Rules regarding current and retired Officers disclosing information acquired in the course of their role as a police officer

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Lancashire Constabulary should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Paul Ponting (Account suspended)

Dear Lancashire Constabulary,

What is the Lancashire force policy on former (or indeed serving) police officers discussing or identifying individuals, or cases, from when they were a police officer?

What, if any authorisation is required to disclose material related to those individuals or cases both in print or verbally with anyone outside of the police service without authorisation?

What is the force's policy on authorising officers (past or present) to discuss past individuals or cases with anyone outside of the police service?

What is the policy in current/former officers discussing past individuals either victims of crime or otherwise, in relation to 'information or opinion they gained from working in the police force' with anyone, especially in public or in group discussion.

Are police officers bound by the Official Secrets Act, or something having a similar effect?

Please can you finally provide me with the force policy for holding such officers to account should any of the above policy / legislation be breached.

If it is not possible to provide the information requested due to the information exceeding the cost of compliance limits identified in Section 12, please provide advice and assistance, under your Section 16 obligations, as to how I can refine my request to be included in the scope of the Act. In any case, if you can identify ways that my request could be refined please provide further advice and assistance to indicate this.

I look forward to your response within 20 working days, as stipulated by the Act.

If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact me via email and I will be happy to clarify what I am asking for.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Ponting

Information assurance unit, Lancashire Constabulary

If you are emailing a valid Freedom of Information request please treat
this as a formal acknowledgement.

 

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, known hereafter as ‘the Act’. You should receive a
response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined in
the Act (from when Lancashire Constabulary receive a valid request).

 

Please note that disclosure is subject to the information not being exempt
or containing a reference to a third party.

 

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.

 

Lancashire Constabulary is committed to ensuring that all services it
provides are accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. If
you find the web-site or a document difficult to access please notify us
so that we can assist.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in
Lancashire Constabulary.

 

Regards,

 

Compliance Team

Professional Standards Department

Information Compliance and Disclosure Section

Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters

 

Tel: 01772 413329

Email: [1][email address]

 

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Paul Ponting (Account suspended)

Dear Information assurance unit,

By way of an example to help you clarify.

If a retired police officer, say a Chief inspector was to send an email to 400 people (non police) relating to an individual. I have used xxx to indicate an individuals name in the following scenario.

------
To ??? I am well aware of XXX from my time in Lancashire Constabulary. He is very well known amongst certain sections of the Constabulary, particularly Skem division and Professional Standards. I’m afraid he is a very vindictive and dangerous individual and he has previously waged character assassinations against individual officers, even after they have left the force. I was shocked when I joined this charity to see that he was a volunteer, but clearly that did not last long thankfully. It is my opinion that he suffers from some form of mental illness that causes him to take on any form of authority that does not 100% agree with him.
------

In the above example, if an officer gains knowledge or information during a time when he or she was a serving police officer, would it be

(1) a legal use
(2) an appropriate use, or
(3) A data breach

of the individuals person data.

Would a reference being made of a 'personal opinion' be deemed defamatory or even malicious on the basis that the email clearly states that this knowledge was gained from Lancashire Constabulary? In the above example, the opinion could be seen to be reinforced by the inference of being a police officer who would have access to sensitive material?

How would this also reflect if the individual (with no criminal conviction or warnings) was a repeat victim of crimes for which his attackers have been convicted for their crimes or been given harassment warnings.

What would be the appropriate method to report such a breach?
What would be the penalty for such a breach of data?

Yours sincerely,

Paul Ponting

Information assurance unit, Lancashire Constabulary

If you are emailing a valid Freedom of Information request please treat
this as a formal acknowledgement.

 

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, known hereafter as ‘the Act’. You should receive a
response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined in
the Act (from when Lancashire Constabulary receive a valid request).

 

Please note that disclosure is subject to the information not being exempt
or containing a reference to a third party.

 

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.

 

Lancashire Constabulary is committed to ensuring that all services it
provides are accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. If
you find the web-site or a document difficult to access please notify us
so that we can assist.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in
Lancashire Constabulary.

 

Regards,

 

Compliance Team

Professional Standards Department

Information Compliance and Disclosure Section

Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters

 

Tel: 01772 413329

Email: [1][email address]

 

 

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References

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1. mailto:[email address]

FOI, Lancashire Constabulary

2 Attachments

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO: 4260/18

Please find attached Lancashire Constabulary’s response to your recent
request for information made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in
Lancashire Constabulary.

