Dear West Mercia Police,
Our new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson,has just announced that he is determined to introduce Smart Justice to ensure that jail places are only occupied by people who deseve to be there as a genuine threat to society rather than being cluttered up with one-off random offenders.
I notice from recent media reports that a young lady was jailed for a long time for what, superficially, seems to be a short period of bad behaviour when she paniced and refused to stop for police and was subsequently chased at high speed before crashing.
Judge Robert Juckes QC told the defendant she had consumed brandy, anti-depressants and cannabis before the crash which resulted in her being more disinhibited. The judge said he suspected her driving was out of character. Poole wept and put her head in her hands as she was jailed for five and a half years. The judge also banned her from driving for five years.
IMHO, based on the media reports, the jail term seems very excessive and detrimental to her mental future, unless there is information missing. The final event was a random collision, she did not intend to kill and, in the same circumstances, if she had just had hit a hedge there would have not been a jail term required.
It would help the justice system if the case cirumstances could be explained further.
FOI Q1. In the case of the Olivya Poole high speed car chase , December 17, 2016, the close pursuit covered a distance of about one and a half miles at an average speed of 72 mph, at night along an unlit second rate country road,Elm Green Road, before the crash outside of Pontrilas Army Training Base.Please advise why the police wanted the car to stop initially at Ewas Harold, was as a result of an ANPR hit, and if the target car was up actually correctly registered,taxed,MOT`d and insured to Olivya Poole.
FOI Q2.Was the police vehicle involved a marked vehicle 2 crewed, where was the car based,what type of vehicle was it, what standard of training did the driver have to engage in chases, and was the police vehicle classes as a write off after finally colliding with the target vehicle?
FOI Q3.The target driver,Olivya Poole, obviously panicked and drove away in the dark at high speed, if the reported average speed was 72 mph what was the maximum speed during the chase, and although she was marginally over the limit for cannabis was she over the limit for alcohol(having consumed brandy), did she have a previous criminal record or was she out on license which caused her to panic?
End of FOI request.
The police obviously felt justified in engaging in a dangerous high speed chase for some reason and the panicking motorist refused to stop for some reason but the net result of a few minutes of madness was one person killed, several people injured and vehicles damaged, a Crown Court case and a young lady sent to jail for several years confined with some no doubt unpleasant nasty criminals.For the sake of the criminal justice system I would appreciate the required background information, the public need transparency regarding these issues.

https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/178...
Thanking you in anticipation.

Yours faithfully,
Dennis Fallon (BScHons)

Information Compliance, West Mercia Police

Dear Mr Fallon
 
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO: 12376
 
I write in connection with your request for West Mercia Police information
which was dated and received on 12th August 2019.
 
Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act). 
 
Please note that due to an unprecedented number of requests being received
for subject access and FOI, for the foreseeable future requests are now
being triaged and addressed in the following order; Subject Access
requests and then FOI requests.  Every effort will be made to meet our
statutory timescales for responses, subject to the information not being
exempt or containing a reference to a third party. and we ask for your
understanding.
We will aim to provide the information within 20 working days as required
by the Freedom of Information Act.
 
There may be a fee payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of
the information you request.  If this is the case you will be informed and
the 20 working day timescale will be suspended until we receive payment
from you. If you chose not to make payment then your request will remain
unanswered.
 
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.
 
Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write
or telephone the Information Compliance Unit quoting the reference number
above.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
 
Information Compliance Administrator
Information Compliance Unit
Warwickshire Police & West Mercia Police
P O Box 55
Hindlip  WR3 8SP
 
DD 01905 331545 (Ext. 2545)
 
 

Dear Information Compliance,
This advisory email is just to provide background to the serious concerns that the current standard of Justice is really not `Smart`and, possibly, very stupid.
I note that in June 2019 a VERY dangerous man, Irfan Mohammed, 30, caused £60,000 worth of damage when he deliberately ploughed a STOLEN three tonne Mercedes Luton van into three police patrol cars (probably writing them all off) which were pursuing him, injuring 5 police officers in the process. Mohammed admitted to dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, possession of cannabis and driving without insurance. Sentencing Judge Robert Juckes QC (SAME Judge as in the Olivya Poole case) said it was one of the worst examples of dangerous driving he had ever seen. He added: 'It's about as bad as it gets.'The police were having to make an extraordinarily difficult decision as to how best to deal with a person who was behaving effectively - it's not an exaggeration to say - like a maniac in a car. 'You put lives seriously at risk by what you did.'
Mr Mohammed was jailed for 22 months at Worcester Crown Court and also banned from driving for five years and must complete an extended driving retest upon his release.
The confusion about `Justice`arises because this Mr Mohammed fellow, who tried to evade police by DELIBERATELY crashing into them whilst possessing cannabis and driving a stolen vehicle, was jailed for 22 months, whilst the young lady Olivya who tried to evade police in a panic and ACCIDENTLY contributed to her passengers death, was sentanced to 5 and a half years in jail.
It is obvious to a blind person that the Mohammed fellow is a much greater threat to society but Olivya Poole has to spend nearly 3 times longer in jail as a result of an accident.
I would appreciate completion of my FOI in due course to provide the unknown aspects of the Olivya Poole case that should help put it in clearer perspective.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article...

Thanking you,
Dennis Fallon(BScHons)

Dear Information Compliance,
Completion any time during the next week will be acceptable.

Yours sincerely,

Dennis Fallon(BScHons)

Information Compliance, West Mercia Police

Dear Mr Fallon

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO: 12376

I write in connection with your requests for information received on 12th August 2019.

I regret to inform you that West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police has not been able to complete its response to your request within the 20 working days.
I am unable to provide a specific timescale for response but every effort will be made to ensure an appropriate response will be made as soon as possible.
Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Your attention is drawn to the below which details your right of complaint.
Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write or telephone the Information Compliance Unit quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Information Compliance Unit
Warwickshire Police & West Mercia Police
PO Box 55
Hindlip
Worcester
WR3 8SP
01905 331545 / 331565

West Mercia Police in complying with their statutory duty under sections 1 and 11 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed information 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 The Force Solicitor, West Mercia Police Headquarters, PO Box 55, Hindlip, Worcester, WR3 8SP.
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 West Mercia Police (WMP) to review their decision.
Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to discuss the decision with the person 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 person named 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 WMP made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding access to information, you can lodge a complaint with WMP to have the decision reviewed. WMP must be notified of your intention to complain within 20 working days of the date of its response to your Freedom of Information request. Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to:
West Mercia Police Headquarters
Information Compliance Unit
Hindlip Hall
Hindlip
PO Box 55
Worcester
WR3 8SP
or
email: [West Mercia Police request email]

In all possible circumstances, WMP will aim to respond to your complaint within 2 months.
The Information Commissioner
After lodging a complaint with WMP 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 https://ico.org.uk/ Alternatively, phone or write to:
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number
Fax: 01625 524 510

show quoted sections

Information Compliance, West Mercia Police

Dear Mr Fallon

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO: 12376

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
on 12^th August 2019. Please find below the response to your request:

 

FOI Q1. In the case of the Olivya Poole high speed car chase, December 17,
2016, the close pursuit covered a distance of about one and a half miles
at an average speed of 72 mph, at night along an unlit second rate country
road, Elm Green Road, before the crash outside of Pontrilas Army Training
Base. Please advise why the police  wanted the car to stop initially at
Ewas Harold, was as a result of an ANPR hit, and if the target car was up
actually correctly registered,taxed,MOT`d and insured to Olivya Poole.

 

FOI Q2.Was the police vehicle involved a marked vehicle 2 crewed, where
was the car based, what type of vehicle was it, what standard of training
did the driver have to engage in chases, and was the police vehicle
classes as a write off after finally colliding with the target vehicle?

