Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Can you please provide me with

1) All codes of practice, guidances, and other existing documents about the transport of detainees from arrest to a custody suite; in particular, but not limited to, when detainees should be cuffed in front or in the back, how should they be seated at the back of the van (or of any other vehicle), whether any other restraint should be used, whether any seatbelt should be used, etc.

2) For the past five years (preferably per borough and in spreadsheet format):
2a) The number of detainees transported to a custody suite, by the different types of vehicles used.
2b) The number of traffic accidents police vehicles transporting detainees were involved in, by the different types of vehicles used.
2c) The number of detainees injured and the type of injuries occasioned when in a police vehicle involved in a traffic accident, by the different types of vehicles used.

Yours faithfully,

David Mery

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr. Mery

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011110000250
I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 31/10/2011.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

"Can you please provide me with
     
     1) All codes of practice, guidances, and other existing documents
about the transport of detainees from arrest to a custody suite; in
particular, but not limited to, when detainees should be cuffed in front
or in the back, how should they be seated at the back of the van (or of
any other vehicle), whether any other restraint should be used, whether
any seatbelt should be used, etc.
     
2) For the past five years (preferably per borough and in spreadsheet
format):
     2a) The number of detainees transported to a custody suite, by the
different types of vehicles used.
     2b) The number of traffic accidents police vehicles transporting
detainees were involved in, by the different types of vehicles used.
     2c) The number of detainees injured and the type of injuries
occasioned when in a police vehicle involved in a traffic accident, by the
different types of vehicles used."

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 me at the above e-mail address, quoting the reference number
above.

Yours sincerely

R. Loizou
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).

David Mery left an annotation ()

I have mentioned this request in http://gizmonaut.net/blog/uk/2011/11/mpa...

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Mery

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011110000250

I write in connection with your request for information dated 31/10/2011
which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on
31/10/2011.  I note you seek access to the following information:

1) All codes of practice, guidances, and other existing documents

     about the transport of detainees from arrest to a custody suite; in

     particular, but not limited to, when detainees should be cuffed in

     front or in the back, how should they be seated at the back of the

     van (or of any other vehicle), whether any other restraint should

     be used, whether any seatbelt should be used, etc.

    

     2) For the past five years (preferably per borough and in

     spreadsheet format):

     2a) The number of detainees transported to a custody suite, by the

     different types of vehicles used.

     2b) The number of traffic accidents police vehicles transporting

     detainees were involved in, by the different types of vehicles

     used.

     2c) The number of detainees injured and the type of injuries

     occasioned when in a police vehicle involved in a traffic accident,

     by the different types of vehicles used.

.

This letter is to inform you that it will not be possible to respond to
your request within the cost . In relation to question 2C alone,  To
establish whether police vehicle transporting a detainee, who then
susatined injuries as a result of the collision,  would involve extracting
each police vehicle collision file where an injury has been recorded, in
2010 alone there were 283 such collisions, to examine one file would take
a minimum of 5 minutes and thus it would take in excess of 23 hours to
examine all the records, this multiplied by 5 years would exceed the
appropriate time and cost limitations set under the Freedom of
information.

 We estimate that the cost of complying with this request would exceed the
appropriate limit. The appropriate limit has been specified in regulations
and for agencies outside central Government; this is set at £450.00.  
This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours [at a
rate of £25 per hour] in determining whether the MPS holds the
information, and locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts
as a Refusal Notice.

Section 17(5) of the Act provides:

(5) A public authority which, in relation to any request for information,
is relying on a claim that section 12 or 14 applies must, within the time
for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice stating that
fact.

Section 12 of the Act provides:

(1) Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a
request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of
complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit.

Under Section 16 (duty to assist) we are required to offer you the
opportunity to redefine your request within the cost limit.  Therefore, we
invite you to redefine your request within three months from the date of
this letter.  If we do not hear from you by  24th February 2012 we will
treat this request as withdrawn.

If you wish to discuss redefining your request, please contact me on 020
7161 7884

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 Sue Reuter on telephone number 781184 quoting the reference
number above.

