Dear Essex Police,

Please could you enlighten me under the freedom of information act

how many planned Terrorist attacks on emergency service personnel or buildings
have been thwarted/stopped by Security Services and or Police in your area Essex
within the last five years

Yours faithfully,

Barry Smith

Info Rights Freedom Essex, Essex Police

1 Attachment

 

 

 

Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above
reference. 

 

Please note that Essex Police are actively publishing information within
our publication scheme webpage, information supplied as part of this
request could be used within the scheme.  Please click on the following
link to search details of existing publications
[1]https://www.essex.police.uk/foi-ai/af/ac....

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act we are required to reply within 20
working days.  The Act does not specify a limit to the number of
information requests a public authority may receive or the number of
requests or questions an applicant may submit.  However, there are
exemptions in the Act that can apply and these include where the cost of
complying with the request would extend beyond the reasonable cost limit,
(currently 18 hours or £450), or if the request is otherwise manifestly
unreasonable in its scope or nature. 

 

Requests that ask a great many questions, or a number of detailed requests
submitted at the same time, may make it necessary for Essex Police to
refuse the requests wholly or in part.  The exemption at Section 14 may be
engaged if the burden on the authority is increased through multiple
requests on differing subjects.

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has responsibility for
providing oversight and guidance for the legislation and they have
produced advice for applicants on submitting effective requests.  Further
information can be found on the Commissioner’s website at
[2]www.ico.gov.uk, specific information relating to submitting a request
can be found at: 
[3]https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/offici...

 

While we process your request, please take the time to consider the ICO’s
advice and whether you feel it may be beneficial to amend or refine your
request.  Our team is happy to discuss your request with you and will be
able to provide advice as to what kind of information will be available
from Essex Police.

 

Although every effort will be made to ensure a response is provided within
statutory deadlines, due to current circumstances, delays may be
unavoidable.  We apologise for any inconvenience and will endeavour to
process your request as quickly as is practicable.

 

Please ensure all future enquiries are sent to the
[4][Essex Police request email] mailbox.

 

Kind regards

 

 

FOI Team | Information Management Department | Information Rights Section
| Essex Police

Telephone: 101 | Email: [5][Essex Police request email]

Address: Information Management Department, Information Rights Section,
Essex Police HQ, PO Box 2, Chelmsford CM2 6DA  (for Sat Nav directions,
use CM2 6DN for HQ)

 

Information Management aspires to be: Helpful, Inclusive & Professional

 

Essex Police have developed a publication strategy, our aim is to reduce
the demand within the FOI Department and to provide knowledge to the
public to include previous and combined FOI requests together with
relevant links and information.

 

Please visit this area of our website before submitting FOI requests as
information may already be available.

 

[6]https://www.essex.police.uk/foi-ai/af/ac...

Please note, if you require further information or wish to resubmit a
request please refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s
website regarding submission of effective requests:
[7]https://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/of...

 

Your right to complain

 

If you feel your request has not been properly handled, or you are
otherwise dissatisfied with the outcome of your request you have the right
to complain.

 

Complaints should be submitted within 20 working days from the date of
this response and should be addressed to the Senior Information Officer at
the above address or by email to: [8]info.rights.freedom@essex. police.uk

 

We will conduct a review to investigate your complaint and endeavour to
reply within 20 working days.

 

Please explain which aspect of the reply you are not satisfied with, and
if your complaint concerns the decision to apply an exemption it would
assist the review if you would outline why you believe the exemption does
not apply.

 

If you are still dissatisfied following our review, you have the right
under Section 50 of the Act to complain directly to the Information
Commissioner. Before considering your complaint, the Information
Commissioner would normally expect you to have exhausted the complaints
procedures provided by Essex Police.

 

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF or via [9]https://ico.org.uk/

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Info Rights Freedom Essex, Essex Police

1 Attachment

Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above
reference.