 

FOI Q3.The target driver, Olivya Poole, obviously panicked and drove away
in the dark at high speed, if the reported average speed was 72 mph what
was the maximum speed during the chase, and although she was marginally
over the limit for cannabis was she over the limit for alcohol (having
consumed brandy), did she have a previous criminal record or was she out
on license which caused her to panic?

 

 

 

Reply:-

 

Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires West Mercia
Police, when refusing to provide such information (because the information
is exempt) to provide you the applicant with a notice which:   (a) states
that fact, (b) specifies the exemption in question and (c) states (if that
would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemptions applies.

 

The exemption applicable to the information is:

 

Section 30(1)(a)(b) Investigations and Proceedings conducted by Public
Authorities.

 

Section 40 (2) – Personal Information

 

 

Section 30(1)(a)(b) Investigations and Proceedings conducted by Public
Authorities.

 

 

S30(1) relates to investigations in general terms and covers information
that has been held by a public authority gathered at any time in relation
to a specific investigation, criminal or otherwise. The phrase “at any
time” means that information is exempt under section 30(1) if it relates
to an ongoing, closed or abandoned investigation. It extends to
information that has been obtained prior to an investigation commencing,
if it is subsequently used for this purpose.

 In this case the information you have requested would have been gathered
for the purposes of an investigation.

 

Section 30 of the FOIA is a class-based exemption, which means that there
is no need to demonstrate harm or prejudice in order for the exemption to
be engaged. In order for the exemption to be applicable, any information
must be held for a specific or particular investigation and not for
investigations in general.

 

This is a qualified and class-based exemption and, as such, I am required
to complete a public interest test on disclosure.

 

Public Interest Test

Factors favouring Disclosure

The Police Service is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and
detecting crime and protecting the communities we serve and there is a
public interest in the transparency of policing operations to ensure
investigations are conducted appropriately

Considerations favouring Non-Disclosure:

To disclose specific details of how an investigation is carried out, could
hamper the Force's ability to conduct such inquiries in the future, as it
would be known exactly what types of enquiries would be made to establish
whether any criminality was involved.

Also, if we disclosed details of the investigation of the death of Liam
Thomson i.e. why the vehicle was being followed/ chased or details of the
unmarked police car would harm the Force's ability to fully investigate
traffic offences and possibly other types of incidents.

It is the Association of Chief Police Officer’s approach that information
relating to an investigation will rarely be disclosed under the provisions
of the Freedom of Information Act. Whilst such information may be released
in order to serve a ‘tangible community benefit’ it will only be disclosed
following a Freedom of Information request if there are strong public
interest considerations favouring disclosure. The further the
considerations favouring disclosure are from a tangible community benefit,
the lighter the considerations will be. In this case, the specific
details of this investigation will not serve any tangible community
benefit.

 

Balancing Test

 

The force is accountable for its actions in relation to investigations
undertaken, it is essential that the release of information does not
breach an individual's Data Protection or Human rights, affect future
investigations or damage the criminal justice process.

 

Bearing in mind that disclosure made under the Freedom of Information is
disclosure into the public domain (for all to see) and that the public
interest is not what interests the public, but what will be beneficial to
the community as a whole.  It cannot be in the public interest to disclose
information that jeopardises the rights of an individual, does not serve a
‘tangible community benefit’, or adversely impacts on the force in
performing its public service functions.

 

Therefore, in this case, the public interest test balance favours
non-disclosure.

 

Section 40 (Personal Information)

 

The Force is not obliged, under section 40(2) of the Act, to provide
information that is the personal data of another person if releasing would
contravene any of the provisions in the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).
Data has to be processed fairly and lawfully in line with the first
principle of the Data Protection Act. We believe the information held
relating to the incident is the personal data of those involved in the
incident.