Yours sincerely

Sue Reuter
Management Information Manager

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 [1]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

Sue Reuter | CO15  | TDHQ  | HQ MIU
MetPhone 781184 | Telephone 020 7161 1184 | [mobile number] | Email
[email address]
Address 6^th Floor, Empress State Building, Lillie Road, Earls Court. SW6
1TR

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).

References

Visible links
1. file://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Dear Ms Reuter,

Thank you for your response, however under your duty to assist (Section 16), you should help me to redefine my request and not just give me an opportunity to do so.

I understand and accept from your refusal notice that it is not possible to answer my question 2c within reasonable time/cost limits.

I also note that you have partially answered my question 2b for the year 2010, i.e. there were 283 traffic accidents of police vehicles transporting detainees.

In order not to delay further your response, let me attempt to simplify my request so that it is acceptable within reasonable time/cost limits, without the hindsight of any assistance:

1) All codes of practice, guidances, and other existing documents about the transport of detainees from arrest to a custody suite; in particular, but not limited to, when detainees should be cuffed in front or in the back, how should they be seated at the back of the van (or of any other vehicle), whether any other restraint should be used, whether any seatbelt should be used, etc.

[Note that this is identical as a simple free text search on your internal databases should provide you promptly with a list of relevant documents. I am surprised you didn't include response to that question already.]

2) For the past five years or how many years are possible within acceptable time/cost limits (preferably per borough and in spreadsheet format):
2a) The number of detainees transported to a custody suite.
2b) The number of traffic accidents of police vehicles transporting detainees.

[Note that a reduction in the number of years for which the data is provided would be acceptable, but if it is just changing a digit in a database query, then please provide data for the past five years. 2a and 2b have been simplified.]

Yours faithfully,

David Mery

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Mr Mery

May I first apologise profusely for failing to assist you with redefining your request.

For me to respond to your re defined request below I am afraid you will have to make a formal request in the same format as your initial request.

To assist you in defining your request;

Q2. The Traffic Operational Command Unit will be able to supply you with an extract from our Driver and vehicle policy in relation to transporting prisoners.

Q2a The Traffic Operational command does not have or record details of how many detainees are transported to custody suites, although we do keep a record of the number of arrests made, but not for the whole of the Metropolitan Police Area.

Q2b.We will not be able to supply details/numbers of how many detainees were injured while in a police Vehicle. Our Police collision database is not set up to run queries to identify who was injured in a collision, as I stated in my original reply the time and cost element would be exceeded under the Freedom of Information Act to extract this information.

I am sorry I cannot be more helpful, when you send your new request the Public Access
Office will forward it to the department which will be able to supply you with the information.

My apologies again.

Kind regards

Susan Reuter

Sue Reuter | CO15 | TDHQ | HQ MIU
MetPhone 781184 | Telephone 020 7161 1184 | [mobile number] | Email [email address]
Address 6th Floor, Empress State Building, Lillie Road, Earls Court. SW6 1TR

show quoted sections

Dear Ms Reuter,

Thank you for your apology, however I am a bit confused by some elements of your response.

You ask for my request to be 'in the same format as [my] initial request'. I'm not sure what you mean by this. In my email dated 2011-11-28, I included questions using the same original numbering and as close as possible. If the format of the request below does not conform to your expectations, please explain exactly what format you want.

I note that you didn't make any mention of my request 1) so I can only presume that there's no issue with that part of the request and you're just waiting to answer it as part of a single response.

Here's a revised request taking into account the clarifications made in your two earlier communications:

Can you please provide me with

1) All codes of practice, guidances, and other existing documents about the transport of detainees from arrest to a custody suite; in particular, but not limited to, when detainees should be cuffed in front or in the back, how should they be seated at the back of the van (or of any other vehicle), whether any other restraint should be used, whether any seatbelt should be used, etc.

2) For each of the past five years or how many years are possible within acceptable time/cost limits preferably per borough and in spreadsheet format (if recorded information is available only for two years or less, then please provide the recorded information per month):

2a) The number of arrests made. As you explained that 'The Traffic Operational command [...] do keep a record of the number of arrests made, but not for the whole of the Metropolitan Police Area.' Please specify for which area the numbers of arrests are.

2b) The number of police vehicle collisions where an injury has been recorded

Yours faithfully,

David Mery

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Mr Mery

As stated in my previous e-mail, you will have to apply for the
requested information via the what do they know website or by using the
request form from the Metropolitan Police website, this request will
then be treated as a new request. Until this procedure is done I am
unable to progress this request further.