 

Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) places two duties
on public authorities. Unless exemptions apply, the first duty at Section
1(1)(a) is to confirm or deny whether the information specified in a
request is held. The second duty at Section 1(1)(b) is to disclose
information that has been confirmed as being held. Where exemptions are
relied upon Section 17 of FOIA requires that we provide the applicant with
a notice which: a) states that fact b) specifies the exemption(s) in
question and c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the
exemption applies.

 

In respect of your enquiry:

 

How many planned Terrorist attacks on emergency service personnel or
buildings have been thwarted/stopped by Security Services and or Police in
your area Essex within the last five years

 

Essex Police neither confirms nor denies (NCND) that it holds information
as the duty in Section 1(1) (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
does not apply, by virtue of the following exemptions.

 

S23(5) Information supplied by or concerning certain Security Bodies

S24(2) National Security

S31(3) Law Enforcement

 

Harm in Confirming or Denying that Information is held

Any release under FOIA is a disclosure to the world, not just to the
individual making the request. To confirm or not that information is held
pertinent to this request would reveal whether or not Essex Police has had
any planned terrorist attacks targeting emergency service personnel and
buildings thwarted within the last five year period by either the Security
Services or the Police.

 

Police forces work in conjunction with other agencies and information is
freely shared in line with information sharing protocols. Modern day
policing is intelligence led and this is particularly pertinent with
regard to both law enforcement and national security. The public expect
police forces to use all powers and tactics available to them to prevent
and detect crime or disorder and maintain public safety.

 

The prevention and detection of crime is the foundation upon which
policing is built and the threat from terrorism cannot be ignored. It is
generally recognised that the international security landscape is
increasingly complex and unpredictable. The current [1]UK threat level
from international terrorism, based on intelligence, is assessed as
‘Severe’ which means that a terrorist attack is highly likely.

 

In order to counter criminal and terrorist behaviour, it is vital that the
police have the ability to work together, where necessary covertly, to
obtain intelligence within current legislative frameworks to assist in the
investigative process to ensure the successful arrest and prosecution of
offenders who commit or plan to commit acts of terrorism.

 

To achieve this goal, it is vitally important that information sharing
takes place between police officers, members of the public, police forces
as well as other security law enforcement bodies within the United
Kingdom. Such an action would support counter-terrorism measures in the
fight to deprive terrorist networks of their ability to commit crime.

 

The impact of providing information under FOI which aids in identifying
whether there have been thwarted terrorist attacks on emergency service
personnel or buildings or not would provide those intent on committing
criminal or terrorist acts with valuable information as to where the
police are targeting their investigations. If there had or hadn’t been any
thwarted attacks, confirmation or denial would undermine the effective
delivery of operational law enforcement by highlighting which areas have
or have not received police attention. Furthermore, intelligence would be
weakened thereby undermining national security and leaving the United
Kingdom at risk of more terrorist attack.

 

Public Interest Considerations

 

Section 24(2) National Security

 

Factors favouring complying with Section 1(1)(a) confirming that
information is held

The public are entitled to know how public funds are spent and resources
distributed within an area of policing, particularly with regard to how
the police investigate terrorist atrocities. To confirm whether any
information exists would enable the general public to hold Essex Police to
account in relation to how they respond and resource counter terrorism
operations.

 

Furthermore, confirmation or denial may improve public debate and assist
the public to take steps to protect themselves.

 

Factors against complying with Section 1(1)(a)

Taking into account the current security climate within the United
Kingdom, no information which may aid a terrorist should be disclosed. To
what extent this information may aid a terrorist is unknown, but it is
clear that it will have an impact on a force’s ability to monitor
terrorist activity.

 

The public entrust the Police Service to make appropriate decisions with
regard to their safety and protection. The only way of reducing risk is to
be cautious with what is placed into the public domain.

 

The cumulative effect of terrorists gathering information from various
sources would build a picture of vulnerabilities within certain scenarios,
such as thwarted planned terrorist attacks. The more information disclosed
over time will provide a more detailed account of the tactical
infrastructure of not only a force area but also the country as a whole.

 

Any incident that results from such a disclosure would by default affect
National Security.