The terms of this exemption in the Freedom of Information Act mean that we
do not have to consider whether or not it would be in the public interest
for you to have the information.

 

Please accept my apology for the late reply.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is as
accurate as possible

Your attention is drawn to the below which details your right of
complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write
or telephone the Information Compliance Unit quoting the reference number
above.

Yours sincerely

 

Victoria Lewis

Information Compliance Unit
Warwickshire Police & West Mercia Police

PO Box 55

Hindlip

Worcester

WR3 8SP

01905 331545 / 331565

 

 

West Mercia Police in complying with their statutory duty under sections 1
and 11 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed
information 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 The Force Solicitor, West Mercia Police
Headquarters, PO Box 55, Hindlip, Worcester, WR3 8SP.

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 West Mercia Police (WMP) to review their
decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the person 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
contact the person named 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
WMP made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information, you can lodge a complaint with WMP to have the
decision reviewed. WMP must be notified of your intention to complain
within 20 working days of the date of its response to your Freedom of
Information request. Complaints should be made in writing and addressed
to:

West Mercia Police Headquarters

Information Compliance Unit

Hindlip Hall

Hindlip

PO Box 55

Worcester

WR3 8SP

or

Email:  [West Mercia Police request email]

In all possible circumstances, WMP will aim to respond to your complaint
within 20 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with WMP 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 https://ico.org.uk/ Alternatively, phone or
write to:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Phone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545745 if you prefer to use a
national rate number

Fax:     01625 524 510

 

 

 

 

Dear West Mercia Police,
Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of West Mercia Police's handling of my FOI request 'Smart Justice Olivya Poole'.
IMHO you have cobbled together a second rate series of excuses which are contrary to the public interest, making West Mercia Police appear to be neurotic and opaque.
This was a serious incident which resulted in a fatality and a long term conviction for Olivya Poole and the media were misled into producing fake headlines putting the incident down to drugs and drink driving, when in reality the drugs were only antidressants and a little cannabis previously and there was no evidence that any alcohol consumed was above the drink drive limit. Superficially it appears that the case has been misreported and it is in the public interest, contrary to your opinion quoted below that " the specific
details of this investigation will not serve any tangible community benefit".
Olivya Poole was not charged with any unusual or exceptional crime, her car was apparently her own and corrected taxed and insured, and there is no explanation as to why the police were desperate for her to stop, pursuing her on blue lights speeds of over 80mph in foggy conditions. I think it totally inappropriate that you have imposes total secrecy which denies the public an understanding of the reality of why the police may initiate chases and denies the opportunity for lessons to be learnt to prevent fatalities, so your response is judged as unacceptable.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/dr...

You quote "It is the Association of Chief Police Officer’s (ACPO) approach that information relating to an investigation will rarely be disclosed under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act" but I wish to point out that ACPO was a self serving not-for-profit private limited company that was closed down in 2015 largely due to financial irregularities and its pronunciations, though possibly not yet replaced, are obsolete and in need of review.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Associatio...

Your response,QUOTE " To disclose specific details of how an investigation is carried out, could hamper the Force's ability to conduct such inquiries in the future, as it would be known exactly what types of enquiries would be made to establish whether any criminality was involved.Also, if we disclosed details of the investigation of the death of Liam Thomson i.e. why the vehicle was being followed/ chased or details of the unmarked police car would harm the Force's ability to fully investigate traffic offences and possibly other types of incidents. It is the Association of Chief Police Officer’s approach that information relating to an investigation will rarely be disclosed under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Whilst such information may be released in order to serve a ‘tangible community benefit’ it will only be disclosed following a Freedom of Information request if there are strong public interest considerations favouring disclosure. The further the considerations favouring disclosure are from a tangible community benefit, the lighter the considerations will be. In this case, the specific details of this investigation will not serve any tangible community benefit".

