Staffordshire Poliice independent review Northumbria Policer claims sex scandal bust-up - Martin McGartland request

Martin McGartland (Account suspended) made this Freedom of Information request to Staffordshire Police

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

Martin McGartland (Account suspended)

Martin McGartland

15 April 2019

Dear Staffordshire Police,

I have attached news report from August 2018 Fyi and to assist with the FOI request . Staffordshire Police have confirmed around that time that; "We have been commissioned to undertake an independent review surrounding allegations in 2007 involving senior officers at Northumbria Police."

I would like the following information and documents concerning this matter;

1. When is the independent review due to be completed (if not already)?

2. Who 'commissioned' the review?

3. Have Staffordshire Police disclosed / shared any draft reports and or findings with Northumbria Police, PCC Vera Baird or Northumbria OPCC during the past 12 months?
(a) If they have, please supply date/s.

4. Total cost (amount) of the review to taxpayer (Northumbria Police / OPCC) from date it began and up until the date this request is answered?

As well as the above, this request is for copies (or the original document/s);

A, The terms of reference ToR for above independent review;

B, Detailed breakdown of all amounts claimed by Staffordshire Police, its officers and staff relating to each / every amount spent by them, claimed / invoiced to Northumbria Police (or which is due to be claimed) relating to the review.

This part of the request is full details, i.e. each / every amount claimed by Staffordshire Police and invoiced / billed to Northumbria Police / OPCC.... including but not limited to; description/s of each / every payment, reasons for all payment , amount/s of each / every , dates of all payments (this part of the request is for everything - as it appears on your internal account systems etc )

Yours faithfully,

Martin McGartland

New probe into claims 'police covered up' sex scandal bust-up as Line of Duty cops quiz ex-chiefs

Claims were made against ex-Northumbria Police chief Mike Craik and his Assistant Chief Constable Carolyn Peacock at an employment tribunal two years ago

ByJeremy Armstrong
20:13, 18 AUG 2018UPDATED18:15, 19 AUG 2018

Anti-corruption cops are probing an alleged cover-up of a “sex scandal” involving a former chief constable.

Lurid claims about ex-Northumbria Police chief Mike Craik and his Assistant Chief Constable Carolyn Peacock were made at an employment tribunal two years ago.

Mr Craik, now 63, was alleged to be “shagging” Mrs Peacock, now 63, whose husband Chief Supt Jim Peacock allegedly punched him at a barbecue in June 2007.

Mr Peacock, also 63, is alleged to have gone to Mr Craik’s home to confront him after claims of his wife’s alleged infidelity emerged.

Mr Craik’s wife Sharon allegedly hit a panic alarm at the house in Bamburgh, Northumberland, which meant armed cops were called to it.

But the employment tribunal into the sacking of the force’s legal chief Denise Aubrey heard that details of the alleged showdown were removed from police logs, with officers ordered not to discuss it.

Now Northumbria Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has enlisted Staffordshire Police to carry out a review into the claims.

It is being led by Det Chief Insp Phil Duffy, head of Staffordshire’s anti-corruption unit, who has ­visited the North East to talk to ­former senior officers in the case.

Ms Aubrey, 54, said: “The timing of this investigation is something I do not understand, given the delay. But I am willing to assist.”

The tribunal upheld her sacking for breaching confidentiality over allegations surrounding Mr Craik.

Northumbria Police’s legal bill for the tribunal was £645,000, including the cost of advice to Mr Craik and other ex-senior officers.

Inspector Paul Gilroy, who was in charge of armed response vehicles, provided a statement to the tribunal in which he said that officers had been deployed at the Craiks’ home in Bamburgh.

“This followed the activation of the personal attack alarm,” he said.

“Before terminating duty I viewed a computer-generated log for the incident to find all the text subject of it had been deleted.

“After speaking to officers dispatched to the incident, it became apparent why the log had been deleted. The incident apparently involved an altercation between the Chief and Mr Peacock.”

Mr Craik retired in 2010. Asked if he had an affair with Mrs Peacock, he said: “Absolutely not. There was ­never any evidence other than unpleasant rumour and they are still rumours which are untrue.”

He called the allegations deeply distressing for his wife Sharon.

