

Balancing Test

After weighing up the competing interests the MPS has determined that the
disclosure of the withheld information would not be in the public
interest. Having acknowledged that the public will be more informed if
this additional information was released, the benefit of disclosure does
not outweigh the stronger arguments for non-disclosure in this case.
 
The MPS therefore finds that in these circumstances the public interest in
maintaining the exemptions at section 31(1)(a)(b) of the Act outweighs the
public interest in disclosing any further information.  

LEGAL ANNEX
Section 17(1) 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 any provision in
part II relating to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request
or 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.

Section 40(2)(3)&(4) of the Act provides:
(2)        Any information to which a request for information relates is
also exempt information if—

(a) it constitutes personal data which do not fall within subsection (1),
and
(b) either the first or the second condition below is satisfied.

(3A)        The first condition is that the disclosure of the information
to a member of the public otherwise than under this Act—

(a) Would contravene any of the data protection principles, or
(b) Would do so if the exemptions in section 24(1) of the Data Protection
Act 2018 (manual unstructured data held by public authorities) were
disregarded.

(3B)The second condition is that the disclosure of the information to a
member of the public otherwise than under this Act would contravene
Article 21 of the GDPR (general processing: right to object to
processing).

(4A)The third condition is that—
(a) on a request under Article 15(1) of the GDPR (general processing:
right of access by the data subject) for access to personal data, the
information would be withheld in reliance on provision made by or under
section 15, 16 or 26 of, or Schedule 2, 3 or 4 to, the Data Protection Act
2018, or
(b) On a request under section 45(1)(b) of that Act (law enforcement
processing: right of access by the data subject), the information would be
withheld in reliance on subsection (4) of that section.

In complying with their statutory duty under sections 1 and 11 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed information, the
Metropolitan Police Service will not breach the Copyright, Designs and
Patents Act 1988. However, the rights of the copyright owner of the
enclosed information will continue to be protected by law.  Applications
for the copyright owner's written permission to reproduce any part of the
attached information should be addressed to MPS Directorate of Legal
Services, 10 Lambs Conduit Street, London, WC1N 3NR.
 
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Information Rights Unit
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively, write to or
phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 0303 123 1113

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: [1]https://m.facebook.com/metpoliceuk 

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

References

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