Policies and training on Domestic Violence between 2004 and 2006.

Greater Manchester Police did not have the information requested.

Dear Greater Manchester Police,

A) In 2004, what training was being offered to the police to ensure that women who were found dead, were not the victim of cover up by members of their own family and former partner?

B) What protocols were in place in 2004 to ensure a deceased women benefited from an investigation that would lead to a factually correct Coroner's review of the events leading up to her death?

C) What measures could staff at Manchester police progress when serving the public in order to ensure that a woman's death was not a consequence of a history of emotional, mental and physical brutality by the father of her child?

D) Between 2009 and 2011, if a member of the public warned a police officer that they were concerned that a child had become the victim of a sloppy investigation into the death of their parent, what procedures were in place for a Manchester police officer to follow at the time?

I look forward to your cooperation and ask that you fully comply with the Nolan Principles when you progress this FOI. I formally request that you do not palm me off with website links on here but instead provide full answers on here.

Yours faithfully,

Fiona Watts

Greater Manchester Police

1 Attachment

Dear Ms. Watts,

Please find attached GMP's response to your recent FOI request.

Regards

Rachael Bigland
Information Compliance & Records Management Unit

Information Services Branch
Greater Manchester Police

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Dear Greater Manchester Police,

Thank you for your reply but I have to share my frustration at the lack of transparency in the response.

The heading for my FOI request on here was about Domestic Violence.

In the last week, I have just read and watched the campaign on Clares Law. In order for Clares Law to be fit for purpose, a violent boyfriend or girlfriend has to be identified in the first place?

I asked the following;

C) What measures could staff at Manchester police progress when serving the public in order to ensure that a woman's death was not a consequence of a history of emotional, mental and physical brutality by the father of her child?

in order that I am able to keep due respect for Manchester Police, I do need an answer.

Request;
Please could you provide any information that would provide guidelines and checklists for officers to use when INVESTIGATING a death of a woman who was found dead just after a meeting with her former partner who was reported to have been violent and abusive towards the deceased in the past.

For example, if the information in the former partner's Witness Statement was different to the another witness's statement?

Yours faithfully,

Fiona Watts
@magnacarta300

Greater Manchester Police

Good Morning Ms. Watts

I am sorry you feel frustrated with the response you received regarding the answer to question C.
The reason GMP responded with an 'Information not held' response, was due to the way the question was initially worded. This original question was asking for opinion rather than recorded information, opinion is not something covered under Freedom of Information legislation. However, I note you have amended the request at the end of this email to:

'Please could you provide any information that would provide guidelines and checklists for officers to use when INVESTIGATING a death of a woman who was found dead just after a meeting with her former partner who was reported to have been violent and abusive towards the deceased in the past'.

As such, I will reopen the request for this further question. However, before I am able to progress this could I ask what time period you are requesting this data for? Would you like this detail again from 2004, for the current day or another time period?

Kind Regards

Rachael Bigland
Information Compliance & Records Management Unit

Information Services Branch
Greater Manchester Police

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Dear Rachael Bigland and Greater Manchester Police,

Thank you for your reply but as a lay person I feel that you could have referred to the Nolan Principles and helped me best progress that FOI.

You should be in no doubt now as to the purpose of my enquiry and which years I seek that data for;

Due to recent telephone calls with your organisation, please clarify whether your policies, training and protocols have altered since 2009 and 2015?

Many thanks,

Yours faithfully,

Fiona Watts

 #lawcomMIPO
 #NolanPrinciples

Greater Manchester Police

Good Morning Ms Watts,

 

I have not found this request completely clear, I have interpreted your
questions as

 

'Please provide any information such as guidelines and checklists, which
officers used in 2009 - 2015, when INVESTIGATING a death of a woman who
was found dead just after a meeting with her former partner who was
reported to have been violent and abusive towards the deceased in the
past'.

 

and

 

'Please clarify whether these policies, training and protocols have
altered between 2009 - 2015?'

 

If this is incorrect, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will make
any amendments accordingly. However, as a result of seeking this
clarification, your request has currently been placed on hold until I hear
back from you. If I don't hear from you by 10/4/17 I will assume you no
longer wish to continue with your request and it will be cancelled
accordingly.

 

Kind Regards

 

Rachael Bigland

Information Compliance & Records Management Unit

 

Information Services Branch

Greater Manchester Police

 

***PLEASE ENSURE ALL RESPONSES ARE SENT TO
[email address]***

 

 

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Dear Greater Manchester Police,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reclarify my FOI queries to your agency. There is a skill in writing FOI's and I do not have that that skills set but I do seek co-operation under the Nolan Principles.

The root of my enquiry is that I am trying to understand what guidance existed for Manchester Police between 2004 and 2006 and then 2009 and 2015 on;
(i) training (ii) protocols, (iii)checklists and (iv) policies that had been in place for investigating the death of a woman when her former violent partner was the last adult to see or speak to her alive just a few hours beforehand?

