Protected characteristics and complaints

The request was partially successful.

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I would like to request a breakdown of complaints of discrimination made against police officers on the basis of the nine protected chracteristics as set out in the Equality Act (2010). This sould be for the most recent period of 12 months for which this information is available. This should include information including (a) the characteristic relevant to the incident, (b) the borough in which the incident happened (c) date of report (d) whether it was referred to the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) (e) the outcome of complaints if applicable.

I am happy for you to anonymise any information necessary to meet your Data Protection requirements.

It would be helpful if you were to provide any brief notes which might be necessary to understand the context of the information provided, although I recognise that you are not obliged to do this. If for any reason you feel this request is unclear, please do not hesitate to contact me via email. If you are not the appropriate authority for this request, or for part of it, please let me know as soon as is convenient.

Yours faithfully,

Patrick Kenner

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Kenner

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2015030000113

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 01/03/2015.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

* Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), I would like to request a
breakdown of complaints of discrimination made against police officers
on the basis of the nine protected chracteristics as set out in the
Equality Act (2010). This sould be for the most recent period of 12
months for which this information is available. This should include
information including (a) the characteristic relevant to the incident,
(b) the borough in which the incident happened (c) date of report (d)
whether it was referred to the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints
Commission) (e) the outcome of complaints if applicable. I am happy
for you to anonymise any information necessary to meet your Data
Protection requirements. It would be helpful if you were to provide
any brief notes which might be necessary to understand the context of
the information provided, although I recognise that you are not
obliged to do this.

Your request will now be allocated to the relevant unit within the MPS and
will be processed in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(the Act).  

You will receive your response directly from the relevant unit within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act.  

In some circumstances the MPS may be unable to achieve this deadline.  If
this is likely you will be informed and given a revised time-scale at the
earliest opportunity.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet, which details your right of
complaint.

If you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please contact
us at [email address] or on the phone at 0207 161 3500, quoting the
reference number above.  Should your enquiry relate to the logging or
allocations process we will be able to assist you directly and where your
enquiry relates to other matters (such as the status of the request) we
will be able to pass on a message and/or advise you of the relevant
contact details.

Yours sincerely

Peter Deja
Support Officer - Freedom of Information Triage Team

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively, phone or
write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 745

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk
Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Kenner ,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2015030000113

I write in response to your request for information that was received by
the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 01 March 2015. I note that you
seek access to the following information:

"I would like to request a breakdown of complaints of discrimination made
against police officers on the basis of the nine protected chracteristics
as set out in the Equality Act (2010). This sould be for the most recent
period of 12 months for which this information is available. This should
include information including (a) the characteristic relevant to the
incident, (b) the borough in which the incident happened (c) date of
report (d) whether it was referred to the IPCC (Independent Police
Complaints Commission) (e) the outcome of complaints if applicable.

I am happy for you to anonymise any information necessary to meet your
Data Protection requirements.

It would be helpful if you were to provide any brief notes which might be
necessary to understand the context of the information provided, although
I recognise that you are not obliged to do this. If for any reason you
feel this request is unclear, please do not hesitate to contact me via
email. If you are not the appropriate authority for this request, or for
part of it, please let me know as soon as is convenient."

When a request is made that is considered under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 (the Act), a public authority must inform you, when permitted,
whether the information requested is held. It must then communicate that
information to you. If a public authority decides that it is cannot comply
with all or part of a request, it must cite the appropriate section or
exemption of the Act and provide you with a suitable explanation. It is
important to note that the Act is designed to place information into the
public domain, that is, once access to information is granted to one
person under the Act, it is then considered public information and must be
communicated to any individual should a request be received. Any
information released under the Act is also published upon the MPS website.

Following receipt of your request, I have conducted searches to locate
information relevant to your request. These searches identified that the
requested information is recorded upon the MPS Complaints, Conduct and
Discipline System (Tribune).

DECISION
I have disclosed the located information to you. The information provided
is based upon all public complaints recorded against police officers from
01 March 2014 to 28 February 2015 where the allegation type was
discrimination. All requested information has been provided with the
exception of the date of each report/incident.  Having considered this
information for release, I have decided to refuse this part of your
request. A full explanation, including the relevant sections of the Act,
has been provided in the section entitled 'legal annex' below. Please also
note that Tribune records complaints of discrimination in eight areas
being age, disability, gender, homophobic, mental health, other, race,
religion/faith. These have been provided to you within the attached
spreadsheet.

Please find definitions of the allegation results present within column 5
of the requested spreadsheet.

'De Recorded' refers to instances where an allegation, having previously
been recorded, is classified as 'no longer recorded' as it is either a
duplicate allegation or relates to direction and control.
'Disapplication/Dispensation' refers to instances where a force or police
authority considers that no action should be taken about a complaint.
There are established grounds upon which a dispensation to investigate may
be granted. These include:

* Where more than 12 months have elapsed between the incident giving
rise to the complaint and the making of the complaint, where there is
no good reason for the delay or injustice would be caused.
* The matter is already the subject of a complaint.
* The complaint is anonymous.
* The complaint is vexatious, oppressive or otherwise an abuse of the
procedures for dealing with complaints.
* The complaint is repetitious.
* It is not reasonably practicable to complete the investigation of the
complaint.

