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Police training illegal hunting and prosecutions

Jean Roberts made this Freedom of Information request to Essex Police

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Dear Essex Police,

Please could you answer the following FOI questions.

What % of Police Officers - excluding Wildlife Officers - have received training to recognise illegal hunting?

What % of Wildlife Officers have received formal training to recognise illegal hunting?

Who provided this training - as in their qualifications and capacity?

How long was the training course?

Policy & Procedures:
Are officers being asked to actively monitor hunts and look for evidence of illegal activities?

Do officers monitoring hunts have to 'declare an interest' if they hunt?

Finally-
How many successful prosecutions have you secured regarding the illegal killing of foxes/hares?

Yours faithfully,

Jean Roberts

Data FOI Essex,

1 Attachment

Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above reference 12600.

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 s14 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 www.ico.gov.uk specific information relating to submitting a request can be found at: 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.

Kind regards,

Information Rights Team
Information Management Department
Strategic Change Directorate
E-Mail: [email address]

If you require further information or wish to submit a request, please refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s website regarding submission of effective requests 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: [Essex Police request email]

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 https://ico.org.uk/

show quoted sections

Data FOI Essex,

1 Attachment

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

 

Please accept our apologies in regard to the delay in responding to your
original request. This unit has had a substantial increase in FOI requests
which has resulted in a delay to the service provided from this unit.

 

In respect of your enquiry

 

What % of Police Officers - excluding Wildlife Officers - have received
training to recognise illegal hunting?

What % of Wildlife Officers have received formal training to recognise
illegal hunting?

Who provided this training - as in their qualifications and capacity?

How long was the training course?

Policy & Procedures:

Are officers being asked to actively monitor hunts and look for evidence
of illegal activities?

Do officers monitoring hunts have to 'declare an interest' if they hunt?

Finally- How many successful prosecutions have you secured regarding the
illegal killing of foxes/hares?

 

Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) places two duties
on public authorities. Unless exemptions apply, the first duty at
Sec1(1)(a) is to confirm or deny whether the information specified in a
request is held. The second duty at Sec1(1)(b) is to disclose information
that has been confirmed as being held. Where exemptions are relied upon
s17 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 Sec 1(1)(a), Essex Police does hold information relating to
your request however the obligation of Sec 1(1)(b) cannot be met as Essex
Police does not hold all the information requested in a format that allows
it to be retrieved within the time and cost limits of FOI.

 

When responding to a request for information under the terms of the
Freedom of Information Act, a public authority is not obliged to provide
information if the authority estimates that the cost of the retrieval of
the information requested would be in excess of £450 (equivalent to 18
hours work). The costs criteria relates to a request in its entirety,
which means that if we cannot retrieve all of the information requested
within the costs limit, we are not obliged to retrieve any of the
information requested.

 

 Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act states that a public
authority is not obliged to:

“…comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that
the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate
limit.”

 

Consequently, and to this extent, Essex Police are exempt from the duty to
provide all the information you have requested under the provisions of
section 12(1) of the FOI Act. Therefore, and in accordance with section
17(1) of the Act, this communication must act as a refusal notice to
provide all of the information that could be interpreted as being captured
by this part of your request.

 

Having said that Section 16 (1) of the FOIA provides that a public
authority is required to provide advice and assistance, although the below
would exceed costs, the following information gives details regarding
police training.

 

In respect of your enquiry, having completed enquiries Essex Police can
respond as follows, 

 

What percentage of Police Officers - excluding Wildlife Officers - have
received training to recognise illegal hunting?

The force has produced an aide memoire to help all officers police
poaching offences. Staff can either download the memoire or request a copy
from the Rural & Heritage Crime Officer.

 

What percentage of Wildlife Officers have received formal training to
recognise illegal hunting?

Five Police Officers currently work as part of the Essex Police Rural
Engagement Team and deal directly with rural crime matters as well as
matters.  In addition, six divisional Wildlife Crime Officers work across
the county and provide advice on these matters to their colleagues. Essex
Police also have two police volunteers who deal with Wildlife Crime. One
officer in Essex performs a role called ‘Wildlife Heritage & Enviro Crime
Officer’. He has the qualification of ‘EP Wildlife Crime Officer’ on his
record.

 

Who provided this training - as in their qualifications and capacity?

The UK National Wildlife Crime Unit provide a National Police Wildlife
Crime Officers Training Course: delivered and managed by two retired
police officers and is the only course of its kind within the UK. They do
this through prevention and awareness-raising, better regulation, and
effective and targeted enforcement

 

How long was the training course?

The week long course is accredited through Partnership for Action against
Wildlife Crime (PAW) and is seen by many police forces as best practice.
PAW is a collaboration of organisations who work together to reduce
wildlife crime.

 

Are officers being asked to actively monitor hunts and look for evidence
of illegal activities?

We don’t have any policy/procedure which specifically mentions hunts. Our
previous policy/procedure on that subject were both replaced on 23.07.2015
by D 1001 Public Order, Public Safety Events and Police led Operations, it
is a restricted document, so it cannot be sent out to members of the
public.

 

Do officers monitoring hunts have to 'declare an interest' if they hunt? 

No

 

How many successful prosecutions have you secured regarding the illegal
killing of foxes/hares

Essex Police do not hold data in terms of prosecutions (that would be
CPS), we have examined the charges in terms of the illegal killing of
foxes or hares which returned no result.

 

Thank you for your interest in Essex Police and we are sorry that we have
not been able to provide the information you have requested on this
occasion. If you do require further information a new request will need to
be submitted and the request will be dealt with accordingly.

 

Information Management Department

Strategic Change Directorate

E-Mail:[email address]

[1]cid:image001.png@01D3E908.EC4D1080

If you require further information or wish to submit a request, please
refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s website regarding
submission of effective requests
[2]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: [3][Essex Police request email]

 

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 [4]https://ico.org.uk/

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