Regards

Mrs Sue Reuter

Sue Reuter | CO15 | TDHQ | HQ MIU
MetPhone 781184 | Telephone 020 7161 1184 | [mobile number] | Email
[email address]
Address 6th Floor, Empress State Building, Lillie Road, Earls Court. SW6
1TR

show quoted sections

David Mery left an annotation ()

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Mery

Freedom of Information Request Reference No:  2011120000910

I write in connection with your request for information dated
06/12/2011which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service
(MPS) on 06/12/2011.  I note you seek access to the following
information:

1) All codes of practice, guidance, training material and other
existing documents about the transport of detainees from arrest to
a custody suite; in particular, but not limited to, when detainees
should be cuffed in front or in the back, how should they be
seated at the back of the van (or of any other vehicle), whether
any other restraint should be used, whether any seatbelt should be
used, etc.

   
1.46 Transporting prisoners / detained persons
Wherever possible, prisoners must be transported in specially
designed transport (e.g. station vans equipped with cages).

Where such transport is not readily available or the driver
believes that it is in the interests of the MPS or the individual
not to be transported in such vehicles, they may be carried in the
rear of other MPS vehicles.

Detainees should not be transported in hired vehicles unless there
are exceptional circumstances. A record must be made in the
officers note book of the reason why a suitable MPS vehicle could
not be used.

In all cases:
Prisoners should be accompanied by an escorting police officer. If
transported in a caged van the escorting officer should sit in the
rear of the van in the seat provided and in sight of the detainee.
Particular vigilance should be paid if the prisoner is handcuffed
to the front to ensure that no articles are placed in the mouth.

This officer should monitor the detainee in line with current
guidance from the [1]Officer Safety site. Should a detainee become
unwell during transport immediate first aid should be given.
Should the detainee require further medical assistance the LAS
should be called. If an ambulance is not available or is severely
delayed and the driver believes that there is a very real
likelihood of death or a serious deterioration in a person's
health occurring if they are not conveyed to hospital immediately,
the detainee should be taken to the nearest A & E.

If child locks are fitted on the vehicle's rear doors, they should
be activated.
Rear electric window operation from the rear seat controls should
be de-activated if the feature is available. Seat belts should be
worn by the prisoner whenever possible.

The interior lighting in police vans is to be kept on when
prisoners are being carried during the hours of darkness.
Any vehicle, in which a prisoner is to be conveyed or detained in,
must be thoroughly searched immediately before the journey and
upon completion of it. This should be done in the presence of the
arresting officer and the prisoner whenever possible

Codes of Practice and Guidelines for the use of Handcuffs
The following three styles of personal issue handcuffs are
authorised:

* Chain link handcuffs (suitable for covert carriage)
* Rigid handcuffs
* Plasti-cuffs

Rigid handcuffs are individually issued to all police officers
below the rank of superintendent. Designated Detention Officers
are not issued with handcuffs but have access to a pool of shared
handcuffs, which are usually securely located in the custody area.

The application of handcuffs to a person is a use of force that
must be justified. The use of handcuffs can only be justified if
their use is proportionate, lawful and necessary. As with all uses
of force, the Officer Safety Model should assist officers to make
timely and informed decisions, based on their perception of the
incident before them. However, the following factors provide the
basis of a guide, which may assist officers when considering what
action is appropriate:

* Age and gender
* Physique relative to the officer
* Perceived strength and fitness
* Injuries to police or others
* Environment
* Demeanour

Officers should be able to justify the use of handcuffs to
supervisors, courts and the Independent Police Complaints
Commission, where necessary. Officers should also be able to
justify the period of time the handcuffs were applied prior to
their removal.

In establishing an objective basis for believing that a detained
person may escape, or attempt to escape, an officer may clearly
react to whatever the detained person says or does, but need not
wait for an actual physical act. The officer should also take into
account the detained person's previous propensity to escape, the
seriousness of the offence and the possible punishment he or she
may expect to receive.

