Police informants

The request was partially successful.

Dear Northamptonshire Police,

This is a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act. I would like to request the following information:

(1) For the calendar years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and available data for 2021, please state how much the police force has spent on informants. Please provide a breakdown by year.

(2) For the calendar years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and available data for 2021, please state how much the police force has spent on informants in relation to Black Lives Matter. Please provide a breakdown by year.

(3) For the calendar years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and available data for 2021, please state how much the police force has spent on informants in relation to environmental groups and environmental protests. Please provide a breakdown by year.

I would like to receive this information in an Excel format. If you feel that a substantive response to this request is not possible within a reasonable time frame, I would be grateful if you could contact me and provide assistance as to how I can refine the request. If you need any clarification, please contact me. I look forward to receiving a response in 20 working days. Many thanks.

Yours faithfully,

Jenna Corderoy

Freedom of Information,

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Corderoy,

 

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - REQUEST FOR INFORMATION - Our Ref:
006794/21

 

With reference to your e-mail received on 28/10/2021 requesting
information:

 

I would like to request the following information:

 

 1. For the calendar years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and available data
for 2021, please state how much the police force has spent on
informants. Please provide a breakdown by year.
 2. For the calendar years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and available data
for 2021, please state how much the police force has spent on
informants in relation to Black Lives Matter. Please provide a
breakdown by year.
 3. For the calendar years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and available data
for 2021, please state how much the police force has spent on
informants in relation to environmental groups and environmental
protests. Please provide a breakdown by year.

 

This is to inform you that Northamptonshire Police are currently dealing
with high levels of demand for information. Every effort will be made to
ensure that you receive an appropriate response on time, however, we may
not be able to complete the response to your request within 20 working
days. The ICO is aware and we are currently enacting a recovery plan.

 

On behalf of Northamptonshire Police, I do apologise for any inconvenience
that may be caused by this delay and if you wish to discuss this any
further then please contact the undersigned.

 

Northamptonshire Police provides a review and appeals procedure within the
terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. If you decide to make an
appeal and, having followed the full process you are still dissatisfied,
you will then have the right to direct your comments to the Information
Commissioner who will give due consideration to the matter. See Appendix
'A' attached.

 

Northamptonshire Police routinely publish information on our website via
the Publication Scheme. The aim of the Publication Scheme is to promote
openness and transparency by voluntarily placing information into the
public arena.

 

The Disclosure Log contains copies of information that has been disclosed
by Northamptonshire Police in response to requests made under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000. Whilst it is not possible to publish all
responses we will endeavour to publish those where we feel that the
information disclosed is in the wider public interest. The Disclosure Log
will be updated once responses have been sent to the requester.

 

I have provided the relevant link below.

 

[1]https://www.northants.police.uk/foi-ai/a...

 

Mrs Singy Bagniuk | C0166 | Senior Information Sharing Researcher

Information Assurance | Professional Standards

Tel : 101 | Ext. 348736 (If calling from outside of Northamptonshire,
please call 03000 111 222)

Address : Force Headquarters | Wootton Hall | Wootton Hall Park |
Northampton | NN4 0JQ

The content of this email should be treated as OFFICIAL - SENSITIVE unless
otherwise indicated

 

References

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1. https://www.northants.police.uk/foi-ai/a...

Good afternoon,

Could I please have an update to this request? Thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Jenna Corderoy

Freedom of Information,

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Corderoy,

With reference to your e-mail received on 01/01/2022 requesting information - Our Ref: 006794/21

Unfortunately Northamptonshire Police are operating under high levels of demand for information, and we have not been able to complete the response to your request within 20 working days. Every effort is being made to ensure that you receive an appropriate response as soon as possible but at this time we are unable to identify a specific date by which your request will be completed. On behalf of Northamptonshire Police, I do apologise for any inconvenience that may be caused by this delay. The ICO is aware and we are currently enacting a recovery plan.
Northamptonshire Police provides a review and appeals procedure within the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. If you decide to make an appeal and, having followed the full process you are still dissatisfied, you will then have the right to direct your comments to the Information Commissioner who will give due consideration to the matter. See Appendix 'A' attached.