I was interested to read about Clares Law but just seek clarity and transparency as to how the police approach and manage the deaths of women when a abusive ex-partner was the last adult to see the deceased alive?

Yours faithfully,

Fiona Watts

Greater Manchester Police

1 Attachment

Good Morning Ms Watts,

Please find attached extension letter regarding your FOI request GSA 768/17

Regards

Rachael Bigland
Information Compliance & Records Management Unit

Information Services Branch
Greater Manchester Police

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Greater Manchester Police wrote to me this morning, as follows;

Dear Fiona,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO: GSA 768/17

I write in connection with your request for information dated 28/3/17. I note you seek access to the following information:

The root of my enquiry is that I am trying to understand what guidance existed for Manchester Police between
2004 and 2006 and then 2009 and 2015 on;

(i) training
(ii) protocols,
(iii)checklists
and (iv) policies

that had been in place for investigating the death of a woman when her former violent partner was the last adult to see or speak to her alive just a few hours beforehand?

Apologies for not responding sooner and for not meeting the 20th day (21/4/17), however, I can now advise that the amended date for your response is 25/5/17, if not sooner. The reason for the extension is we are currently conducting a public interest test under Section 31(1) Law Enforcement.

Please be assured that every effort will be made to ensure an appropriate response will be made within this new timescale."

?! Really? What next?

Dear Rachel Bigland,
the interest to the Pubic is for Manchester Police to STOP wasting public resources and comply with UK data laws. It is unethical and corrupt for you to waste Public Money in order to cover up that a Public Servants did not have any protocols or procedures to best serve women when they are at risk or at their most vulnerable.

Request for clarity;
My enquiry refers to the past, not the present; so how is it in the Public Interest for us to witness a police force using every sly opportunity to get out of explaining what procedures and protocols the police staff should have complied with since 2004?

I will not be making a complaint.

.... your police force has NEVER progressed any of my complaints and requests for help. This is why I was forced to flee Manchester in February 2006.

Yours faithfully,

Fiona Watts

#MIPO_police

Dear Greater Manchester Police,

If you continue to side-step from best answering these simple questions about what police protocols were in place for victims of Domestic violence, I will be forced to charge you for my time, energy and inability to best protect my Mental Health.

On 16th March 2017, I asked for the following data to be best provided on here;

A) In 2004, what training was being offered to the police to ensure that women who were found dead, were not the victim of cover up by members of their own family and former partner?

B) What protocols were in place in 2004 to ensure a deceased women benefited from an investigation that would lead to a factually correct Coroner's review of the events leading up to her death?

C) What measures could staff at Manchester police progress when serving the public in order to ensure that a woman's death was not a consequence of a history of emotional, mental and physical brutality by the father of her child?

D) Between 2009 and 2011, if a member of the public warned a police officer that they were concerned that a child had become the victim of a sloppy investigation into the death of their parent, what procedures were in place for a Manchester police officer to follow at the time?

I look forward to your cooperation and ask that you fully comply with the Nolan Principles when you progress this FOI. I formally request that you do not palm me off with website links on here but instead provide full answers on here.

Yours faithfully,

Fiona Watts

 #domesticviolence

Greater Manchester Police

3 Attachments

Dear Ms Watts,

Please find attached GMP's response to your FOI request

Regards

Rachael Bigland
Information Compliance & Records Management Unit

Information Services Branch
Greater Manchester Police

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Greater Manchester Police

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Watts,

I have reattached one of the files as a PDF as I have concerns that the previous attachment I sent may not open.

Regards

Rachael Bigland
Information Compliance & Records Management Unit

Information Services Branch
Greater Manchester Police

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Dear Greater Manchester Police,

Thank you Rachel Bigland for sharing the 2004 Guidance on Death.

Unfortunately, the sections with the key data on protocols, seems to have been blocked out

A) Could I have an explanation for this editing of key instructions in "Scene Assessment"?

For example, a broken cistern does not seem to have been best noted in the same room as the deceased woman was found dead or the presence of a pet dog, especially if the dog was observed as being nervous and scared of the last adult to see the victim alive?

B) In April 2017, the Coroner Nigel Meadows kindly provided me with the copies of some Witness Statements whereby the police and medics clearly failed to apply the following principles outlined in 2004;
i) "take appropriate action to discover and preserve available evidence"
and or
ii) "ensure each investigation can provide an audit trail capable of withstanding scrutiny".

QUESTION in respect The Nolan Principles and the principles of transparency in The Data Protection Act

C) What should a member of the public do if they discover that the police and medics failed to comply with procedures outlined in the documents that you have copied to me today?

D) Is there an agenda for Greater Manchester Police to improve services, especially in the light of cut backs?

