Report on Kennel Raid

June Bailey made this Freedom of Information request to Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

The request was refused by Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

From: June Bailey

1 April 2012

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I would be grateful if you could let me have a detailed copy of the
raid on Longcross Kennels Chertsey Surrey on September 15th 2009 by
yourselves, Runnymede Council and the RSPCA.

Also, I would like a copy of the autopsy reports on the six dead
dogs found in the food freezers at the kennels. I understand that
yourselves, NOT the RSPCA took the dogs away for examination.

Also, I would like all photographic evidence of the dead dogs in
question.

Yours faithfully,

June Bailey

Link to this

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

3 April 2012

Dear Ms Bailey

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012040000340
I write in connection with your request for information  which was
received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 01/04/2012.  I note
you seek access to the following information:

"Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),   I would be grateful if you
could let me have a detailed copy of the raid on Longcross Kennels
Chertsey Surrey on September 15th 2009 by  yourselves, Runnymede Council
and the RSPCA.         Also, I would like a copy of the autopsy reports on
the six dead dogs found in the food freezers at the kennels. I understand
that     yourselves, NOT the RSPCA took the dogs away for examination.  
 Also, I would like all photographic evidence of the dead dogs in
question. "  

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act).  You will receive a response within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, subject to
the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third
party.  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.

Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to
another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest
possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

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

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write
or contact Peter Deja on telephone number 02071613640 quoting the
reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Peter Deja
Policy and Support Officer
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 and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

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.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

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

Link to this

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

26 April 2012


Attachment Redacted summary 15.9..pdf.tif.pdf.pdf
144K Download View as HTML


Dear Ms Bailey [FOI #112209 email]

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012040000340

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 01/04/2012.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), I would be grateful if you could
let me have a detailed copy of the raid on Longcross Kennels Chertsey
Surrey on September 15th 2009 by  yourselves, Runnymede Council and the
RSPCA. Also, I would like a copy of the autopsy reports on the six dead
dogs found in the food freezers at the kennels. I understand that
yourselves, NOT the RSPCA took the dogs away for examination. Also, I
would like all photographic evidence of the dead dogs in question.

Following receipt of your request searches were conducted within the MPS
to locate information relevant to your request.

EXTENT OF SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION

To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted
at Public Order and Operational Support and The MPS Status Dogs Unit.

RESULT OF SEARCHES

The searches located one record relevant to your request.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 creates a statutory right of access to
information held by public authorities. A public authority in receipt of a
request must, if permitted, state under Section 1(a) of the Act, whether
it holds the requested information and, if held, then communicate that
information to the applicant under Section 1(b) of the Act.

The right of access to information is not without exception and is subject
to a number of exemptions, which are designed to enable public authorities
to withhold information that is not suitable for release. Importantly, 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.

Under the Act, there are two types of exemptions that can be applied to
information considered unsuitable for public release. These exemptions are
referred to as absolute exemptions and qualified exemptions. When an
absolute exemption is applied to information, a public authority is not
required to consider whether release of that information is in the 'public
interest'. When a qualified exemption is applied to information, a public
authority must establish whether the 'public interest' lies in disclosing
or withholding the requested information.

The public interest is determined by conducting a 'Public Interest Test'
(PIT). Both absolute and qualified exemptions can be further divided into
class-based or prejudice-based exemptions. Class-based exemptions are
those in which it is assumed the disclosure of information would result in
harm. There is therefore no requirement to demonstrate what that harm may
be. Prejudiced-based exemptions are those where firstly, it is necessary
to establish the nature of the prejudice/harm that may result from
disclosure and secondly, to determine the likelihood of the prejudice
occurring.

I have considered your request for information within the provisions set
out by the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I can confirm that the
information requested for question 1 is held by the MPS. The information
requested in questions 2 and 3 is not held by the MPS.

DECISION

In relation to question 1, I have today decided to disclose the relevant
pages of the summary of the joint operation between the MPS and the RSPCA
which took place on 15th September 2009 subject to the exemption of
information pursuant to the provisions of Sections 21, 30, 31, 40 and 43
of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).

It is important to explain that the Freedom of Information Act grants the
public the right to 'information' rather than 'documents'. However to
assist you I have provided you with access to the original document,
subject to exemptions which apply.

In relation to question 2, the requested information is not held by the
MPS. Post mortems, examinations and subsequent disposal of the dead dogs,
once it was confirmed that they were not required for evidential purposes,
were conducted by the RSPCA. We do not hold post mortem reports or
photographs of the deceased dogs.

INFORMATION AND REASONS FOR DECISION

The following attachment is a redacted copy of the document requested in
question 1:

I exempt disclosure of the remaining information contained within the
document by virtue of the following sections of the Freedom of Information
Act:

Section 31(1)(a)(b) - Law Enforcement
Section 40(2) - Personal Information
Section 43(2) - Commercial Interests

Section 31 (1(a)(b) Law Enforcement - Evidence of Harm

Harm would be caused by the disclosure of information which identifies the
focus of policing tactics used to bring to justice those seeking to
circumvent laws designed to protect the welfare of animals.
 
Any information released under the Freedom of Information Act is a release
to the public and therefore it could be used to the advantage of those
wishing to flout the law.  To release this information would be
detrimental to strategies used by the MPS and the RSPCA to bring to
justice those individuals who are cruel and neglectful to animals.

Section 31 - Public interest in favour of non disclosure

Current or future law enforcement may be compromised by the release of the
redacted information. In this case, for the reasons outlined in the
evidenced harm, the effectiveness of current and future strategies for
dealing with law enforcement around the protection of animals may be
compromised and the prevention and detection of crimes of this nature
would be undermined.