Kind Regards
Holly

Holly Cunnington | A1533 | Information Sharing Researcher
Information Assurance | Professional Standards Department
I Telephone: 101 ext 344668 (if calling from outside of Northamptonshire, please call 03000 111 222)
( Email: [email address]
H Address: Force HQ, Wootton Hall, Mereway, Northampton, NN4 0JQ
The content of this email should be treated as OFFICIAL - SENSITIVE unless otherwise indicated

show quoted sections

Freedom of Information,

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Corderoy   

 

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - REQUEST FOR INFORMATION Our Ref: 006794/21

 

With reference to your e-mail received 28/10/2021 requesting information
as reproduced below:

 

(1) For the calendar years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and available data
for 2021, please state how much the police force has spent on informants.
Please provide a breakdown by year.

 

(2) For the calendar years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and available data
for 2021, please state how much the police force has spent on informants
in relation to Black Lives Matter. Please provide a breakdown by year.

 

(3) For the calendar years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and available data
for 2021, please state how much the police force has spent on informants
in relation to environmental groups and environmental protests. Please
provide a breakdown by year.

 

I can confirm that Northamptonshire Police holds the information requested
as follows:

 

(1)         In line with previous disclosures data is in financial years:

 

2015/16 £70,635
2016/17 £62,132.99
2017/18 £66,749
2018/19 £87,475
2019/20 £87,130
2020/21 £54,785

 

Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) places two duties
on public authorities.  Unless exemptions apply, the first duty at
s1(1)(a) is to confirm or deny whether the information specified in a
request is held.  The second duty at s1(1)(b) is to disclose information
that has been confirmed as being held.  Where exemptions are relied upon
Section 17 of the FOIA requires that we provide the applicant with a
notice which:

 

a) states that fact

b) specifies the exemptions in question

c) state (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption(s)
applies

 

Northamptonshire Police neither confirms nor denies that it holds
information relevant to questions 2 and 3 by virtue of the following
exemptions.

 

Section 23(5) Information supplied by, or concerning, certain Security
Bodies;

Section 24(2) National Security

Section 30(3) Investigations by virtue of Section 30(2)

Section 31(3) Law Enforcement

Section 38(2) Health and Safety

Section 40(5) Personal Information

 

Sections 23 and 40 are class based absolute exemptions and there is no
requirement to evidence the harm or consider the public interest findings
as to whether neither confirming nor denying information is held is
appropriate.    

 

Section 30 is a class based qualified exemption and consideration of the
public interest must be given as to whether neither confirming nor denying
information exists is the appropriate response.

With Sections 24, 31 and 38 being prejudice based and qualified there is a
requirement to articulate the harm that would be caused in confirming or
not whether information is held as well as carrying out a public interest
test. 

 

Harm in complying with s1(1)(a) – to confirm or not whether 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 Northamptonshire
Police has received intelligence on a specific subject area from Covert
Human Intelligence Sources as well as confirming whether or not these CHIS
have received monetary gain for their intelligence.  

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.  In this case the
use of CHIS with regard to Black Lives Matter and/or environmental groups.

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 law enforcement bodies within the United Kingdom.  Such
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 or not Northamptonshire Police has received intelligence from CHIS
relating to Black Lives Matter and/or environmental groups, as well as
confirming whether payment was received for the intelligence, would
provide those intent on committing criminal or terrorists acts with
valuable information as to where the police are targeting their
investigations.

In addition, to confirm or deny whether information is held in this case
has the potential to undermine the flow of information (intelligence)
received from CHIS as well as members of the public into the Police
Service relating to these types of offenders 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 s(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 offending.  To confirm whether or not
information exists would enable the general public to hold
Northamptonshire Police to account in relation to how they gather
intelligence within areas of policing.

