Policy regarding non crown (ie Ports, Tunnels) police and reporting under the FOI Act 2000

The request was successful.

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I would like to request the following information:

a) any policy documents the ICO has produced regarding the responsibilities of non-crown (primarily ports and tunnels) police forces to report under FOI Act

b) any minutes of meetings you have had with non-crown police forces or their representatives regarding reporting under the Act

c) any enforcement action you have taken against non-crown police forces for violations of the FOI Act.

Yours faithfully,

Joe Turner

Information Commissioner’s Office

Link: [1]File-List

14th April 2010

Case Reference Number IRQ0306992

Dear Mr Turner

Request for Information

Thank you for your e-mail of 13 April 2010, in which you have asked us to
provide you with information held by the ICO which relates to policy
documents, minutes of meetings and any enforcement action taken under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 in respect of non-crown police forces.

Your request has been passed to the Internal Compliance Team, and is being
dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 under
the reference number shown above.  We will therefore respond to your
request by 12 May 2010 which, allowing for the early May bank holiday, is
20 working days from the day after we received your request.

Should you wish to reply to this e-mail please be careful not to amend the
information in the ‘subject’ field. This will ensure that your reply
is added directly to your case. However, please be aware that this is an
automated process; the information will not be read by a member of our
staff until your case is allocated to a request handler.

Yours sincerely

Antonia Swann

Internal Compliance Officer

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Tel: 01625 545894

[2]www.ico.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/rad267CA_files/filelist.xml
2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/

Information Commissioner’s Office

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List

10th May 2010

Case Reference Number IRQ0306992

Dear Mr Turner

We are writing further to our email dated 14 April 2010 in which we
acknowledged your request for information to the Information
Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

As previously explained we are treating your request as a request for
information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the FOIA).  For
your ease of reference we will deal with each part of your request in
turn.

The first part of your request asked for;

“a) any policy documents the ICO has produced regarding the
responsibilities of non-crown (primarily ports and tunnels) police
forces to report under FOI Act”

With regard to this part of your request please be advised that we do not
hold any recorded information which would answer this part of your
request.  This is because the ICO has not produced any “policy
documents” regarding non-crown police forces responsibilities to report
under the FOIA.

Whilst we have not produced any “policy documents” we have however
previously answered two enquiries from non-crown police forces regarding
their being subject to the FOIA. 

Whilst this information does not fall within the scope of your request for
your information on 4 October 2006 we wrote the following to the Port of
Dover Police;

“I write to confirm that Dover Harbour Board are subject to the Act in
respect of the appointment of special constables as detailed below.

Section 3 of the Freedom Of Information Act (the Act) defines what a
public authority is for the purposes of the Act.  Dover Harbour Board
(DHB) is not specifically mentioned but it appears it may be covered by
virtue of Schedule 1, Part V, paragraph 64.  This states:

“Any person who –

(a)by virtue of any enactment has the function of nominating individuals
who may be appointed as special constables by justices of the peace, and

(b)is not a public authority by virtue of any other provision of this Act,

in respect of information relating to the exercise by any person appointed
on his nomination of the functions of a special constable.”

In this case, we therefore need to consider whether the DHB may, by virtue
of any enactment, nominate individuals for appointment as special
constables. The DHB’s website
(www.doverport.co.uk/corporate.asp?skey=5&ckey=102) states that the Board
has the power to appoint special constables under section 79 of the
Harbours, Docks and Piers Clauses Act 1847 (HDPCA).  Section 79 HDPCA
does confer a power for two justices to appoint special constables
nominated to them.”

On 28 September 2009 the ICO wrote the following to the Port of Liverpool
Police concerning their being subject to the FOIA;

“Thank you for your enquiry about the status of the Port of Liverpool
Police under the Freedom of Information Act.

There are two definitions of a public authority in Part V of Schedule 1 of
the FOIA that may include the Port of Liverpool Police.

Paragraph 59 states that a chief officer of police of a police force in
England and Wales is a public authority.  Whether or not the phrase
“chief officer of police of a police force” extends to the role of the
senior officer of a port police force is not something on which we have
yet had to make a decision. My understanding is that it would normally be
used only for the chief constables or the Commissioner of the police
forces under the direct authority of the Home Office. This would be in
line with the definition in the Police Act:

Section 101

(1) Except where the context otherwise requires, in this Act—

[2]* “chief officer of police” means—

(a) in relation to a police force maintained under section 2, the chief
constable,

(b) in relation to the metropolitan police force, the Commissioner of
Police of the Metropolis, and

(c) in relation to the City of London police force, the Commissioner of
Police for the City of London ;

The second definition is that in paragraph 64 of Schedule 1. This includes
in the definition of a public authority:

Any person who—

(a) by virtue of any enactment has the function of nominating individuals
who may be appointed as special constables by justices of the peace, and

(b) is not a public authority by virtue of any other provision of this
Act,

 

in respect of information relating to the exercise by any person appointed
on his nomination of the functions of a special constable.

I understand that unlike Home Office police, port police constables are
appointed under legislation that incorporates Section 79 of the Harbours
Docks and Piers Clauses Act 1847 (HDPCA), or a similar provision into
other legislation specific to a particular port. The HDPCA legislation,
provides the power for any two Justices to appoint any persons nominated
by the statutory undertakers (the port authority) to be “special
constables” within the limits of the harbour, dock or pier. The HDPCA
states that such constables “shall have the same powers, protections and
privileges and be subject to the same liabilities as constables have or
are subject to by the laws of the realm.”

If the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company nominates the appointment of
constables in this manner, it is the company that is the public authority
in relation to information held in connection with the exercise of these
functions. If the Liverpool Port Police Committee is recognized as a body
separate to the MDHC and it makes these nominations, the committee will be
the public authority under the FOIA. I think the 1975 Order refers to
constables being nominated by the MDHC.”

The second part of your request asked for;
“b) any minutes of meetings you have had with non-crown police
forces or their representatives regarding reporting under the Act”

In answer to this part of your request please be advised that we do not
hold any recorded information about meetings with non-crown police forces
regarding the FOIA.

The third part of your request asked for;
“c) any enforcement action you have taken against non-crown police
forces for violations of the FOI Act.”

With regard to this part of your request please be advised that we do not
hold any recorded information which would answer this part of you request
as we have not taken any enforcement action against non-crown police
forces under the FOIA.

I trust that this information answers your enquiry however if you are
dissatisfied with the response you have received and wish to request a
review of our decision or make a complaint about how your request has been
handled you should write to the Internal Compliance Team at the address
below or e-mail [3][email address]

Your request for internal review should be submitted to us within 40
working days of receipt by you of this response. Any such request
received after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the
Commissioner.

If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to this office in our capacity as the statutory complaint
handler under the legislation.  To make such an application, please write
to the Case Reception Team, at the address below or visit the
‘Complaints’ section of our website to make a Freedom of Information
Act or Environmental Information Regulations complaint online.

 

A copy of our review procedure is attached.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Crowley

Internal Compliance Officer

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/rad29F52_files/filelist.xml
3. mailto:[email address]

Alex Skene left an annotation ()

These forces and more are listed on WhatDoTheyKnow.com - see:

- http://foiwiki.com/foiwiki/index.php/Spe...
- http://foiwiki.com/foiwiki/index.php/Pol...

Requests for Mersey Tunnel Police should be sent to Merseyide Passenger Transport Executive http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/body/merse... and those for the Channel Tunnel Police should be redirected to Kent Constabulary. I'm not aware of any other dedicated tunnel forces.

Kind regards
Alex - WhatDoTheyKnow.com volunteer

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