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Please explain the timescales for the issue of a single justice procedure notice in the case of a speeding offence

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Stephen G Carey

Dear Avon and Somerset Constabulary,

Introduction:
When a speeding offence is allegedly committed the police have 6 calendar months to file information of the offence with a court. What does this mean?

FOI Request 1:
Does the signing of a statement by an officer one day before the six months comply with this? Does the signing of a statement mean that the papers are 'filed with the court?' What should be done to ensure the papers are 'filed with the court?'
FOI request 2:
Please provide numbers of all single justice procedure notices issued on 16/03/2017 and the dates on which these were 'filed with the court'. What date was each one officilly filed with the court and what evidence is there of this?
FOI request 3:
What standing orders or SOPs exist within Avon and Somerset Police to regulate when a single justice procedure notice should be issued for a speeding offence - WITH REGARD TO TIMELINESS.

Please pass to a supervisor immediately if you have difficulty identifying these as FOI requests

Yours faithfully,

Stephen G Carey

#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Thank you for your request for information. 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 Avon and Somerset Constabulary may be unable to achieve this deadline if consideration needs to be given to the public interest test. If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

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#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

1 Attachment

Corporate Information Management Department

Force Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road,

Portishead, Bristol, BS20 8QJ

Facsimile 01275 814667

Email [email address]    

 

 

 

 

Mr S Carey Our Reference 489/18,
490/18, 491/18
[1][FOI #476101 email] Date 08 May 2018

 

Dear Mr Carey

 

I write in connection with your three requests for information dated 9^th
April under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Whilst you have submitted your requests separately, each concerns the same
or similar subject matter and was received within a 60 day period. They
have therefore been aggregated together for cost purposes under Section 12
of the Act. It is vital to remember that if any part of the request
exceeds the cost limit, then the whole request and any others aggregated
with it also do so.

 

Specifically you asked:

 

Introduction:

When a speeding offence is allegedly committed the police have 6 calendar
months to file information of the offence with a court. What does this
mean?

 

Request 1 (Ref. 489/18)

Does the signing of a statement by an officer one day before the six
months comply with this? Does the signing of a statement mean that the
papers are 'filed with the court?'  What should be done to ensure the
papers are 'filed with the court?'

 

Request 2 (Ref. 490/18)

Please provide numbers of all single justice procedure notices issued on
16/03/2017 and the dates on which these were 'filed with the court'. What
date was each one officilly filed with the court and what evidence is
there of this?

 

Request 3 (Ref. 491/19)

What standing orders or SOPs exist within Avon and Somerset Police to
regulate when a single justice procedure notice should be issued for a
speeding offence - WITH REGARD TO TIMELINESS.

 

 

Our response:

 

I regret to advise you that although we hold the information you have
asked for your request is refused because we estimate that the cost of
compliance would exceed the cost limits under the Act which is currently
set at £450 or 18 staff hours work. 

 

This is because the information requested in request 2 (Ref. 490/18) is
not centrally held. To find out the number of single justice procedure
notices issued on 16/03/17, we would be required to search Notices of
Intended Prosecution for the 6 months prior to this date to find out which
of these might have resulted in a single justice procedure notice being
issued on that specific date. With approximately 125,000 notices to search
this would take considerably longer than 18 hours to comply.

 

You may wish to refine your request for information to bring this to a
more manageable level. This could be done by omitting the part of your
request referenced 490/18 and submitting the parts referenced 489/18 and
490/18.

 

However, in the meantime you may find information relevant to the
remaining parts of your request within the [2]legislation that we follow
below.

 

This letter represents a Refusal Notice under the Act.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Michelle Radcliffe

Freedom of Information Officer

Corporate Information Management Department

 

 

Please note:

1.     Requests and responses may be published on Avon and Somerset
Constabulary’s website (within 24 hours), some of which may contain a link
to additional information, which may provide you with further
clarification.

2.     Whilst we may verbally discuss your request with you in order to
seek clarification, all other communication should be made in writing.

3.     Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides you with the right to
request a re-examination of your case under its review procedure (copy
attached).

 

 

 

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Stephen G Carey

Dear #Freedom of Information Requests,
Dear Mrs Radcliffe, I find it hard to accept your reply as the information you state is NOT HELD CENTRALLY was supplied to me by Rebecca Pritchard on 23 April.
That leaves a simple request concerning the signing of a statement and for any standing orders.