In establishing an objective basis for believing that a detained
person should be handcuffed because violence is likely to be used
or attempted against the officer or another, the officer need not
wait for an actual physical act. The officer should take into
account the action of the person immediately before they were
detained. If violence was apparent in the events leading to a
person's arrest, regardless of whether or not the arrest was for
an offence involving violence, this could constitute adequate
objective grounds for handcuffing.

Verbal or non-verbal indications from a detained person of a
possible likelihood of violence can provide grounds for making an
objective decision. When a person is known or believed to be
likely to use violence, based on previous experience or
intelligence sources, this will also assist an officer to develop
an objective basis for a decision to use handcuffs.

Handcuffs that are not double locked may tighten and cause injury
to the detained person's wrist. Handcuffs should be double locked
and checked for tightness unless it is clearly impractical to do
so. For example, if the detained person is struggling or violent.
In these circumstances, steps should be taken to help ensure that
the circulation of blood is not restricted and that no unnecessary
injury is caused.

For reasons of safety, detained persons must not be handcuffed to
officers or other articles.
Every use of handcuffs must be recorded (usually in an Evidence
and Action Book) detailing the grounds for their use and the facts
brought to the attention of the custody officer.

 
2. For each of the past five years or how many years are possible
within acceptable time/cost limits preferably per borough and in
spreadsheet format (if recorded information is available only for
two years or less, then please provide the recorded information
per month):

    

 a) The number of arrests made. As Ms Reuter explained in her s16
assistance that 'The Traffic Operational command [...] do keep a
record of the number of arrests made, but not for the whole of the
Metropolitan Police Area.' Please specify for which area the
numbers of arrests are.

    The Arrest figures below are for Arrests made by Traffic
Officers on all the 32 London boroughs

TRAFFIC OCU GARAGE ARRESTS 2010 - 11                                           
                                                       
Apr-11  May-11  Jun-11  Jul-11  Aug-11  Sep-11  Oct-11  Nov-11  Dec-11  Jan-12 
Feb-12  Mar-12  Total  
216     214     205     208     238     207     207     203                    
                1698   
TRAFFIC OCU GARAGE ARRESTS 2009 - 10                                           
                                                       
Apr-10  May-10  Jun-10  Jul-10  Aug-10  Sep-10  Oct-10  Nov-10  Dec-10  Jan-11 
Feb-11  Mar-11  Total  
393     440     483     445     408     354     413     229     168     391    
414     210     4348   
TRAFFIC OCU GARAGE ARRESTS 2008 - 09                                           
                                                       
Apr-08  May     Jun     Jul     Aug     Sep     Oct     Nov     Dec     Jan    
Feb     Mar-09  Total  
414     446     438     605     543     563     587     515     495     491    
423     401     5921   
TRAFFIC OCU GARAGE ARRESTS 2007 - 08                                           
                                                       
Apr-07  May     Jun     Jul     Aug     Sep     Oct     Nov     Dec     Jan    
Feb     Mar-08  Total  
432     403     414     419     416     419     417     373     422     511    
431     509     5166   
TRAFFIC OCU GARAGE ARRESTS 2006 - 07                                           
                                                       
Apr-06  May     Jun     Jul     Aug     Sep     Oct     Nov     Dec     Jan    
Feb     Mar-07  Total  
412     391     457     380     395     368     531     376     378     453    
420     400     4961   
 

     b) The number of police vehicle collisions where an injury has been
recorded.

    For the period 20th December 2006 to 19th December 2011 (last
five years), we have the following recorded on the Police
Collisions Database:-

   Number of collisions on a road or other public place where a
police vehicle was directly involved = 15,125 records
  Of which resulting in Personal Injury = 2,107 records
Please note that these collisions can range from opening a car
door into lamposts or vacinity only through to  fatal collisions.

  On top of this, Vicinity Only collisions (those which occurred
when a police vehicle was present but did not directly involve the
police vehicle) = 4,905 records of which resulting in Personal
Injury = 870 records

EXTENT OF SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION

To locate the information relevant to your request searches were
conducted at the Traffic Operational command Unit

RESULT OF SEARCHES

The searches located information relevant to your request.

DECISION

I have today decided to disclose the located information to you in
full.

Please find attached information pursuant to your request above.