Data Protection Office

Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters

Saunders Lane, Hutton

Preston PR4 5SB

 

Tel: 01772 413329

Website: [1]www.lancashire.police.uk 

 

 

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Paul Ponting (Account suspended)

Dear Lancashire Constabulary,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Lancashire Constabulary's handling of my FOI request 'Rules regarding current and retired Officers disclosing information acquired in the course of their role as a police officer'.

My FOI request is not vexacious at all. It is a request for information relating to the safeguarding of personal data. I have provided evidence that my personal data has been breached by a retired police officer that you are fully aware of, I will not post his name here, if you require clarification, I can provide the name is a secure way.

My FOI request is for rules & procedures that Lancashire police have in place to safeguard (my) personal data from current and past police officers. I will remind you that the 5 years of history between myself and Lancashire police (that you refer to) has been settled out of court for a significant sum of money payable by the tax payer. This value of compensation you paid to me goes some way to showing that it is Lancashire constabulary that has been and still is being vexatious. My request for data is simply triggered by Lancashire police (current and retired) continuing their misconduct against me. Further claims are in progress against Lancashire police and my FOI requests are fact gathering to support these legal claims.

Such a FOI request should never be deemed vexatious, in fact, it would appear on the face of it that Lancashire police are aware of the officer involved and are protecting him from from the breach of my personal data that he seems to have acquired from yourselves!

I have informed the ICO of this refusal, I have also reported a further breach of my personal data within your reply and I await your internal review.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/r...

Yours faithfully,

Paul Ponting

Information assurance unit, Lancashire Constabulary

If you are emailing a valid Freedom of Information request please treat
this as a formal acknowledgement.

 

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, known hereafter as ‘the Act’. You should receive a
response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined in
the Act (from when Lancashire Constabulary receive a valid request).

 

Please note that disclosure is subject to the information not being exempt
or containing a reference to a third party.

 

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.

 

Lancashire Constabulary is committed to ensuring that all services it
provides are accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. If
you find the web-site or a document difficult to access please notify us
so that we can assist.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in
Lancashire Constabulary.

 

Regards,

 

Compliance Team

Professional Standards Department

Information Compliance and Disclosure Section

Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters

 

Tel: 01772 413329

Email: [1][email address]

 

 

show quoted sections

 

References

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1. mailto:[email address]

Paul Ponting (Account suspended)

Dear Lancashire Constabulary,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Lancashire Constabulary's handling of my FOI request 'Rules regarding current and retired Officers disclosing information acquired in the course of their role as a police officer'.

I am asking for review of this decision. Lancashire police are alleging I am vexatious yet selectively releasing information depending on what that want me to know and what they do not want me to know. The ICO are aware of this and told me to request a review before they review it.
I want this information for legal and justifiable reasons relating to a real incident where an ex-lancashire police officer has used information gained from his time in the police and sent it to a group of 400 local people. I am entitled under the FOI laws to request this information and do not need to give reasons however I have given reasons to assist in the review process.

The ICO have told me to let them know if I do not receive a response within 40 working days of my original response.

I will also state that Lancashire police have released my personal information in a number of FOI responses. This information is my personal information and it has been published without my knowledge or permission and this has been brought to the attention of the ICO. I trust Lancashire police will ensure this data is removed from public display asap.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/r...

Yours faithfully,

Paul Ponting

Information assurance unit, Lancashire Constabulary

If you are emailing a valid Freedom of Information request please treat
this as a formal acknowledgement.

 

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, known hereafter as ‘the Act’. You should receive a
response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined in
the Act (from when Lancashire Constabulary receive a valid request).

 

Please note that disclosure is subject to the information not being exempt
or containing a reference to a third party.

 

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.

 

Lancashire Constabulary is committed to ensuring that all services it
provides are accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. If
you find the web-site or a document difficult to access please notify us
so that we can assist.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in
Lancashire Constabulary.

 

Regards,

 

Compliance Team

Professional Standards Department

Information Compliance and Disclosure Section

Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters

 

Tel: 01772 413329

Email: [1][email address]

 

 

show quoted sections

 

References

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1. mailto:[email address]

FOI, Lancashire Constabulary

Good Morning,

 

 

Please be advised that your internal review request is now booked on under
the reference number 4548/18. You should receive a response from us in due
course.

 

 

Regards,

 

 

Data Protection Office

Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters

Tel: 01772 413203

Email: [1][email address]

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Paul Ponting (Account suspended)

Dear FOI,

I have been notified by the ICO that they have been in contact with you over this refusal and asked you to expedite your review. I am adding some further information in relation to your response and to assist.

YOU SAID
We have received five requests from you since October 2018 (our refs: 3630/18, 3651/18, 4260/18
4298/18 and 4330/18) and each of these has been considered on their own merits. Responses have
already been provided to two of these requests and another two are currently being processed.
However in respect of this request we believe Section 14(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
applies and this letter serves to act as a refusal notice for this request, as per S.17 (5) of the Act.

