Special Service Details

Agata Tina Campanella made this Freedom of Information request to Avon and Somerset Constabulary

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Agata Tina Campanella

Dear Avon & Somerset Constabulary,

Could you provide a run down of the prices charged by your force for the private hire of officers under ‘special services’

a. Cost per attending Officer/rank
b. Cost per employment of weapons - ie, how much would it cost to
hire a Constable with a firearm (does it vary in accordance with
the type of weapon? For instance is it cheaper to hire one with a
pistol than a machine gun? – again if this is applicable
c. Cost per officer on horseback if this is applicable
d. cost of attending police car

Is it possible to hire an officer on horseback/ an officer with a police vehicle?

How much money did your force make in 2010 as a result of these private hirings out?
Is it possible to have a break down event by event of how much was made, with details of the event itself?

Yours faithfully,

Agata Tina Campanella

#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Corporate Information Management Department

Force Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road,

Portishead, Bristol, BS20 8QJ

Facsimile 01275 814667

Private
Agata Tina Campanella
[FOI #63094 email] Our Reference 151/11
Your reference
Date 23rd February 2011

Dear Ms Campanella,

Thank you for your request for information dated 22nd February 2011
relating to the private hire of officers under 'special services.' This
request will be dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000.

Your request will now be considered and 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 Avon and Somerset Constabulary 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.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in
Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Officer

Freedom of Information Officer
Corporate Information Management Department

Please note;

1. Requests and responses may be published on Avon and Somerset
Constabulary's website (within 24 hours), some of which may
contain a link to additional information, which may provide
you with further clarification.
2. Whilst we may verbally discuss your request with you in order
to seek clarification, all other communication should be made
in writing.
3. Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides you with the right to
request a re-examination of your case under its review
procedure.

#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Corporate Information Management Department

Force Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road,

Portishead, Bristol, BS20 8QJ

Facsimile 01275 814667

Private

Our Reference 151/11
Your reference
Date 15 June 2010

Dear Ms Campanella

I write in connection with your request for information dated 22nd
February concerning charges for private hire of officers.

I regret to inform you that Avon and Somerset Constabulary have not been
able to complete its response to your request by the date originally
stated.

I now advise you that the amended date for a response is 19th April. This
is due to consideration being given to the application of a qualified
exemption under section 31, relating to law enforcement, and as such will
require further consideration regarding the public interest test. I can
assure you that every effort will be made to ensure an appropriate
response will be made within this new timescale.

May I apologise for any inconvenience caused. Thank you for your interest
in Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Officer

Freedom of Information Officer
Corporate Information Management Department

Please note;

1. Requests and responses may be published on Avon and Somerset
Constabulary's website (within 24 hours), some of which may
contain a link to additional information, which may provide
you with further clarification.
2. Whilst we may verbally discuss your request with you in order
to seek clarification, all other communication should be made
in writing.

3. Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides you with
the right to request a re-examination of your case under its review
procedure.

#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

1 Attachment

Corporate Information Management Department

Force Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road,

Portishead, Bristol, BS20 8QJ

Facsimile 01275 814667

Private
Our Reference 151/11
Your reference
Date 19 April 2011
Dear Ms Campanella

I write in connection with your request for information dated 22^nd
February concerning the private hire of officers, and associated costs.

Your request for information has now been considered and some of the
information asked for is below following your questions.

Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires Avon and
Somerset Constabulary, 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 exemption
applies.

Specifically you asked:

1 . Could you provide a run down of the prices charged by your force for
the private hire of officers under ‘special services’

a. Cost per attending Officer/rank

b. Cost per employment of weapons - ie, how much would it cost to hire a
Constable with a firearm (does it vary in accordance with the type of
weapon? For instance is it cheaper to hire one with a pistol than a
machine gun? – again if this is applicable

c. Cost per officer on horseback if this is applicable

d. cost of attending police car

With regards to question 1, the information you have requested is already
in the public domain and is therefore exempt by virtue of Section 21(1) of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as the information is reasonably
accessible to you by other means.

Section 21(1) is an absolute, class-based exemption, which means that it
is not necessary to consider whether the public interest considerations
which favour maintaining the exemption outweigh the considerations in
favour of releasing the information to you.

The powers for seeking to recover costs for policing services are provided
in various sections of the Police Act 1996. These cover the provision of
special policing services to third party organisations (Section 25) and
overseas (Section 26). Section 18 allows a police authority provide
defined goods and services to any person.

The below link directs you to a report “Paying the Bill” – ACPO
Guidance on Charging for Police Services. The report provides a full
explanation of cost recovery together with details of charges made for
hiring police officers by rank for community/charity events and by Police
Support Unit (PSU) for mutual aid. Information is also contained within
the report relating to banding of officers, e.g. Band One – Level two
Public Order trained officer; Band Two – Police horse and
rider/underwater search team/firearms officer and Band Three – Hostage
negotiator/helicopter pilot etc.