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 Sue Reuter on telephone number 0207
1611184 quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Sue Reuter
Management 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
[2]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

Sue Reuter | CO15  | TDHQ  | HQ MIU
MetPhone 781184 | Telephone 020 7161 1184 | [mobile number] |
Email [email address]
Address 6^th Floor, Empress State Building, Lillie Road, Earls
Court. SW6 1TR

Sue Reuter | CO15  | TDHQ  | HQ MIU
MetPhone 781184 | Telephone 020 7161 1184 | [mobile number] | Email
[email address]
Address 6^th Floor, Empress State Building, Lillie Road, Earls Court. SW6
1TR

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).

References

Visible links
1. http://intranet.aware.mps/CO/Public_Orde...
2. file://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)'s handling of my FOI request 'Safe transport of detainees on arrest'.

My initial request was refused invoking section 12, but with no section 16 advice given. Advice was eventually given including a welcomed apology for the initial lack of advice. I was explained that even though I had refined the questions taking into account the advice, I would need to create a new request, which I did. It is somewhat ironic that after forcing me to post a new a request, the response to this new request was eventually sent in response to my original request. Unfortunately this response does not answer my refined request either.

It starts by quoting a section 1.46 of an unnamed document. This part of the response is relevant but does not answer the explicit issues in question 1), i.e., practice, guidances, and other existing documents about how detainees are restrained when transported. I specifically asked about the use of seatbelts. That and the context from the original request should have made it cleat that I am after recorded information concerning safety measures for the detainees when transported after arrest in case of car/van accident. No such information is included in the response.

The response then goes on to describe the use of cuffs in general. This must be from another source. This is not relevant. Relevant information would be for example recorded information about when cuffs are moved from the back to the front when transporting a detainee in a van so the detainee can better sit? How is a detainee to remain safely seated when handcuffed (in the back) if not wearing a seatbelt in the back of a van? No such recorded information has been provided, nor has it be said not to be held.

Then the response provides 'The Arrest figures below are for Arrests made by Traffic Officers on all the 32 London boroughs'. This was never asked. I initially requested the number of detainees transported to a custody suite after arrest, but was informed that this information is not held, so I asked for the number of arrests made by the Met, understanding that this information was not available Met-wide. Instead I was provided with arrests figures only for arrests made traffic officers. From the title of the request and the context of it, it should be clear that I am trying to understand better what are the safety measures for detainees when being transported to custody suites in case a traffic accident occurs and some ideas of how many detainees may have been injured out of all the detainees that may have been transported. Within the information said to be recorded that means the number of police vehicles where there was an injury, and the number of arrests. These are remote proxies, but apparently the closest recorded information. The response did not even include all those.

(The tables included, of irrelevant data as explained in the previous paragraph, are provided inline in the email and not as an Excel attachment as asked for. I understand that a recent ruling means that it is sufficient to provide the information in electronic form to comply with the law, however in the past the Met FOI team has always provided data in Excel format when requested, which is obviously much more convenient.)

The provided number of collisions on a road or other public place where a police vehicle was directly involved and that of which resulting in personal Injury are requested information and welcome though it is regrettable that the are aggregate numbers and not detailed monthly or yearly figures as requested.

I look forward to receiving your review to understand why so many things went so wrong for this request as well as the recorded information for the requested information.

A full history of my two FOI requests and all correspondence is available on the Internet at these addresses:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/sa...
and
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/sa...

Yours faithfully,

David Mery

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Mery

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012010000802

I write in connection with your correspondence dated 10/01/2012 requesting
that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) review its response dated
10/01/2012 to your request for information relating to:

* FOIA request reference number 2011120000910 regarding the
transportation of detainees.

The review will be conducted in accordance with the MPS complaints
procedure. The MPS endeavour to respond to your complaint by 02/02/2012.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact Brian Wilson on telephone number 0207 161 3705 or by replying to
this e-mail quoting the reference number above.

Thank you for your interest in the MPS.

Yours sincerely

Brian Wilson
FOIA Complaints 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).

Dear Mr Wilson,

You wrote that you would endeavour to respond by 02/02/2012. Can you please either respond or let me know by when you now expect you will be able to.

Yours faithfully,

David Mery

Dear Mr Wilson,

In your email dated 2012-01-11, you wrote 'The MPS endeavour to respond to your complaint by 02/02/2012.'