 

Other organisations outside the Police Service are also widely engaged in
targeting terrorism, therefore confirmation or denial as to whether
information exists relevant to this request would harm the close
relationship that exists with such organisations where trust and
confidence has been built up.

 

Section 31(3) Law Enforcement

 

Factors favouring complying with Section 1(1)(a) confirming information is
held

There is information within the public domain, such as information on
[2]international terrorism on the MI5 website and this in itself favours
confirming information is held.

 

Factors against complying with Section 1(1)() neither confirming nor
denying that information is held

Essex Police has a duty of care to the community at large and public
safety is of paramount importance. If an FOI disclosure revealed
information to the world (by citing an exemption or stating no information
held) that would undermine the security of the national infrastructure,
offenders, including terrorist organisations, could use this to their
advantage which would compromise public safety and more worryingly
encourage offenders to carry out further crimes.

 

By its very nature, information relating to any counter terrorist
operation undoubtedly undermines National Security. Under FOI there is a
requirement to comply with Section 1(1)(a) and confirm what information is
held. In some cases it is that confirmation, or not, which could disclose
facts harmful to members of the public, police officers, the Government
and its employees.

 

Balancing Test

The points above highlight the merits of confirming, or denying, whether
any information pertinent to this request exists. The security of the
country is of paramount importance and the Police Service is charged with
enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime and protecting the
communities we serve. As part of that policing purpose, various operations
with other law enforcement bodies may or may not be ongoing. The Police
Service will never divulge whether or not information is held if to do so
would place the safety of individual(s) at risk or undermine national
security.

 

Whilst there is a public interest in appropriately and effectively
engaging with the threat from criminals, there is a very strong public
interest in safeguarding National Security. As much as there is a public
interest in knowing that policing activity is appropriate and balanced in
matters of National Security, this will only be overridden in exception
circumstances.

 

The public entrust the Police Service to make appropriate decisions with
regard to their safety and protection and the only way of reducing risk is
to be cautious with any information that is released. Confirming or
denying whether counter terrorist attacks have or haven’t taken place
would definitely reveal police activity and would assist those intent on
causing harm. Any incident that results from confirmation or denial would,
by default, affect National Security.

 

Therefore, at this moment in time, it is our opinion that for these issues
the balance test for confirming, nor denying, that information is held is
made out.

 

No inference can be taken from this refusal that information does or does
not exist.

 

Thank you for your interest in Essex Police.

 

Kind regards,

 

FOI Team | Information Management Department | Information Rights Section
| Essex Police

Telephone: 101 | Email: [3][Essex Police request email]

Address: Information Management Department, Information Rights Section,
Essex Police HQ, PO Box 2, Chelmsford CM2 6DA (for Sat Nav directions, use
CM2 6DN for HQ)

 

Information Management aspires to be: Helpful, Inclusive & Professional

 

Essex Police have developed a publication strategy, our aim is to reduce
the demand within the FOI Department and to provide knowledge to the
public to include previous and combined FOI requests together with
relevant links and information.

 

Please visit this area of our website before submitting FOI requests as
information may already be available.
[4]https://www.essex.police.uk/foi-ai/af/ac...

Please note, if you require further information or wish to resubmit a
request please refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s
website regarding submission of effective requests:
[5]https://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/of...

 

Your right to complain

 

If you feel your request has not been properly handled, or you are
otherwise dissatisfied with the outcome of your request you have the right
to complain.

 

Complaints should be submitted within 20 working days from the date of
this response and should be addressed to the Senior Information Officer at
the above address or by email to: [6]info.rights.freedom@essex. police.uk

 

We will conduct a review to investigate your complaint and endeavour to
reply within 20 working days.

 

Please explain which aspect of the reply you are not satisfied with, and
if your complaint concerns the decision to apply an exemption it would
assist the review if you would outline why you believe the exemption does
not apply.

