Public cost of guarding Ecuadorean Embassy while Julian Assange sought refuge

Richard Gibbons made this Freedom of Information request to Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (as amended 2007), I seek the following information:

* Total cost to the public purse incurred while guarding the Ecuadorean Embassy while Julian Assange sought refuge.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Gibbons

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear  Mr Gibbons

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2015100000661

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 12/10/2015.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

* * Total cost to the public purse incurred while guarding the
Ecuadorean Embassy while Julian Assange sought refuge.

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
Information Rights Unit
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

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the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
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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).

 

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Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Gibbons,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2015100000661

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 12/10/2015.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

“In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000(as amended 2007),
I seek the following information: Total cost to the public purse incurred
while guarding the Ecuadorean Embassy while Julian Assange sought refuge”
 
DECISION

In respect to your request for information, I am able to provide the
information below.

On 12 October 2015 the MPS issued a press statement which details the cost
information that you are seeking.

“The estimated direct cost of policing the Ecuadorian Embassy between June
2012 and the end of August 2015 is £10.5m, of which £7.1m is opportunity
costs (Police Officer pay costs that would be incurred in normal duties)
and £3.4m additional costs (estimated additional police overtime as a
direct result of the deployments at the Ecuadorian Embassy). The estimated
full cost, including indirect costs of £2.1m, for the same period would be
£12.6m. The costs provided are an estimate based on averages, as actual
salary and overtime costs will vary daily.”

The cost for September and October 2015 are intended for future
publication and are currently being prepared. They will hopefully be
available for release mid November 2015 should you wish to submit a new
FOIA request at that time.

Section 22(1)(a)(c) - Information Intended for Future Publication

Section 22 is a qualified and class-based exemption. I am therefore
required to provide you with a Public Interest Test on the application of
this exemption.

Public Interest Test

Considerations favouring disclosure
There is a public interest in disclosing the September and October 2015
cost breakdowns as early as possible due to the public interest in the
costs involved in this high profile matter.

Considerations favouring Non-Disclosure

The MPS have always publicly disclosed the most current figures on this
matter as soon as they have been prepared.  In consideration that this
response has also issued the most up to date prepared figures for August
and in consideration that the cost for September/October 2015 are still
currently being prepared for release in the imminent future, the public
interest has so far been met. Early disclosure is therefore not in the
public interest as it has been met by advising that the completed figures
for September and October will hopefully be available for release mid
November 2015.

Early disclosure of the requested information would unfortunately place
undue strain on the resources of SO Finance who, as explained, are
currently already preparing figures for September and October 2015 which
they intend to disclose as done under FOIA for previous months.

Balance Test

The strongest reason favouring early disclosure is the public interest in
this high profile matter and the cost to the public. The strongest reason
favouring non disclosure is that publication of the full information you
have requested is imminent and early disclosure would detrimentally effect
resources within SO Finance, especially considering they are already in
the processes of preparing the figures requested.

On weighing up the competing interests I find the public interest favours
non-disclosure of the full information at this time. I appreciate this may
not be the response you would have liked but I hope provision of the most
up to date data in this response as well as confirmation that the full
data should be available in mid November proves helpful.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

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 quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Karen Fox (Mrs)
Information Manager

Legal Annex

Section 17(1)(a)(b)(c) - Refusal of a Request

(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 22(1)(a)(c) - Information intended for future publication.

(1)Information is exempt information if—
(a)the information is held by the public authority with a view to its
publication, by the authority or any other person, at some future date
(whether determined or not),
(b)the information was already held with a view to such publication at the
time when the request for information was made, and
(c)it is reasonable in all the circumstances that the information should
be withheld from disclosure until the date referred to in paragraph (a).

In complying with their statutory duty under sections 1 and 11 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed information, the
Metropolitan Police Service will not breach the Copyright, Designs and
Patents Act 1988. However, the rights of the copyright owner of the
enclosed information will continue to be protected by law.  Applications
for the copyright owner's written permission to reproduce any part of the
attached information should be addressed to MPS Directorate of Legal
Services, 1st Floor (Victoria Block), New Scotland Yard, Victoria, London,
SW1H 0BG.
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
Information Rights Unit
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