[1]http://www.polfig.com/Documents/2009_ACP...

With regard to the information relating to firearms officers and their
weaponry, where specialist equipment is required for the provision of
mutual aid this will be reflected in the banding. For example the
provision of a rapid intervention firearms team will come with certain
tools for the job, including door opening equipment and firearms. This is
explained within the above link.

For ease of reference please find below the hourly cost of our officers:

Police Officers
Rank Hourly rate
Constables £ 54.84
Sergeants £ 68.97
Inspectors £ 68.33
C / Inspectors £ 72.03
Superintendents £ 90.27
C/ Superintendents £ 99.93
PCSOs £ 38.14
Specials £ 27.42

2. Is it possible to hire an officer on horseback/ an officer with a
police vehicle?

Yes

3. How much money did your force make in 2010 as a result of these private
hiring’s out?

In the 2010/11 financial year to date we have charged £1,639,832 for the
provision of these types of service.

4. Is it possible to have a break down event by event of how much was
made, with details of the event itself?

Glastonbury Festival £1,222,410
Weston Beach Race £18,272
Westfest10 £3,694
T4 on the Beach £23,000
Bristol Balloon Fiesta £16,397
Policing family day at Filton £1,108
Badminton Horse Trials £25,745
Yeovilton Airshow £7,404
Relentless Festival £46,357
Football clubs £257,876
Gloucestershire Cricket £5,155
Tour of Britain £10,138
Abnormal Load Escorts £2,278

The cost recovered from football clubs cannot be further broken down due
to consideration of the following exemptions.

The exemptions applicable to this request are section 41 (1) - information
provided in confidence which is an absolute and class based exemption
requires no ‘harm’ or ‘public interest test’. Section 43 (2) –
commercial Interests is also applicable, this is a qualified and
prejudice-based exemption and as such a full harm and public interest test
needs to be conducted.

Harm

Within the contracts between the football clubs and the Constabulary a
confidentiality clause exists in relation to the disclosure of information
to third parties. To disclose the information requested could lead to an
actionable breach of confidence against the Constabulary.

There are concerns associated with the release of the information as there
could be commercial disadvantage caused to the constabulary if this
information was to be disclosed. Negotiations with football clubs for the
forthcoming season could be jeopardised if the amount of money the force
was paid last year was disclosed into the public domain. Therefore
potentially the amount of money received by the Constabulary for policing
football games could be less, and then money would have to come directly
from public funds to make up the shortfall.

In providing a reply to a Freedom of Information Act request I am not just
making the information available to you, it is being made available to the
public as a whole. If we were to disclose the costs involved with policing
football matters, the Constabulary could be disadvantaged in relation to
fund negotiations.

Considerations favouring disclosure:

When public funds are being spent, there is public interest in the
accountability and justification.

Disclosure could contribute to the quality and accuracy of public debate
and decision making by the force concerning the amount of funds generated
to police football matches. There may be public reassurance to be gained
from knowing the level of finance that the Constabulary receive on
policing football matches in an attempt to minimise any anti-social
behaviour and maximise public safety.

Favouring non-disclosure

The Constabulary is under a legal obligation to maintain confidences
between themselves and the football clubs concerned. Disclosure of details
of a contract may lead to an actionable breach of confidence against the
Constabulary thereby increasing public expenditure.

If the information you have requested is published it would undermine the
ability of the force to negotiate costs with football clubs in the future.
The clubs' interests may be jeopardised by the release of financial and
contractual issues.

Balancing test

When balancing the public interest we have to consider whether the
information should be released into the public domain. Arguments need to
be weighed against each other.

After weighing up the competing interests, I have determined that the
breakdown of costs recovered by each football club would not be in the
public interest as this could bring about an actionable breach of
confidence and impact the commercial interests of the Constabulary.
However, it is recognised that the accountability of the Constabulary when
recovering costs and the benefits of public debate are in the public
interest. Therefore on balance, disclosure of the total costs recovered
would meet these needs without affecting the commercial interests of the
Constabulary or football clubs.

In accordance with the Act, this represents a Refusal Notice for the
further breakdown of costs.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in
Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Officer

Freedom of Information Officer
Corporate Information Management Department

Please note:

1. Requests and responses may be published on Avon and Somerset
Constabulary’s website (within 24 hours), some of which may
contain a link to additional information, which may provide
you with further clarification.
2. Whilst we may verbally discuss your request with you in order
to seek clarification, all other communication should be made
in writing.
3. Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides you with the right to
request a re-examination of your case under its review
procedure (copy attached).

<<A&S Appeals Procedure.doc>>

References

Visible links
1. http://www.polfig.com/Documents/2009_ACP...