She said in 2016: “Mike first dealt with this nine years ago but it has come around again. It is nonsense. We did not have a party and the Peacocks have never been to my house.”

The Peacocks, of Ponteland, deny all claims of an affair and a dispute at a barbecue. Mrs Peacock retired in 2007.

Ms Baird and Northumbria Police declined to comment.

Staffordshire Police said:” We have been commissioned to undertake an independent review surrounding allegations in 2007 involving senior officers at Northumbria Police.

"No further comments will be made surrounding this matter.”

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

Martin McGartland (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

New probe into claims 'police covered up' sex scandal bust-up as Line of Duty cops quiz ex-chiefs

Claims were made against ex-Northumbria Police chief Mike Craik and his Assistant Chief Constable Carolyn Peacock at an employment tribunal two years ago

ByJeremy Armstrong
20:13, 18 AUG 2018UPDATED18:15, 19 AUG 2018

Anti-corruption cops are probing an alleged cover-up of a “sex scandal” involving a former chief constable.

Lurid claims about ex-Northumbria Police chief Mike Craik and his Assistant Chief Constable Carolyn Peacock were made at an employment tribunal two years ago.

Mr Craik, now 63, was alleged to be “shagging” Mrs Peacock, now 63, whose husband Chief Supt Jim Peacock allegedly punched him at a barbecue in June 2007.

Mr Peacock, also 63, is alleged to have gone to Mr Craik’s home to confront him after claims of his wife’s alleged infidelity emerged.

Mr Craik’s wife Sharon allegedly hit a panic alarm at the house in Bamburgh, Northumberland, which meant armed cops were called to it.

But the employment tribunal into the sacking of the force’s legal chief Denise Aubrey heard that details of the alleged showdown were removed from police logs, with officers ordered not to discuss it.

Now Northumbria Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has enlisted Staffordshire Police to carry out a review into the claims.

It is being led by Det Chief Insp Phil Duffy, head of Staffordshire’s anti-corruption unit, who has ­visited the North East to talk to ­former senior officers in the case.

Ms Aubrey, 54, said: “The timing of this investigation is something I do not understand, given the delay. But I am willing to assist.”

The tribunal upheld her sacking for breaching confidentiality over allegations surrounding Mr Craik.

Northumbria Police’s legal bill for the tribunal was £645,000, including the cost of advice to Mr Craik and other ex-senior officers.

Inspector Paul Gilroy, who was in charge of armed response vehicles, provided a statement to the tribunal in which he said that officers had been deployed at the Craiks’ home in Bamburgh.

“This followed the activation of the personal attack alarm,” he said.

“Before terminating duty I viewed a computer-generated log for the incident to find all the text subject of it had been deleted.

“After speaking to officers dispatched to the incident, it became apparent why the log had been deleted. The incident apparently involved an altercation between the Chief and Mr Peacock.”

Mr Craik retired in 2010. Asked if he had an affair with Mrs Peacock, he said: “Absolutely not. There was ­never any evidence other than unpleasant rumour and they are still rumours which are untrue.”

He called the allegations deeply distressing for his wife Sharon.

She said in 2016: “Mike first dealt with this nine years ago but it has come around again. It is nonsense. We did not have a party and the Peacocks have never been to my house.”

The Peacocks, of Ponteland, deny all claims of an affair and a dispute at a barbecue. Mrs Peacock retired in 2007.

Ms Baird and Northumbria Police declined to comment.

Staffordshire Police said:” We have been commissioned to undertake an independent review surrounding allegations in 2007 involving senior officers at Northumbria Police.

"No further comments will be made surrounding this matter.”

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

Martin McGartland (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Northumbria Police rocked by yet another sex scandal as tribunal continues

Tribunal hearing told how Supt David Borrie 'pressured vulnerable member of staff into two sex acts'

ByPA
19:26, 6 MAY 2016UPDATED19:27, 6 MAY 2016

An under fire police chief allowed a colleague, who pressured a vulnerable member of staff into two sex acts, to stay on so he would not lose his pension, a tribunal heard.

Former chief constable Mike Craik, who has been at the centre of damning allegations about the conduct of high ranking officers at Northumbria Police, is said to have instead just had a “quiet word” with superintendent David Borrie.