A week ago, on 2012-02-07, I wrote to ask 'Can you please either respond or let me know by when you now expect you will be able to.' You have not bothered to even acknowledge that email.

Please either provide your internal review by the end of the week or a new deadline by which you'll be able to.

Yours faithfully,

David Mery

Yomi George left an annotation ()

I was involved in an accident whilst in the back of a police van whilst being transported to a police station and I was cuffed as well as not having a seat belt on . It was never explained to me how to deal with an emergency stop under health and safety .I am currently seeking legal advice about the injury that I sustained .

David Mery left an annotation ()

I complained to the ICO on 2012-03-11 about the time it is taking for the MPS to carry out their internal review (requested on 2012-01-05). The ICO has replied today that it recommended the MPS that they eventually respond within 20 working days.

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Mery

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012010000802

I write in connection with your request for a review of the original MPS
decision relating to FoI case numbers 2011110000250 and 2011120000910.

I have unfortunately been unable to complete a full internal review within
our target response time of 20 working days.  The MPS endeavour to respond
to your complaint ASAP and in any case no later than 09/05/2012.

Please accept my apologies for the delay and thank you for your patience.

Should you have any further queries concerning this matter, please contact
me via the address at the top of the letter quoting the reference number
above.

Thank you for your interest in the MPS.

Yours sincerely

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

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

Yours sincerely

Brian Wilson
FOIA Complaints 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

Dear Mr Wilson,

Re: Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012010000802

I note that you've unfortunately missed your own latest deadline (and are very close to reaching the additional delay the ICO gave you). With all the time you are dedicating to this review I look forward to receiving shortly a very exhaustive, substantive and detailed response.

Yours faithfully,

David Mery

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Mery

Freedom of Information Internal Review Reference No: 2012010000802

I write in connection with your correspondence dated 05/01/2012 requesting
that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) review its response dated
05/01/2012 in relation to Freedom of Information Request reference number
2011120000910.  The request was for the following information:  

Can you please provide me with:

1) All codes of practice, guidances, training material and other existing
documents about the transport of detainees from arrest to a custody suite;
in particular, but not limited to, when detainees should be cuffed in
front or in the back, how should they be seated at the back of the van (or
of any other vehicle), whether any other restraint should be used, whether
any seatbelt should be used, etc.

2) For each of the past five years or how many years are possible within
acceptable time/cost limits preferably per borough and in spreadsheet
format (if recorded information is available only for two years or less,
then please provide the recorded information per month):

2a) The number of arrests made. As Ms Reuter explained in her s16
assistance that 'The Traffic Operational command [...] do keep a record of
the number of arrests made, but not for the whole of the Metropolitan
Police Area.' Please specify for which area the numbers of arrests are.

2b) The number of police vehicle collisions where an injury has been
recorded.

First of all I would like to take this opportunity to offer sincere
apologies for the length of time taken in order to reply to your internal
review.

DECISION

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has completed its review and has
decided to:

·        Set aside the original decision

Upon review I have determined that the MPS was not required to comply with
your request due to the provision of Section 17(5) and Section 12(2).

REASON FOR DECISION        

Please see the legal annex for the sections of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 and related documents that are referred to in this letter.

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 confirm whether they hold the requested information and if
so, communicate it to the applicant. Furthermore, the Freedom of
Information Act is designed to place information into the public domain.
Therefore, once access to information is granted to one person under the
Act, it is then considered to be public information and must be
communicated to any individual upon request.

The right of access to information is subject to a number of exemptions
that are designed to enable public authorities to withhold information
that is not suitable for release.

Section 12 - Exemption where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit

Under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, public
authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if
the cost of compliance exceeds the appropriate limit.

The appropriate limit has been specified in regulations and for agencies
outside central Government; this is set at £450.00.   This represents the
estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours [at a rate of £25 per hour]
in determining whether the MPS holds the information, and then locating,
retrieving and extracting the information.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Guidance titled ‘Using the
Fees Regulations’ states:

‘In estimating whether complying with a request would exceed the
appropriate limit, Regulation 4 (3) states that an authority can only take
into account the costs it reasonably expects to incur in:

• determining whether it holds the information;
• locating the information, or a document containing it;
• retrieving the information, or a document containing it; and
• extracting the information from a document containing it.’