Section 31 - Public interest in favour of disclosure

The release of information will enable the public to have a better
understanding of the efficiency and effectiveness of the police service.
Better awareness of law enforcement strategies and tactics could reassure
the public of the effective use and planning of police resources.

Balance Test

The points above highlight the merits of not disclosing the strategies and
tactics used to bring to justice those individuals who do not abide by
laws implemented for the protection of animals.

Section 40 is both absolute and class based. When this exemption is
applied, it is accepted that harm would result from disclosure.
Accordingly, there is no requirement to consider whether release of
information is in the public interest or demonstrate what harm would
result from disclosure.

Section 40(2)(Personal Information)

Does the requested information constitute "personal data"?

I have considered whether the names of the individuals contained within
the information you have requested is 'personal data' and I conclude that
they are.  In reaching this conclusion I considered the definition of
personal data.  

Section 1(1) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) defines 'personal data'
by stating:

"Personal data" means data which relate to a living individual who can be
identified-

(a) from those data...

A name can be clearly used to identify individuals and therefore such
information is personal data.

 Is the exemption provided under Section 40(2) valid?

Having established that the request captures personal data, this section
of my review has focused on the need to exempt the names of particular
individual's by virtue of Section 40(2) of the FOIA.

Section 40(2) can apply to personal information that is not otherwise
covered by the exemption provided under S40(1) - the requestor's own
personal data.  As you are not requesting your own personal data I can
confirm that Section 40(2) is an appropriate exemption.  

 Should the exemption be maintained?

In order for the exemption to be maintained certain conditions must be
satisfied.  This is recorded in Section 40(2)(b) and the "conditions" are
detailed in Section 40(3) and (4).

I conclude that disclosure of the requested information would contravene
Principle 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998(DPA) specifically that the
disclosure would constitute unfair processing of personal data.  Any such
contravention of a Data Protection Principle would meet the first
"condition" which is outlined in S40(3)(a)(i) of the FOIA.

The maintenance of this exemption therefore rests on my conclusion that
disclosure of this personal data would be unfair.  

Would disclosure of the requested information be unfair?

I have considered Schedule 2 of the DPA to determine if disclosure of
particular names contained within the requested information would be fair.
Schedule 2 provides further conditions that must be met for fair
processing of personal data.  Specifically I wish to highlight there would
be no legitimate interest in public disclosure of the names of the
officers and staff of the MPS and RSPCA who have been deployed to protect
the welfare of animals. I therefore find that condition 6 of Schedule 2
(DPA) was not met.

There are officers within the MPS (above rank of Chief Inspector) where
disclosure of personal information is expected and individuals will be
aware prior to acquiring these positions that information relating to
their work may be disclosed.  It is accepted that high ranking officers
and senior staff are considered public representatives of the MPS and
therefore these individuals expect that their roles are open to public
scrutiny.  I can confirm that the names of the staff within the documents
you have requested have no expectation that their names will be publicly
disclosed.

In conclusion, I have decided that certain named individuals within the
requested information, constitutes personal data which would be unfair to
disclose. I therefore find that the exemption provided under Section 40(2)
must be engaged.  

Section 43(2) Evidence of Harm

In considering whether or not this information should be disclosed, I have
considered the potential harm that could be caused by disclosure:

The major factor when considering any potential harm in the release of the
name of the kennels is the harm that the release of this information may
cause to the commercial business.

Section 43(2) Public Interest Test

Public interest considerations favouring disclosure

The main factor favouring disclosure is, in the spirit of the Act,
openness and transparency of the conduct of government agencies. There is
an interest in the public knowing what type of companies the MPS uses and
how money is spent by the MPS.

Public interest considerations favouring non -disclosure

Whilst the above can be seen as strong case for disclosure, the document
you have requested dates back to 2009 and it is not known if the
commercial interest is still in the same hands as it was in 2009. Harm
could be caused if the business is now run by new owners who have retained
the original name. Release of the requested information could potentially
harm future business as the negative nature of the document could deter
new clients.

Balancing Test

After weighing up the competing interests, I have determined that the
disclosure of the above information would not be in the public interest. I
consider that the benefit that would result from the information being
disclosed does not outweigh disclosing information relating to the harm
that could be caused to the commercial interest if the business is now run
by new owners.

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 on 0207 230 3153 or at the address at the top of this letter,
quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Yvette Taylor
Information Manager

 

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 and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again -

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

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.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

LEGAL ANNEX

Section 17 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 in
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 the fact,
(b) specifies the exemption in question, and
(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies.

Section 31 (1) (a) (b) of the Act provides:

(1) Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is
exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be
likely to, prejudice,
(a) the prevention or detection of crime.
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders

Section 40(2) of the Act provides:

40(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.
40(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, or
(ii) section 10 of that Act (right to prevent processing likely to cause
damage or distress), and
(b) in any other case, that the disclosure of the information to a member
of the public otherwise than under this Act would contravene any of the
data protection principles if the exemptions in section 33A(1) of the Data
Protection Act 1998 (which relates to manual data held by public
authorities) were disregarded.

Section 43 of the Act states :

Section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 exempts information if
it
constitutes a trade secret or information the disclosure of which would,
or would
be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person, including
those of
the public authority holding the information .
43(1) Information is exempt information if it constitutes a trade secret.
43(2) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act
would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any
person (including the public authority holding it ).
43(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent
that,
compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice
the
interests mentioned in subsection (2) .

The Data Protection Act 1998

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/ukp...

I

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

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) only:

Follow this request

There is 1 person following this request

Offensive? Unsuitable?

Requests for personal information and vexatious requests are not considered valid for FOI purposes (read more).

If you believe this request is not suitable, you can report it for attention by the site administrators

Report this request

Act on what you've learnt

Similar requests

More similar requests

Event history details

Are you the owner of any commercial copyright on this page?