I note also ion your response that you state, "This could be done by omitting the part of your
request referenced 490/18 and submitting the parts referenced 489/18 and 490/18."

This makes no sense so I can only suggest that you have made a typing error and that you did not mean to put 490/18 twice? In which case which is the correct mention of 490/18 please?

Yours sincerely,

Stephen G Carey

#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

 

Mr Carey

 

Thank you for your email. I have provided some further clarification in
response to your request and queries, you were correct in pointing out
that there was a typing error for which I apologise, I have also addressed
this below.  

 

For ease of reference I have copied your three requests:

 

Request 1 (Ref. 489/18)

Does the signing of a statement by an officer one day before the six
months comply with this? Does the signing of a statement mean that the
papers are 'filed with the court?'  What should be done to ensure the
papers are 'filed with the court?'

 

Request 2 (Ref. 490/18)

Please provide numbers of all single justice procedure notices issued on
16/03/2017 and the dates on which these were 'filed with the court'. What
date was each one officially filed with the court and what evidence is
there of this?

 

Request 3 (Ref. 491/18)

What standing orders or SOPs exist within Avon and Somerset Police to
regulate when a single justice procedure notice should be issued for a
speeding offence - WITH REGARD TO TIMELINESS.

 

To clarify we are unable to answer your second request 490/18 without
engaging the section 12 fees exemption, to bring your request to a more
manageable level we have suggested re-submitting your first and third
request 489/18 and 491/18. However, should you wish to re-submit these it
may be helpful to know that the Freedom of Information Act allows a right
of access to recorded information, and this will not include opinions,
understanding or interpretation where this is not recorded. In respect of
489/18 you may wish to clarify the recorded information you are requesting
e.g. any policy, guidance etc.

 

You have also advised that the information requested within 490/18 was
previously supplied to you on the 23 April. Having reviewed this response
(420/18 & 437/18) I can confirm that you requested different information
in this previous request. I have provided a copy of both requests below:

 

FOI 420/18 & 437/18

I would like it confirmed for definite please that proceedings were issued
within the time limit permitted by the law as no one will acknowledge my
contact so far.

Also, I would like to know how many other vehicles activated the camera on
this date and when their relevant SJPNs were issued.

Can you please inform me of how many other vehicles activated this camera
on M5 J17-16 Northbound between 0500 hrs and 0600hrs on Sunday 17/9/2017
and the length of time between NOIP and SJPN?

 

FOI 490/18

Please provide numbers of all single justice procedure notices issued on
16/03/2017 and the dates on which these were 'filed with the court'. What
date was each one officially filed with the court and what evidence is
there of this?

 

As explained in my response the reason the section 12 exemption has been
engaged is because you have asked for the number of SJPN's issued on a
particular date. In your previous requests you asked for the number of
vehicles that activated a  camera on a specific date and any relevant
SJPN's that were issued following this. In this case we were able to
identify the number of vehicles that activated the camera where a Notice
of Intended Prosecution was issued and from that find the number that
resulted in a SJPN. We aren't able to identify the number of SJPN's issued
on a particular date without individually reviewing all Notices or
Intended Prosecution that may have led to these (prior 6 months).This
would mean reviewing approximately 125 000 notices. 

 

I have provided this further clarification outside of an internal review.
Could you let us know if you would still like to request an internal
review and also how you would like to proceed with your requests 489/18 &
491/18.

 

Many thanks

 

Michelle

 

Michelle Radcliffe

Freedom of Information Officer

Corporate Information Management

 

Avon and Somerset Constabulary Headquarters

PO Box 37, Valley Road, Portishead, BS20 8QJ

 

 

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Stephen G Carey

Dear #Freedom of Information Requests
Thank you for your reply.
You state, 'Could you let us know if you would still like to request an internal
review and also how you would like to proceed with your requests 489/18 &
491/18.'

Yes please, I would like an internal review as I have repeatedly asked simple questions relating to 489 and 491 and this seems to be being repeatedly ignored.
Please may I provide some clarity for you:
I have two other FOI requests outstanding relating to 491 in particular but also how many speeding offences on the relevant date that were suitable to be dealt with by FPN were not proceeded with. This too is a simple question. I am aware that 5 of the more serious offences that would have been subject to SJPN were abandoned because they were not proceeded with within the time limit. It is my belief that the lesser offences subject to FPN are all dealt with as a priority at the expense of the more serious offences. This means that, with finite resources, the police focus on the less serious FPN type offences rather than the more serious ones that require (arguably) more work.
I believe this is of great public interest and would therefore like my other outstanding requests answered please. I would also like clarification around the standing orders/guidance/SOPs (whatever they may be called) that set out what the priorities are for the Speed enforcement Unit. I see this as a legitimate item for public concern and cannot see a valid reason for you combining all my requests in order to refuse them and then advising me to submit them again separately as you previously did.
Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen G Carey

#Freedom of Information Requests,

Dear Mr Carey,

Your current request 570/18  (copied below for ease of reference), is
being processed, the 20 working day deadline is the 24^th May:

 

1. How many of the 439 offences were deemed suitable to be dealt with by
driver rectification courses or fixed penalty notices?