Mr Borrie, 57, who was not dismissed after the incidents in his car, was simply advised by Mr Craik “don’t apply for promotion”, it is alleged.

It took an investigation by the police watchdog to rule that Mr Borrie should receive an official warning.

The case has heard how Mr Craik is also accused of lying to try and cover up an affair he had with his assistant chief constable Carolyn Peacock, but was accosted by her chief superintendent husband, Jim, and punched at a barbecue he hosted at his Northumberland home.

The police were called to deal with the altercation, but the record of this was then said to be deleted and officers told not to look for it.

Details of a second fling involving “tassels with nipples” and “hula hoops” have also emerged, which is said to have involved assistant chief constable Greg Vant and Mr Craik’s secretary, Juliet Bains.

The tribunal in North Shields, was convened after Denise Aubrey, the former head of legal services at the force, was sacked for gross misconduct after she was accused of disclosing information about the affairs.

Ms Aubrey, 54, denies this and has instead accused her former bosses of “unfair dismissal following a protected disclosure, sex discrimination, disability discrimination, victimisation and harassment”.

In her statement, she said Mr Borrie pursued the “extremely vulnerable” civilian member of staff, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and “groped her in the office”.

She said: “On another occasion, he took her for a drink in the afternoon at a pub and then pressurised her into giving him oral sex.”

This happened a second time and eventually an investigation was launched.

Ms Aubrey added of the two officers: “Despite these and more serious allegations, which took many months to investigate, they were never suspended pending their disciplinary hearing.

“They were just moved and continued to have unfettered access to all police information systems.

“In contrast, I was suspended for what I am supposed to have said when I was mentally ill.”

Previously at the hearing, Ms Aubrey said she had been asked by Mr Craik to advise him on libel and trying to keep accusations of the affair out of the media.

“I don’t know if he lied to me but from what I have found out since, I think he did,” she said.

Northumbria Police had sought to stop the allegations about Mr Craik, Ms Bains and the Peacocks being fully reported through requesting the court ban them from being named.

But Judge Humphrey Forrester withdrew the order he had initially made after listening to representations on behalf of the press from barrister Gervase de Wilde.

Link to story: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/nor...

Staffordshire Police

Thank you for your FOI request.  You will receive a response in due
course.
Regards
Freedom of Information
Central Disclosure Unit
Staffordshire Police HQ
PO Box 3167
Stafford
ST16 9JZ
T:  Switchboard 101
E:  [Staffordshire Police request email]

show quoted sections

 

Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police

2 Attachments

Dear Mr McGartland,

 

Please see the attached response to your Freedom of Information request.

 

Kind regrads,

[1]cid:image001.png@01D4D015.EF704530

Freedom of Information

Central Disclosure Unit

Staffordshire Police HQ

P.O. Box 3167

Stafford

ST16 9JZ

E: [2][Staffordshire Police request email]

 

show quoted sections

 

References

Visible links
2. mailto:[Staffordshire Police request email]

Martin McGartland (Account suspended)

Martin McGartland

24 April 2019

Dear Freedom of Information,

Thank you for the reply. In you reply you include; The issue is with regard to Question 4B; to obtain the data requested, a detailed breakdown of every payment made relating to the enquiry, would
involve a very labour intensive manual trawl which would exceed the time
and cost threshold stipulated by the FOI act (18 hours). If you were to refine your request by withdrawing question 4B, I would be able to provide information for questions 1, 2 and 3 but please note that
as the enquiry is still ongoing, it is likely that Q4A [regarding terms of reference] may attract further exemptions at least until the enquiry is finalised."

Regards Question 4B, it is worry to hear that your force are not keeping such information which relates to all of the amounts that they will be claiming (and or have already claimed) from OPCC Northumbria and or Northumbria Police. It is my understand that detailed records / accounts and spreadsheets are kept in such cases. As a result, and with respect, it should be a very straight forward process to access and disclose that information. You do not say explain how / why it would be a "labour intensive manual trawl would exceed the time and cost threshold stipulated by the FOI act (18 hours)"

I do not accept that answering question $B (or indeed all of my request) would exceed the cost threshold. As a result, I would ask that you deal with all of my request (including question 4B). However, if you continue to be of the view that it would exceed cost.... then I would rather you deal with all other parts of my request. I will not be withdrawing question 4B and will request a review if is is not answered. I will also consider making a complain.