RESPONSE
My question is why did you happily respond to 4 previous requests and not this one. This would suggest that there is something about this FOI that you do not like. Maybe how my personal data was breached by one of your officers? Surely you would want to have a police officer held to account for such a data breach?

YOU SAID
It appears that you are using the FOIA in an attempt to obtain any and as much information as you are
able to fuel your continuing complaints and civil actions against Lancashire Constabulary, its
employees and retired officers.

RESPONSE
I have made, as you quote, 5 FOI requests since october 2018. That is little more than 1 per month. I do not see this as "attempting to gain any and as much information". I will not name names, but I see others making requests almost daily and you seem to have no problem responding to them. It is you that is vexatious to me as you are aware that I will act on the data I receive.

And I am not fuelling complaints, my complaints require information otherwise you fail to uphold them. This appears to be a tactic by police reviewing complaints. i.e. do not supply the complainant with any evidence to support the complaint. My civil action was 100%y valid as Lancashire police settled for a substantial sum out of court for their persistent failings and offences. I have every right to complain against lancashire police when they commit offences and wrongdoings and I will keep doing so until it is resolved. You cannot simply label me as vexatious for asking answers however awkward they may be. This would infer that Lancashire police are vexatious knowingly blocking my genuine request for information to support my ongoing disputes.

YOU SAID
A trademark of your on-going campaign is your pro-active publication of information in relation to your involvement with Lancashire Police; this is often in an accusatory manner including unsubstantiated allegations about the force and individual officers, both serving and retired.

RESPONSE
I am well within my rights to campaign to investigate police corruption which is what Lancashire police are defending. Why would police block my attempts to root our misconduct, I would think you would support this? Any information I publish is factual and legal and you know this and are afraid of the truth (the words of Superintendent E. Thistlethwaite). This has been proven in court when you maliciously brought a prosecution against me for a factual publication. This resulted is a substantial settlement for 'malicious prosecution'.

You response to me is CLEARLY attempting to deceive anyone that reads this. My 5 years of hell with Lancashire police who have protected a police informant from attacking my family has resulted in my civil actions and FOI requests. Police are not above the law and this is why the FOI law were introduced.

YOU SAID
We believe this specific request is an attempt to obtain information in furtherance of your accusations
against a retired officer whom you consider to have breached data protection legislation.

RESPONSE
You are very wrong here. The officer in question who I have NEVER met, NEVER spoken to in fact NEVER heard of. Without my knowledge, he sends a malicious email to 400 people in my local area about me. The message contained information gained from Lancashire police about me, some of which was falsified by the 'lovely police officer'. There is NO question he breached my data or that it was sourced from the police, as that is exactly what he said in the email. Remember, I do not know this man, never heard of him and you accuse me of in some way TARGETING him! Ridiculous, he has targeted me and you are publicly trying to defend or protect him. I will hold him to account as should you!

YOU SAID
We have tangible concerns that any information we provide you with will be used to target this
individual against whom you appear to have some personal enmity.

RESPONSE
WHY are you trying to protect him and cover this up. You do realise this FOI is public? Yes, you response will assist in my legal action against him. If you say legal action is targeting someone, then take a look in the mirror!

Finally,
You have in someway clarified that information you would provide would assist me with my action against the offending police officer (target as you vexatiously say). It is clear that he has breached procedures as you would be quite happy to tell me if he hadn't. I certainly will be seeking legal redress for the data breach by Lancashire police and the individual in question who you seem so determined to defend.

I trust you will supply the necessary information for my FOI as soon as possible.

I will add. Your reply is, as you know, PUBLIC, I insist you do not further breach my personal data in your replies like you have in a number of other replies. The ICO are currently looking into this. I have asked for you to remove the previous data breaches, I note they are still public.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Ponting

FOI, Lancashire Constabulary

If you are emailing a valid Freedom of Information request please treat
this as a formal acknowledgement.

 

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, known hereafter as ‘the Act’. You should receive a
response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined in
the Act (from when Lancashire Constabulary receive a valid request).

 

Please note that disclosure is subject to the information not being exempt
or containing a reference to a third party.

 

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.

 

Lancashire Constabulary is committed to ensuring that all services it
provides are accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. If
you find the web-site or a document difficult to access please notify us
so that we can assist.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in
Lancashire Constabulary.

 

Regards,

 

Compliance Team

Professional Standards Department

Information Compliance and Disclosure Section

Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters

 

Tel: 01772 413329

Email: [1][email address]

 

show quoted sections

 

References

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1. mailto:[email address]