2. Out of those deemed suitable to be dealt with by driver rectification
courses or fixed penalty notices, how many were not completed in time so
no further action was taken?

3.  Of the 5 Notices where an SJPN should have been issued but was not and
so no further action was taken, what were the recorded speeds?

4. Are offences  deemed suitable to be dealt with by driver rectification
courses or fixed penalty notices prioritised over the potentially more
serious offences where a SJPN should be issued?

Please supply any documents that set out the force's prioritisation of how
camera activated speeding offences are dealt with.

 

In response to your request for an internal review, I am not clear what
you asking us to review and the reasons for this. To explain, the
Information Commissioner’s Office guidance states that you can aggregate
the costs of all related requests received within 60 working days from the
same person. This is why your requests 489/18, 490/18 & 491/18 were
aggregated together and as we advised part of this (490/18) then invoked
the section 12 cost of compliance exemption.

 

Having asked you in my email to you yesterday whether you would like to
re-submit FOI  489/18 & 491/18. I have taken from your reply - that you
would like your outstanding requests answered that you would like this to
be done. We will therefore process these from today. If you no longer
require this or would like to amend the requests (copied below), please
advise us accordingly. Again I would remind you that only recorded
information can be requested under the Act and any requests for opinions
or interpretation will not be provided if this is not recorded.

 

Ref. 489/18

Does the signing of a statement by an officer one day before the six
months comply with this? Does the signing of a statement mean that the
papers are 'filed with the court?'  What should be done to ensure the
papers are 'filed with the court?'

 

Ref. 491/18

What standing orders or SOPs exist within Avon and Somerset Police to
regulate when a single justice procedure notice should be issued for a
speeding offence - WITH REGARD TO TIMELINESS.

 

Many thanks

Michelle

Michelle Radcliffe

Freedom of Information Officer

Corporate Information Management

 

Avon and Somerset Constabulary Headquarters

PO Box 37, Valley Road, Portishead, BS20 8QJ

 

(Working days Wednesday pm, Thursday & Friday)

 

 

show quoted sections

#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

1 Attachment

Corporate Communications Department

Force Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road,

Portishead, Bristol, BS20 8QJ

Facsimile 01275 814667

Email [email address]    

 

 

 

 

Mr S Carey Our Reference 671/18 &
672/18
[1][FOI #476101 email]
Date 14 June 2018
 

 

Dear Mr Carey

 

I write in connection with your request for information dated 16^th May
under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Specifically you asked:

These requests follow your previous applications to us; FOI 489/18 and
491/18 refer.

 

1.    Does the signing of a statement by an officer one day before the six
months comply with this? Does the signing of a statement mean that the
papers are 'filed with the court?'  What should be done to ensure the
papers are 'filed with the court?'

2.    What standing orders or SOPs exist within Avon and Somerset Police
to regulate when a single justice procedure notice should be issued for a
speeding offence - WITH REGARD TO TIMELINESS.

 

Our response:

1.    It would depend on who is signing the statement and what offence is
being prosecuted.  The case would be electronically transmitted to the
courts system.

2.    There are no further Standard Operating Procedures. ‘The
Magistrates’ Court Act 1980 section 127’ provides the regulatory
timeframes for single justice procedure notices. It should be noted that
the hearing, the issue and service of the summons and the conviction may
all be outside the six month period.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Michelle Radcliffe

Freedom of Information Officer

Corporate Communications Department

 

 

Please note:

1.     Requests and responses may be published on Avon and Somerset
Constabulary’s website (within 24 hours), some of which may contain a link
to additional information, which may provide you with further
clarification.

2.     Whilst we may verbally discuss your request with you in order to
seek clarification, all other communication should be made in writing.

3.     Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides you with the right to
request a re-examination of your case under its review procedure (copy
attached).

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[FOI #476101 email]

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