The same is the case regarding the requested terms of reference (ToR).... I can not see how they could be exempt. The disclosing of the ToR (in this particular case - very high profile, all of the claims and allegations have been all over media) Fyi and to assist you with this request: Here just SOME examples : of those from a google search; https://www.google.co.uk/search?nfpr=1&a...

Also, the disclosing the ToR could not cause any damage or harm to the review / investigation. I suspect it is close to completion (if not already completed).

Yours sincerely,

Martin McGartland

Martin McGartland (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Northumbria Policer claims sex scandal bust-up - Read news reports by clicking on this link: https://www.google.co.uk/search?nfpr=1&a...

Martin McGartland (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Third sex scandal engulfs Northumbria Police

By Martin Evans, crime correspondent
6 MAY 2016 • 2:07PM

third senior officer with a scandal hit police force abused his position to pressurise an “extremely vulnerable” employee into performing sex acts on him, a tribunal has heard.

Former Superintendent David Borrie, 57, allegedly took advantage of the woman, who was 20-years his junior, when she was having personal problems.

But when his Chief Constable, Mike Craik – who was embroiled in his own sex scandal - found out, he decided to have a “quiet word” with the officer, rather than take further action, allowing him to keep his pension.

It took an internal investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to rule that Mr Borrie, who worked in Northumbria Police’s department of professional standards, should receive an official warning.

Criminal proceedings were also considered but Mr Borrie eventually retired from the force without any further action, it was claimed.

Details of the third scandal emerged during a tribunal brought by Northumbria Police’s former head of legal services, Denise Aubrey, who claims the force was riddled with sex scandals.

Earlier the hearing heard claims that Mr Craik was punched by one of his Chief Superintendents, Jim Peacock, after he discovered he was having an affair with his wife, Carolyn, who was an assistant chief constable with the force.

In another scandal Mr Craik allegedly tried to axe one of his assistant chief constables, Greg Vant, after discovering he was having an affair with his secretary, Juliet Bains.

Ms Aubrey claims she was fired for allegedly disclosing confidential details of sexual affairs amongst high ranking officers, an accusation she denies.

In her evidence to the hearing in North Shields, North Tyneside, said said: “Superintendent Borrie, a high ranking officer in the professional standards department (PSD,) pursued a (junior civilian staff member.)

“He was 44, she was (in her twenties) and she was extremely vulnerable.

“The disclosed files show that he groped her in the office. On another occasion, he took her for a drink in the afternoon at a pub and then pressurised her into giving him oral sex.”

She explained that sometime later the woman became concerned that her boyfriend might have had a history of domestic violence and asked Mr Borrie to look into it for her.

She said: “He used the fact that he had this information to get her into his car and again pressurised her into giving him oral sex.

“Eventually she told her female colleagues about what had happened and there was an external investigation because of the seriousness of the allegations.

“Borrie was not dismissed, whilst it was felt that a criminal charge would not succeed, he had clearly breached police standards.

“Instead, it was decided to move him out of PSD but to allow him to complete his service so that he could get his pension.

“Mr Craik decided to have a ‘quiet word’ with him and told him not to bother applying for promotion.

“However the IPCC insisted that he received a formal written warning.”

Link to story: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05...

Staffordshire Police

Thank you for your email and for your request for an Internal review of
FOI 10818. You will receive a response in due course.
Kind regards,
Freedom of Information
Central Disclosure Unit
Staffordshire Police

show quoted sections

 

Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police

2 Attachments

Dear Mr McGartland,

 

Please find attached the response to your internal review.

 

Kind regards

 

[1]https://sp-intranet.staffordshire.police...