I wish to appeal that in order to maintain trust in the police, which would be a community benefit, my request should be taken seriously and completed in full, so I would like to provide the opportunity to you to review your obsessive secrecy and misconstrued interpretation of the public interest.

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

Yours faithfully,

Dennis Fallon(BScHons)

Information Compliance, West Mercia Police

Dear Mr Fallon,

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO:  West Mercia Police 12376 –
Internal review

 

I write further to your email of 23 September 2019 requesting an internal
review of your FOI request.

 

Request for internal review

 

You have sought an internal review of the decision made in relation to
your request for information.

 

Decision of internal review

 

Having reviewed your original FOI request, the reasons for refusal and
your submissions in your email of 23 September I have decided to not
uphold your request for an internal review.

 

In reaching that decision, I have determined that the exemptions used in
refusing your request for information and the reasoning given by the
Decision Maker are correct.

 

It is acknowledged that a reference to the former Association of Chief
Police Officers (“ACPO”) was used in the public interest test for s.30 of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  This is a typographical error and a
reference to the National Police Chiefs’ Council should have been used.

 

 

Should you have any further queries concerning this matter, please contact
the Information Compliance Unit quoting the reference number above.

 

If you remain unsatisfied with the outcome of this internal review you
have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner.  Their contact
details are outlined below.

 

 

Kind regards,

 

David

 

 

David COLE (C60405), Supervisor – Information Compliance Unit

Warwickshire Police & West Mercia Police

Email [1][West Mercia Police request email]

Post Information Compliance Unit, PO Box 55, West Mercia Police
Headquarters, Hindlip Hall, Worcester, WR3 8SP

[2]www.warwickshire.police.uk

[3]www.westmercia.police.uk

 

 

The Information Commissioner

 

If after lodging a complaint with WMP you are still dissatisfied with the
decision, you may make application to the Information Commissioner (ICO)
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 [4]website.  Alternatively, you can contact the ICO in
writing or via phone:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Tel:  0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545745 (national rate)

Fax:  01625 524 510

 

show quoted sections

Dear David Cole,
I asked very simple questions, in the public interest,to understand why West Mercia Police engaged in a dangerous high speed chase and Information Officer Victoria Lewis, no doubt after proper consultations, decided it would be better not to reveal anything. I request an appeal review but you advise me in a confusing way that it`s still a complete no no.
It may just be your your bad choice of words but what does it mean " Having reviewed your original FOI request, the reasons for refusal and your submissions in your email of 23 September I have decided to not
uphold your request for an internal review". If you have decided not to uphold my request for an internal review have you actually completed a formal review as requested or decided not to bother for some unspecified reason. Although your refusal is on behalf of the Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, who actually is the most senior officer consulted who requested the refusal to be imposed?
I just want to ascertain who has actually decided that it is contrary to the public interest to explain the incident so I can progress the query elsewhere and confirm it was dealt with in a proper and accountable manner originally.

Yours sincerely,

Dennis Fallon (BScHons)

Information Compliance, West Mercia Police

Dear Mr Fallon,

 

With reference to your email of 30 September 2019.

 

By way of clarification, your internal review has been considered in full.
 I have re-looked at your original FOI request in light of your request
for an internal review and reached the same decision as the original
response that was provided to you on 19 September 2019.

 

Kind regards,

 

David

 

David COLE (C60405), Supervisor – Information Compliance Unit

Warwickshire Police & West Mercia Police

Email [1][West Mercia Police request email]

Post Information Compliance Unit, PO Box 55, West Mercia Police
Headquarters, Hindlip Hall, Worcester, WR3 8SP

[2]www.warwickshire.police.uk

[3]www.westmercia.police.uk

 

show quoted sections

Dear Information Compliance,
I shall mark this request as `closed,refused`. Unfortunately, this does not demonstrate the transparency of the police or the legal system, so it is no surprise that the system is no longer trusted.

Thank you for doing your best.
Yours sincerely,

Dennis Fallon (BScHons)