Yours faithfully,

Fiona Watts

Greater Manchester Police

Good Afternoon,

The redacted or blocked out parts of the document sent over have been exempt under Section 31 - Law Enforcement, there is a full explanation including a public interest test (PIT) within the body of the letter, which accompanied this document. I am more than happy to resend this to yourself if necessary. Of course if you are not happy with this you reserve the right to escalate this for an internal review if you so choose.

I also note you have come back with further questions. Could you please clarify you are intending on these to be logged as a new FOI as I anticipate, once confirmed I will log these new questions.

Kind Regards

Rachael Bigland
Information Compliance & Records Management Unit

Information Services Branch
Greater Manchester Police

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Dear Greater Manchester Police,

Please stop your time-wasting games - once again, you are wearing down my ability to keep good Health.

You complain that I have asked further questions, when it is your department responsible for further confusing my queries on here. It is you who force me to ask further questions because you refuse to bring any transparency to your responses. A review of my FOI shows that all you have done is bring further confusion to what was a simple FOI. For example, you wrote;

" there is a full explanation including a public interest test (PIT)".

Okay? Well, where have you best clarified or explained what is a Public Interest test is on here? Is that anything to do with the Hillsborough tragedy?

Yours faithfully,

Fiona Watts

#MisconductInPublicOffice

Greater Manchester Police

1 Attachment

Good Morning,

Thank you for your email.

A PIT or Public Interest Test is a balancing test used when certain exemptions may apply. I have attached a document explaining this in full, taken from the ICO website.

If you have any further questions under the Freedom of Information Act please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards

Rachael Bigland
Information Compliance & Records Management Unit

Information Services Branch
Greater Manchester Police

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Dear Greater Manchester Police,

Hillsborough = nothing learnt.

Yours faithfully,

Fiona Watts

Dear Greater Manchester Police,

After the Coroner Nigel Meadows copied to me a set of Witness Statements produced by the police, I felt impelled to find out what training and policies on Domestic Violence were in place for police staff between 2004 and 2006?

It is not the role of your department to cover up that data that I seek. But your style of response has left me more confused and frustrated with your police force than before 16th March 2017.

Now lets review how you responded to my FOI on here?

1) On 16th March 2017, I formally asked you not to provide me with any links for your answers on here.

2) But you seem to have willfully ignored that request.

3) If you had an issue with that request, then I should have been informed of this at the time and you should have explained the reasons for your refusal to comply with my request at the time.

4) Although I have asked an innocent question about the training and policies that a member of your police force might receive when overseeing cases of Domestic Violence, you have withheld the data due to a Public Interest clause?

5) How can a coverup of how you train or advise police staff be in the Public Interest?

Yours faithfully,

Fiona Watts

 #MisconductInPublicOffice
#ClaresLaw

Greater Manchester Police

Hi Fiona,

It doesn’t appear that you are asking any further FOI questions to those you already posed in GSA 768/17, so I will do my best to address you below concerns.

1) & 2) - Although it is reasonable to provide links to documents in FOI responses, I am happy to personally assist by providing attachments where ever possible to any you have been unable to access. If there are any links you are having difficulties with, please send them back to me via email, and I will access, download and attach them (where space allows) to an email back to you.

3) If any information that you request is exempt from disclosure, or not held, you will have been told of this, along with a reason why. We will never simply 'refuse to comply' with a request.

4) Where an exemption is used, there is often a requirement to communicate the public interest for and against disclosure (for any exemptions classed as being 'qualified' under the FOI Act), to allow you to see our thought process & to justify why we reach any particular decision. We will always conclude this with a 'balancing test' which will compare the strongest reason for disclosure with the strongest reason against disclosure. On occasions where the strongest reason is against disclosure, it has been deemed the information cannot be provided by the caseworker.

5) It is not a case of simply 'covering up' particular information. Exemptions are only used where there is good reason to do so, and disclosure is not in the public interest. If you disagree with any information being exempted following a response to an FOI, you are entitled to submit a request for internal review, which I notice you have done with GSA 767/17.

If you have any further concerns, please contact me directly on this email address, or via phone on 0161 856 2528.

Kind regards,
Ben

Ben Goddard
Information Compliance Officer

Information Management | Information Services Branch | Greater Manchester Police
External: 0161 856 2529  | Direct: 0161 856 2528 | Openshaw Complex, Lawton Street, Openshaw, Manchester, M11 2NS

Not available on Wednesdays

Follow us on Twitter: @gmpolice

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Dear Greater Manchester Police

The outcome of this FOI implies that nobody at Greater Manchester Police has put any value or attempt to review or improve on the previous training of police staff since 2006?

When you did provide me with a copy of documents, the data made no real sense due to the key points of information having been redacted.

So the Clares Law stuff seems to be more propaganda .....

Yours faithfully,

Fiona Watts

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