S60 and S60AA Authorisations - 28th August 2011

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

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

From: Richard Taylor

28 August 2011

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

On Sunday the 28th of August 2011 the Metropolitan Police made the
following announcement via Twitter:

"A Sec 60 & 60AA is in force across the whole of London. For more
info please go to:
http://www.met.police.uk/stopandsearch/w...
#nottinghillcarnival"

http://twitter.com/#!/CO11MetPolice/stat...

Could you please release a copy of the related written
authorisation(s) made under section 60 and 60AA of the Criminal
Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

Regards,

--

Richard Taylor
Cambridge
http://www.rtaylor.co.uk

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Richard Taylor left an annotation (28 August 2011)

Quote-marks These provisions relate to giving police officers the powers to stop and search for offensive weapons or dangerous instruments without any grounds for suspecting such items are being carried (S.60) and a power to require the removal of disguises (S.60AA).

Section 60AA(6) and Section 60(9) require authorisations to be made in writing:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1994...

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1994...

I am particularly interested in the police's justification for invoking the powers overt the "whole of London" and what their definition of that area is.

I am impressed that the police publicly announced the invocation of these powers, something the law doesn't require. I think it would be desirable if the police were required to announce when an authorisation under these provisions was being made and to proactively release the authorisations detailing the grounds for invoking the powers and they apply to.

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Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

30 August 2011

Dear Mr Taylor

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011080004171
I write in connection with your request for information which was
received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 28/08/2011. I note
you seek access to the following information:

"On Sunday the 28th of August 2011 the Metropolitan Police made the
following announcement via Twitter:

"A Sec 60 & 60AA is in force across the whole of London. For more info
please go to: http://www.met.police.uk/stopandsearch/w...
#nottinghillcarnival"

http://twitter.com/#!/CO11MetPolice/stat...

Could you please release a copy of the related written authorisation(s)
made under section 60 and 60AA of the Criminal Justice and Public
Order Act 1994. "

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

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city 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).

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Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

26 September 2011


Attachment Redacted Sec 60 28.08.2011.doc.tif.pdf
133K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Taylor

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011080004171

I write in connection with your request for information which was
received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 28/08/2011.  I note
you seek access to the following information:

On Sunday the 28th of August 2011 the Metropolitan Police made the
following announcement via Twitter: "A Sec 60 & 60AA is
in force across the whole of London. For more info please go to:    
http://www.met.police.uk/stopandsearch/w...    
#nottinghillcarnival"        
http://twitter.com/#!/CO11MetPolice/stat...        

Could you please release a copy of the related written authorisation(s)
made under section 60 and 60AA of the Criminal Justice
 and Public Order Act 1994.

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 CO11 Central Operations

RESULT OF SEARCHES

The searches located the document relevant to your request.

DECISION

I have today decided to disclose the written authorisations made under
section 60 and 60AA of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
subject to the deletion of information pursuant to the provisions of
Section 31(1)(a)&(b) - Law Enforcement - of the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (the Act). The first 3 pages have been redacted as they are not
relevant to this request.

Please find attached a copy of the redacted Section 60 authorisation:

REASONS FOR DECISION

The document I have disclosed was not written with a view to public
disclosure and the information I have redacted are references to other
documents. The documents assist to provide further rationale for the
authorisation of the use of Section 60 stop and search powers.  Some of
the information contained within the authorisation would, if disclosed, be
likely to prejudice our ability to enforcement the law as well as assist
in the identification of individuals.

Section 31 - Law Enforcement

The exemption provided under Section 31 of the Act is both prejudice based
and qualified therefore I am required to demonstrate the prejudice (or
harm) that would be likely to occur from disclosure of the redacted
information.  Additionally I am required to conduct a public interest
test.

Prejudice Test

In order to determine whether or not this information should be disclosed,
I have considered the potential harm that could be caused by disclosure.

The text redacted under Section 31(1)(a)&(b) contains information which,
if released, would be likely to prejudice the ability of the MPS to
prevent/detect crime or apprehend/prosecute offenders.  

Disclosure would be likely to cause prejudice to our ability to enforce
the law.  For example public disclosure of the information would provide
offenders with a valuable insight into the extent of police knowledge in
relation to street crimes and gang activity.  

This information would be valuable to criminally minded individuals who
would be able to identify what we are aware of and take steps to avoid
apprehension/prosecution leaving them able to continue committing
offences.  

Any information that would enable or encourage further offences would
cause harm to individuals and the local community as a consequence of
further offences would be that there are further victims.

Finally any increase in crime will also have a detrimental effect on the
MPS as further resources would need to be allocated to deal with any
increase in crime rates.

Public Interest Test

Considerations favouring disclosure

There is a recognised public interest in accountability for decisions made
by the MPS.  In this instance full disclosure of the information would
enable full public scrutiny of the intelligence that instigated the use of
the Section 60 powers.  

It is also recognised that public authorities should encourage
transparency and openness and the disclosure in this instance would allow
the public to have a greater understanding of the types of incident that
lead us to adopt these powers.  It would also show the issues facing the
MPS and would encourage pubic debate in respect of the ways in which to
deal with these matters.

Finally there is also a public safety consideration favouring disclosure
as the full disclosure would identify specific details relating to each
incident and may remind the public to be vigilant and aware of situations
that could potentially endanger them.

Considerations favouring redaction

As I have explained in the prejudice test full disclosure of the Section
60 authorisation would enable offenders to take steps in order to avoid
apprehension or prosecution.  Clearly it would not be in the best
interests of the public to publish such information as it would also be
likely to increase the risk of further offences being committed.  

Additionally the disclosure of specific intelligence could, in some
instances, provide an indication as to the source of the information.
 Such disclosure may lead to further offences being committed.  It could
also increase and individual's reluctance to provide offence related
information to the police thus impacting the flow of information into the
service.

Any disclosure that could increase the risk of offences being committed or
disrupt the reporting of intelligence would also have a negative impact on
our core functions of enforcing the law.  Consequently it would also
increase the risk to public safety.

Balancing Test

After weighing up the competing interests I have determined that the full
disclosure of the above information would not be in the public interest.
 I consider that the benefit that would result from the information being
fully disclosed does not outweigh the arguments favouring redaction.  In
particular I believe that the positive public interest considerations
identified can be met through the disclosure of the redacted document.

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 email
[email address] or phone 0207230 0681 quoting the reference
number above.

Yours sincerely

Chris Oliver
Public Order Information Team

LEGAL ANNEX

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 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

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

 

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city 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).

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