The ICO guidance further states:

'Section 12 makes it clear that a public authority does not have to make a
precise calculation of the costs of complying with a request.  Only an
estimate is required ... what amounts to a reasonable estimate can only be
considered on a case by case basis…where a reasonable estimate has been
made that the appropriate limit would be exceeded, there is no requirement
for a public authority to undertake work up to the limit.’

http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...

I estimate that the cost of determining the extent of information held by
the MPS that may be within the scope of your request would exceed the
appropriate limit.

In relation to question 1, the use of words such as ‘any' and ‘other
existing documents’ means that the scope of this aspect of your request is
potentially wide ranging and difficult to define. The information
requested could potentially encompass electronic and hard copy information
and could be held within a number of locations and/or departments.
Furthermore, the open ended nature of the request means that it would not
be possible for the MPS to definitively state whether all the information
within the scope of your request had been retrieved.  Due to the size of
the MPS, both in terms of the number of staff and the size and number of
buildings used by the MPS, I estimate that the task of determining the
extent of information held that is within the scope of your request would
exceed the appropriate cost limit.

Section 12(4) of the Freedom of Information Act and Regulation 5 of the
Fees Regulations enables the cost of complying with multiple requests to
be aggregated where two or more requests are received within the same 60
working day period and relate to any extent to the same, or similar,
information.  This includes multiple requests within the same
correspondence.  This is explained by the ICO within their ‘Lines to take’
guidance (ref:LTT145) which states:

‘Technically, multiple requests within a single item of correspondence are
separate requests for the purpose of section 12. If a public authority has
applied the exclusion under section 12 to multiple requests within a
single item of correspondence, we need to be satisfied that each request
can be aggregated in accordance with the Fees Regulations.  If it is found
that one of the multiple requests is not similar to the others, the public
authority will not be entitled to refuse that particular request under
section 12 unless complying with the request by itself would exceed the
cost limit.’

http://www.ico.gov.uk/foikb/FOIPolicyAgg...

All of your queries broadly relate to the transportation of detainees.

Therefore, if the cost of complying with one question (i.e. question 1)
exceeds 18 hours, it follows that the cost of complying with all the
questions posed would also exceed the cost limit.

With above considerations in mind, the MPS is not required to comply with
your request due to the provisions of section 12(2).

Advice and assistance

In order for the MPS to be able to provide information in relation to your
request, it would be necessary to narrow the scope of your request so that
it may be possible to identify and retrieve the information requested
within the appropriate cost threshold.  This can be done by limiting your
request to a particular type of document (e.g. policy).  Alternatively,
you may wish to request copies of specific documents such as the ‘Police
Driver & Vehicle - Vehicles & Equipment SOP’ and/or ‘Officer Safety
Training SOPs’.    These documents have been identified as being relevant
to your request.

You may also be interested in information that has previously been
disclosed in relation to the number of arrests across the MPS from January
2008 - March 2011 that is available on the MPS FoIA disclosure log via the
link below:
http://www.met.police.uk/foi/pdfs/disclo...

PROCEDURAL ISSUES

Your correspondence dated 05/01/2012 also broadly raised the following
points in relation to how your request was handled:

·        No section 16 advice was given in relation to your original
request
·        You were advised create a new request after redefining your query
·        The information provided does not relate to your query
·        The tables were not provided in Excel format

Section 16 advice

The Section 45 Code of Practice states:

‘14. Where an authority is not obliged to comply with a request for
information because, under section 12(1) and regulations made under
section 12, the cost of complying would exceed the "appropriate limit"
(i.e. cost threshold) the authority should consider providing an
indication of what, if any, information could be provided within the cost
ceiling. The authority should also consider advising the applicant that by
reforming or re-focusing their request, information may be able to be
supplied for a lower, or no, fee.’

https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/gui...

The MPS response dated 28/11/2012 invited you to redefine your request
within the appropriate cost limit.  More could have been done to assist
you in redefining your request.  However, I note that additional
assistance in relation to providing an indication of information that
could be provided within the appropriate cost limit was provided to you on
05/12/2011.