Central Disclosure Unit (Freedom of Information)

Staffordshire Police HQ

P.O. Box 3167

Stafford

ST16 9JZ

T: Switchboard: 101

E:[Staffordshire Police request email]

show quoted sections

 

References

Visible links

Martin McGartland (Account suspended)

Dear Freedom of Information,

I included the following to you in my previous reply;
"I do not accept that answering question $B (or indeed all of my request) would exceed the cost threshold. As a result, I would ask that you deal with all of my request (including question 4B). However, if you continue to be of the view that it would exceed cost.... then I would rather you deal with all other parts of my request. I will not be withdrawing question 4B and will request a review if is is not answered. I will also consider making a complain."

You are delaying and obstructing this request. Please reply to the other parts of my request (save for 4B) and do so without further delay. You will already have those details, documents to hand (given you have been dealing with this requests for many weeks). This is NOT a request for a review. I trust that you will reply, supply the above information by return.

Yours sincerely,

Martin McGartland

Martin McGartland (Account suspended)

Dear Freedom of Information,

Would you please let me have a reply. This request has been delayed (and obstructed) for long enough. It also should have been answered within the legal time frame.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Martin McGartland

Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police

Dear Mr McGartland,

Thank you for your email.

Please be assured that your revised FOI request is being processed and that you will receive a response as soon as possible.

Please accept our apologies for the delay.

Kind regards,

Freedom of Information
Central Disclosure Unit
Staffordshire Police HQ
P.O. Box 3167
Stafford
ST16 9JZ
E: [Staffordshire Police request email]

show quoted sections

Martin McGartland (Account suspended)

Martin McGartland

24 May 2019

Dear Sir - Madam,

I would remind you that this request was made on 15 April. You have had more than enough time to deal with it.

Please would you now reply to this request and do so without further delay.

Yours sincerely,

Martin McGartland

Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police

Dear Mr McGartland

Please be assured that your revised FOI request is being processed and that you will receive a response as soon as possible.

Regards

Freedom of Information
Central Disclosure Unit
Staffordshire Police HQ
PO Box 3167
Stafford
ST16 9JZ
T: Switchboard 101
E: [Staffordshire Police request email]

show quoted sections

Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police

Dear Mr McGartland,

Public Interest Test Extension

The Freedom of Information Act obliges us to respond to requests promptly and in any case no later than 20 working days after receiving your request. We must consider firstly whether we can comply with s1(1)(a) of the act, which is our duty to confirm whether or not the information requested is held and secondly we must comply with s1(1)(b), which is the provision of such information. However, when a qualified exemption applies either to the confirmation or denial or the information provision and the public interest test is engaged, the act allows the time for response to be longer than 20 working days, if the balance of such public interest is undetermined.

In this case we have not yet reached a decision on where the balance of the public interest lies in respect of either of the above obligations. We estimate that it will take an additional 10 working days to take a decision on where this balance lies. Therefore, we plan to let you have a response by 7th June 2019. If it appears that it will take longer than this to reach a conclusion you will be kept informed.

The specific exemptions which apply in relation to your request are:
Section 30(1)(a) - Investigations conducted by Public Authorities, and
Section 31(1)(g) - the purposes of ascertaining whether any person is responsible for any conduct which is improper (Law Enforcement).

Kind regards,

Freedom of Information
Central Disclosure Unit
Staffordshire Police HQ
P.O. Box 3167
Stafford
ST16 9JZ
E: [Staffordshire Police request email]

show quoted sections

Martin McGartland (Account suspended)

Martin McGartland

28 May 2019

Dear Freedom of Information,

All / any such procedures - and you have had more than enough time - should have been carried out long before now and / or within the required legal time frame. I have grounds to make a complaint regards the long (and unnecessary) delay in your dealing with this request. I will also rely on your previous replies (as above - see the above request) concerning same.

You claim that S31 may be engaged (which it clearly is not). Please supply details as to whats parts (1 to 4) of my request that you believe the S31 exemption may/will apply, i.e.
1. When is the independent review due to be completed (if not already)?
2. Who 'commissioned' the review?
3. Have Staffordshire Police disclosed / shared any draft reports and or findings with Northumbria Police, PCC Vera Baird or Northumbria OPCC during the past 12 months?
(a) If they have, please supply date/s.
4. Total cost (amount) of the review to taxpayer (Northumbria Police / OPCC) from date it began and up until the date this request is answered?
As well as the above, this request is for copies (or the original document/s);
A, The terms of reference ToR for above independent review;
B, Detailed breakdown of all amounts claimed by Staffordshire Police, its officers and staff relating to each / every amount spent by them, claimed / invoiced to Northumbria Police (or which is due to be claimed) relating to the review.