Furthermore, confirming or denying may improve public debate and assist
the community to take steps to protect themselves.

Factors against complying with s1(1)(a) neither confirming nor denying
that information is held

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,
as in this case which forces have received intelligence from CHIS’
relating to this subject area.  The more information disclosed over time
will provide a more detailed account of the intelligence received into the
force relating to these types of protests.

Section 30(3) Investigations

Factors favouring complying with s1(1)(a) confirming information is held

Confirming or denying whether information exists relevant to this request
would lead to a better informed general public by identifying that
Northamptonshire Police robustly gather intelligence received into their
force from confidential sources, relating to protests. This fact alone may
encourage individuals to provide intelligence in order to assist with
investigations and would also promote public trust in providing
transparency and demonstrating openness and accountability into where the
police are currently focusing their investigations.

The public are also entitled to know how public funds are spent.

Factors against complying with s1(1)(a) neither confirming nor denying
that information is held

Modern-day policing is intelligence led.  To confirm or not whether
Northamptonshire Police has received intelligence from a confidential
source (CHIS) relating to Black Lives Matter and/or environmental groups
could hinder the prevention and detection of crime and undermine any
ongoing investigations, by restricting the flow of information into the
force.

 

Section 31(3) Law Enforcement

 

Factors favouring complying with s1(1)(a) confirming information is held

The fact that the [2]Police Service use CHIS to assist in the delivery of
effective operational law enforcement is published and that in itself
favours disclosure. 

 

Factors against complying with s1(1)(a) neither confirming nor denying
that information is held

Northamptonshire 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 assist an offender, such an action would undermine the
security of the national infrastructure, by revealing our ‘intelligence’
thereby highlighting vulnerabilities force by force.

 

By its very nature, by confirming or denying this information is held
would undermine the effective delivery of operational law enforcement. 
Under FOI there is a requirement to comply with s1(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,
other law enforcement agencies and their employees.

 

Section 38 Health and Safety

 

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

Confirming whether information is or isn’t held would provide reassurance
to the general public that Northamptonshire Police use tactical options
with regard to the use of Covert Human Intelligence Sources as a means of
acquiring intelligence.  This awareness could be used to improve any
public consultations; debates in relation to this subject and also allow
the public to take steps to protect themselves.

 

Factors against complying with Section 1(1)(a) confirming or denying that
information is held

Confirming or denying that information exists could lead to the loss of
public confidence in Northamptonshire Police’s ability to protect the
wellbeing of individuals recruited as CHIS as well as members of the
community at large.

 

Northamptonshire Police has a duty of care towards any individual who has
been recruited as a CHIS.  To reveal information via an FOI request which
would place the safety of individuals in grave danger, is not in the
public interest. 

 

Balance Test

The points above highlight the merits of confirming, or denying, whether
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 exceptional
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 information is or isn’t held would definitely reveal
policing 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
with regard to questions 2 and 3 is made out.

 

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

 

I trust you find this information to be satisfactory but if you have any
further queries please do not hesitate to contact me. On behalf of
Northamptonshire Police I would like to apologise for the delay in getting
this information to you.

 

Northamptonshire Police provides a review and appeals procedure within the
terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. If you decide to make an
appeal and, having followed the full process you are still dissatisfied,
you will then have the right to direct your comments to the Information
Commissioner who will give due consideration to the matter. See Appendix
'a' attached.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Gemma Barrie

C1374 Gemma Barrie| Senior Freedom of Information Officer and Researcher

Force Information Unit | Professional Standards Department

Northamptonshire Police

 

Telephone: 101 | Ext No. 343701/ 341172 - (If calling from outside
Northamptonshire, please call 03000 111 222)

Email: [3][email address]

Address: Force Headquarters, Wootton Hall, Wootton Hall Park, Northampton
NN4 0JQ

 

Northamptonshire Police "Putting Communities First"

 

The content of this email should be treated as RESTRICTED unless otherwise
indicated

 

References

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2. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...
3. mailto:[email address]