Advice to create a new request after redefining your query

You were advised on 05/12/2011 and 06/12/2011 to submit a new request
having submitted a redefined request on 28/11/2011 and 05/12/2012.  As
your correspondence met the criteria for a valid FoIA request as defined
within section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act, you were not required
under the Act to take any further steps in order for the MPS to comply
with your request.

Information relevant to request

The ICO’s guidance on interpreting requests for information advises the
following:

‘The public authority should read the request objectively, that is, it
should take care not to read into a request any meaning which is not in
the plain wording.’

‘Where the request is not clear, or can be read in more than one way, the
public authority will need to ask the requester for clarification. The
authority should not try to guess what the requester might want.’

‘There is no requirement to seek clarification if the authority is able to
comply with the request without further information. However, as a matter
of good practice, the authority may contact the requester if it has any
reason to believe the requester wants different or additional information
from what has been requested.’

Your correspondence dated 05/01/2012 indicated that you did not ask for
arrest figures relating to arrests made by traffic officers and states:

‘From the title of the request and the context of it, it should be clear
that I am trying
to understand better what are the safety measures for detainees when being
transported to custody suites in case a traffic accident occurs and some
ideas of how many detainees may have been injured out of all the detainees
that may have been transported.’

It is clear from your correspondence that question 2a of your request was
misinterpreted as the information provided was in relation to arrests
carried out by the Traffic OCU rather than the MPS as a whole.

This could have been clarified with you prior to issuing a response.
 However, I believe that this was due to a misunderstanding whereby Ms
Reuter was referring to records held by the traffic unit in relation to
the number of arrests made by the Traffic OCU within correspondence dated
05/12/2012.  This was to assist you in redefining your request as you had
previously been advised on 28/11/2012 that it would exceed the appropriate
cost limit to comply with an earlier request.

As your request referred to the correspondence dated 05/12/2012 from Ms
Reuter in which you were advised of information that is held by the
Traffic OCU, this is the information that was provide to you.

Your correspondence also questions the source of the information provided.
 To assist you, I can advise that the MPS response dated 05/01/2012
quoted:
·        section 1.46 of the ‘Police Driver & Vehicle - Vehicles &
Equipment SOP’ and
·        a part of the ‘Officer Safety Training SOPs’ that related to
handcuffs.

The tables were not provided in Excel format

Your correspondence correctly states that it was sufficient to provide
information in electronic form to comply with the law i.e. Section 11 of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  However, under our section 16 duty
to provide advice and assistance, the MPS will provide information in an
Excel readable format if requested unless this would be impractical or
unreasonable in the circumstances.

show quoted sections

David Mery left an annotation ()

I complained again to the ICO on 2012-06-06 as the MPS ignored my further reminders and the ICO's enforcement notice. This may have prompted this unhelpful internal review from the MPS.

Dear Mr Wilson,

Thank you for your eventual belated and unhelpful internal review.

I note that two SOPs (‘Police Driver & Vehicle - Vehicles & Equipment SOP’ and ‘Officer Safety Training SOPs’) 'have been identified as being relevant to your request.' Even though these could have been provided in the first instance or mentioned at the first s16 opportunity and even though you've breached the ICO recommended maximum delays on many occasions, you still don't include them and instead suggest I post another request. This is wasting the MPS time as well as mine.

I also note that in your explanation for your unstated estimate, you are in essence explaining that one can ask only for specific documents. It is obvious that someone external to the MPS will not know what are the MPS publications. You readily acknowledge that 'All of your queries broadly relate to the transportation of detainees.' In fact, they more narrowly relate to the ' transport of detainees from arrest to a custody suite'. A narrow topic should be enough for you to identify relevant documents within the scope of the FoI Act without a person external to the MPS having the impossible task to guess what these may be.

Lastly I note that you have not addressed the non delivery of information for the rest of my refined request.

It is a surprise to encounter such delaying and avoidance tactics on your part when the safe transport of arrested detainees to custody suites should a non-controversial topic with both the MPS and all Londoners keen to ensure safety in transport is as good as it can be. Furthermore these are clearly against the spirit of the FoI Act, and very possibly against the letter of it as well.

Yours faithfully,

David Mery

David Mery left an annotation ()

And now for something completely different... http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/sa...

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org