I would remind you of the overwhelming public interest in confidence in the police, openness and transparency (and Not cover up). And also of the fact that the public is funding this review/investigation which relates to the most serious allegations of police corruption, cover up and wrongdoing. It would not be in the public interest for such information, findings to be concealed / covered up from the public. in the public.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Martin McGartland

Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police

Dear Mr McGartland,

Thank you for your email.

Your request is being processed and you will receive a response in due course. I note your comments with regard to making a complaint, details of how to do this will be included within the response letter when you receive it.

Kind regards,

Freedom of Information
Central Disclosure Unit
Staffordshire Police HQ
P.O. Box 3167
Stafford
ST16 9JZ
E: [Staffordshire Police request email]

show quoted sections

Martin McGartland (Account suspended)

Martin McGartland
03 June 2019

Dear Freedom of Information,

Would you please reply to this request. This request should have been answered long before now.

Yours sincerely,

Martin McGartland

Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police

Dear Mr McGartland,

Thank you for your email but please be assured once again that we are in the process of servicing your FOI request and you will receive a response in due course.

Kind regards,

Freedom of Information
Central Disclosure Unit
Staffordshire Police HQ
P.O. Box 3167
Stafford
ST16 9JZ
E: [Staffordshire Police request email]

show quoted sections

Martin McGartland (Account suspended)

Dear Freedom of Information,

You keep repeating that BUT you have had months to deal with this matter. You are in serious breach of DPA and are not complying with the law.

Fyi: the following information, disclosed by another force, relating to all payments, breakdowns relating to a review have been disclosed. The same type of information that your force (as above) are failing to disclose. See here; https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/j...

I am reserving the right to bring that case to the attention of the court. And to ask the court to consider paying compensation for the delay, the distress and inconvenience (breaches of FOIA) that I have been subjected to by your force concerning this case..

Yours sincerely,

Martin McGartland

Martin McGartland (Account suspended)

Martin McGartland

04 June 2019

CORRECTION, "You are in serious breach of FOIA and are not complying with the law."

Dear Freedom of Information,

You keep repeating that BUT you have had months to deal with this matter. You are in serious breach of FOIA and are not complying with the law.

Fyi: the following information, disclosed by another force, relating to all payments, breakdowns relating to a review have been disclosed. The same type of information that your force (as above) are failing to disclose. See here; https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/j...

I am reserving the right to bring that case to the attention of the court. And to ask the court to consider paying compensation for the delay, the distress and inconvenience (breaches of FOIA) that I have been subjected to by your force concerning this case..

Yours sincerely,

Martin McGartland

Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police

3 Attachments

Dear Mr McGartland,

 

Please see the attached response to your Freedom of Information request.

 

Apologies for the delay.

 

Kind regards,

[1]cid:image001.png@01D4D015.EF704530

Freedom of Information

Central Disclosure Unit

Staffordshire Police HQ

P.O. Box 3167

Stafford

ST16 9JZ

E: [2][Staffordshire Police request email]

 

show quoted sections

 

References

Visible links
2. mailto:[Staffordshire Police request email]

Martin McGartland (Account suspended)

Martin McGartland

08 June 2019

Dear Freedom of Information,

Thank you for the reply. I am writing to invite you to reconsider the exemptions that you have relied on. And also regards the redactions which you have added to the Terms of Reference (ToR) which you disclosed to me yesterday ( Fyi - document can be viewed here; https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5... ).

This is because I do not accept redaction/s are exempt or necessary. The reason for this is because of following;

1. Names as well as other information that you have redacted within ToR - which is already readily available in the public domain and freely available to the general public online would not be exemption.

I would rely on the following comments made by Information Commission;
Engaging or maintaining an exemption - 49. "Disclosure of information which is already in the public domainis generally unlikely to cause any additional prejudice. It will therefore be difficult to engage a prejudice-based exemption(although class-based exemptions may still be engaged). And even if an exemption is engaged, the public interest in maintaining the exemption is likely to be limited".
Fyi, the above can be found at Paragraph 49 of the following document; https://ico.org.uk/media/1204/informatio...
20130319 (20130319 Version: 1)

No harm / prejudice could because by the disclose of the names and other information that has been redacted as that information is already (as below examples show) in the public domain.