 

If you are still dissatisfied following our review, you have the right
under Section 50 of the Act to complain directly to the Information
Commissioner. Before considering your complaint, the Information
Commissioner would normally expect you to have exhausted the complaints
procedures provided by Essex Police.

 

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF or via [7]https://ico.org.uk/

 

From: Info Rights Freedom Essex
Sent: 08 December 2020 07:41
To: Barry Smith <[8][FOI #711471 email]>
Subject: FOI 15095 Thwarted Terrorist Attacks

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above
reference. 

 

Please note that Essex Police are actively publishing information within
our publication scheme webpage, information supplied as part of this
request could be used within the scheme.  Please click on the following
link to search details of existing publications
[9]https://www.essex.police.uk/foi-ai/af/ac....

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act we are required to reply within 20
working days.  The Act does not specify a limit to the number of
information requests a public authority may receive or the number of
requests or questions an applicant may submit.  However, there are
exemptions in the Act that can apply and these include where the cost of
complying with the request would extend beyond the reasonable cost limit,
(currently 18 hours or £450), or if the request is otherwise manifestly
unreasonable in its scope or nature. 

 

Requests that ask a great many questions, or a number of detailed requests
submitted at the same time, may make it necessary for Essex Police to
refuse the requests wholly or in part.  The exemption at Section 14 may be
engaged if the burden on the authority is increased through multiple
requests on differing subjects.

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has responsibility for
providing oversight and guidance for the legislation and they have
produced advice for applicants on submitting effective requests.  Further
information can be found on the Commissioner’s website at
[10]www.ico.gov.uk, specific information relating to submitting a request
can be found at: 
[11]https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/offici...

 

While we process your request, please take the time to consider the ICO’s
advice and whether you feel it may be beneficial to amend or refine your
request.  Our team is happy to discuss your request with you and will be
able to provide advice as to what kind of information will be available
from Essex Police.

 

Although every effort will be made to ensure a response is provided within
statutory deadlines, due to current circumstances, delays may be
unavoidable.  We apologise for any inconvenience and will endeavour to
process your request as quickly as is practicable.

 

Please ensure all future enquiries are sent to the
[12][Essex Police request email] mailbox.

 

Kind regards

 

 

FOI Team | Information Management Department | Information Rights Section
| Essex Police

Telephone: 101 | Email: [13][Essex Police request email]

Address: Information Management Department, Information Rights Section,
Essex Police HQ, PO Box 2, Chelmsford CM2 6DA  (for Sat Nav directions,
use CM2 6DN for HQ)

 

Information Management aspires to be: Helpful, Inclusive & Professional

 

Essex Police have developed a publication strategy, our aim is to reduce
the demand within the FOI Department and to provide knowledge to the
public to include previous and combined FOI requests together with
relevant links and information.

 

Please visit this area of our website before submitting FOI requests as
information may already be available.

 

[14]https://www.essex.police.uk/foi-ai/af/ac...

Please note, if you require further information or wish to resubmit a
request please refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s
website regarding submission of effective requests:
[15]https://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/of...

 

Your right to complain

 

If you feel your request has not been properly handled, or you are
otherwise dissatisfied with the outcome of your request you have the right
to complain.

 

Complaints should be submitted within 20 working days from the date of
this response and should be addressed to the Senior Information Officer at
the above address or by email to: [16]info.rights.freedom@essex. police.uk

 

We will conduct a review to investigate your complaint and endeavour to
reply within 20 working days.

 

Please explain which aspect of the reply you are not satisfied with, and
if your complaint concerns the decision to apply an exemption it would
assist the review if you would outline why you believe the exemption does
not apply.

 

If you are still dissatisfied following our review, you have the right
under Section 50 of the Act to complain directly to the Information
Commissioner. Before considering your complaint, the Information
Commissioner would normally expect you to have exhausted the complaints
procedures provided by Essex Police.

 

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF or via [17]https://ico.org.uk/

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Info Rights Freedom Essex,

Thank you very much for your reply, your refusal under the sections you state I have taken as a NONE to the question I have asked.

Yours sincerely,

Barry Smith