A force or police authority must obtain IPCC agreement for a dispensation.
'Discontinued' refers to instances where a force considers that it is no
longer practical to continue with an investigation and is unable to
conclude the investigation. There are established grounds upon which a
discontinuance may be granted. A force or police authority must obtain
IPCC agreement for a discontinuance.
'Local Resolution' refers to instances where the complaint is resolved at
a local level such as a police station or basic command unit. A local
resolution may take the form of:

* The provision of information and an explanation to the complainant to
clear up a misunderstanding
* An apology issued on behalf of the police service
* Identifying lessons from the complaint and accepting that something
could have been handled better
* An explanation regarding action taken to stop the same thing happening
again
* Action taken by a manager to change the way a police officer or member
of staff behaves

'Upheld' refers to instances where the investigation findings show that
the service provided by or through the conduct of those serving with the
police reached the standard a reasonable person could expect.

'Not Upheld' refers to instances where the investigation findings show
that the service provided by or through the conduct of those serving with
the police did not reach the standard a reasonable person could expect.
'Withdrawn' refers to instances where the complainant or person acting on
their behalf retracts the complaint.

'Case to answer' refers to instances where, following investigation, the
investigating officer determines that, based upon the available evidence,
there is a case to answer in relation to an allegation made concerning an
officer's conduct.

'No case to answer' refers to instances where, following investigation,
the investigating officer determines that, based upon the available
evidence, there is not a case to answer in relation to an allegation made
concerning an officer's conduct.
Management Action' is not a formal misconduct outcome but is considered to
be part of the normal managerial responsibility of managers in the police
service. Management action may include:

* Pointing out how the behaviour fell short of the expectations set out
in the Standards of Professional Behaviour
* Identifying expectations for future conduct
* Establishing an improvement plan
* Addressing any underlying causes of misconduct

Please also note that where the field is 'blank' within the 'result
against officer' column, the case is ongoing.
Maintaining Public Trust in the MPS
Securing and maintaining the trust of the community is integral to the
principle of policing by consent and to continue to do so, the MPS
recognises that its staff must act with professionalism and integrity
whether on or off-duty. The MPS treats each occasion when an allegation is
made about the conduct of its staff extremely seriously and will fully
investigate each incident to determine whether the conduct of that member
of staff has breached the standards of professional behaviour. Where the
conduct of staff is proven to have fallen below the standards of behaviour
expected, the MPS will take robust action to ensure that its staff are
appropriately disciplined and that lessons are learnt from each case.

The Commissioner has stated publicly that there is no place for racism and
prejudice within the MPS. All MPS staff are expected to treat members of
the public fairly and have a duty to challenge or report any behaviour by
colleagues which falls below the high standards demanded by the MPS and
the general public. Any instance where the conduct of our staff is alleged
to have fallen below the standards of behaviour expected is treated
extremely seriously by the MPS.

Complaint Rights
This notice concludes your request for information. I would like to take
this opportunity to thank you for your interest in the MPS.

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to make a complaint.  

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on 0207 161 6510 or at the address at the top of this email,
quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Damion Baird
Information Manager
Directorate of Professional Standards

LEGAL ANNEX
Legal Exemptions Claimed

Section 1(1)(a) of the Act provides:

"(1) Any person making a request for information to a public authority is
entitled -

(a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds
information of the description specified in the request"

Section 1(1)(b) of the Act provides:

"(b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him."

Section 17(1) of the Act provides:

"(1) A public authority which, in relation to any request for information,
is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision of Part II relating
to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request or on a claim
that information is exempt information must, within the time for complying
with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which -

(a) states that fact,
(b) specifies the exemption in question, and
(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies."

Section 40(2)(a)(b) and Section 40(3)(a)(i) of the Act provides:

(1) Any information to which a request for information relates is exempt
information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the
data subject.

(2) Any information to which a request for information relates is also
exempt information if-
(a) it constitutes personal data which do not fall within subsection (1),
and
(b) either the first or the second condition below is satisfied.

(3) The first condition is-
(a) in a case where the information falls within any of paragraphs (a) to
(d) of the definition of "data" in section 1(1) of the Data Protection Act
1998, that the disclosure of the information to a member of the public
otherwise than under this Act would contravene -
(i)any of the data protection principles,
Explanation of Legal Exemptions Claimed

Section 40 (2)(a)(b) & (3)(a)(i) - Personal Information: Absolute
Exemption/Class Based
Under Section 40(2) and (3) of the Act, Public Authorities are able to
withhold information where its release would identify any living
individual and breach the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998
(DPA). Under principle one of the DPA, personal data must be processed
fairly and lawfully.

Should the MPS release the date of each incident of discrimination, I
believe that, combined with the borough of incident and the nature of each
allegation, a person with knowledge of an incident (likely to be a person
working for the MPS or with some involvement in the allegation) may be
able identify the result of a particular investigation and connect that to
an identifiable person. I have accordingly refused access to this
information as I believe it would reveal personal data and breach the
right to fair processing of personal data under the Data Protection Act
1998. In claiming this exemption, I have given due regard to Condition one
and six of Schedule 2 of the DPA. Condition one of the DPA requires that
consideration is given to whether consent for disclosure has been given
whilst Condition six requires that consideration is given to whether
disclosure would constitute legitimate processing of that data. I have
found that as no prior consent has been given to release this information
and in the case of legitimate processing, the release of this personal
data would be unexpected and subsequently unfair, that it is appropriate
not to release this information.

The provision to refuse access to information under Section 40(2)(a)(b)
and (3)(a)(i) of the Act is both absolute and class based. When this
exemption is claimed, it is accepted that harm would result from
disclosure. There is accordingly no requirement to demonstrate what that
harm may be in refusing access to information.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively, phone or
write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 745

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

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