Not withstanding the above, the names and other information which you have redacted (and as the below press / media reports show) was disclosed during lengthy and public (open) legal proceedings. As were the entire facts of the case, the matters that your force has been reviewing and or investigating during the past 12 to 24 months.

As well as the above, I also rely on all other comments within IOPC (above link - document) with regards to publicly available information.

2. The allegations (which you have also redacted) would not be exempt for the same reasons as outlined above. Furthermore, the allegations (as well as the names of those subject of this review / investigation - that have been redacted) are also freely available in the public domain (as below examples show - and those are just a few examples).

3. The names of the individuals who you have redacted (not withstanding the above) include the names of the most senior (former Chief officers of Northumbria Police) who held public facing roles (including those on the Executive Team) would not - should be exempt and or withheld from public disclosure.

4. You have not, as required, carried out proper harm / prejudice test. Nor have you demonstrated (as you are also required to do) how the disclosure of the redacted information (which is already in the public domain - and has been for over 3 years) would cause harm / prejudice to the review / investigation (which I suspect is either completed or very close to completion).

5, You are failing to act in an open and transparent matter with the regard to this matter. A matter (which relates to public confidence in the police and more) and where their is a very strong public interest. Including, but not limited to, public confidence when it concerns openness and transparency with regard to police thoroughly and robustly investigating allegations against police, follow / former officers. And doing so without fear or favor.

6. You, I believe, are also attempting to exempt and withhold information (as above) which was also reported in press - is in public domain (as below) and which was also the subject of a court application / order, i,e.

a: The Sun newspaper reported following; "The Peacocks and Mr Craik even got a court order granting them anonymity at the tribunal — but it was lifted by a judge yesterday after a plea from newspapers....." Link to story here; https://www.thesun.co.uk/archives/news/1...

b: Independent .ie newspaper reported; "The names of those involved can now be reported after restrictions at the tribunal were lifted." Link to story here; https://www.independent.ie/world-news/eu...

The case was also raised in parliament ; "NORTHUMBRIA POLICE AND DENISE AUBREY
EDM #689 Tabled 13 December 2017 2017-19 Session That this House is deeply concerned about the continuing dispute between Northumbria Police and Denise Aubrey; and urges the Home Secretary to consider urgent use of her powers to bring this dispute to an end in the public interest." Link here; https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-moti...

As above, with regards to information which is freely available to the general public and which was disclosed (and reported on in the press / media - including names and also allegations, including those relating to this request) during weeks of legal (open court/tribunal) proceedings. A search on the internet, google (or any other search engine) returns all such information, i.e. a google search - for example - for "northumbria police denise aubrey" returns "about 16,700 results (0.28 seconds)"
Asa can be seen here: https://www.google.co.uk/search?ei=BrL7X...

Just a few of which include the names of those whop were named during the legal action. And whom allegations were made, and as reported in many national and local newspapers, media outlets and on social media and public forums etc ;

001: The Times: Carry on at HQ: ‘police chiefs used guest rooms as love pads’ ...... "The claim is the latest to emerge in a case that has heard that alleged adulterous affairs in the force were covered up for almost a decade. An alleged affair between Mike Craik, the former chief constable, and Carolyn Peacock, an assistant chief constable, is said to have resulted in a fracas between Mr Craik and her officer husband in 2007." Link to story here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/polic...

002. The Sun: Loin of Duty: Police chief punched by Superintendent at BBQ over affair with top cop’s wife
Denise Aubrey claims police were called to the incident but no log was recorded .... " CHIEF superintendent stormed around to his chief constable’s home during a barbecue and punched him for having an affair with his wife, a tribunal heard yesterday. It is claimed furious Jim Peacock walloped Mike Craik over the fling with wife Carolyn, an assistant chief constable in the same force, as the police chief entertained guests in his garden. Mr Craik’s wife is said to have pressed an alarm that brought armed officers racing to the seaside home. But no police log of the incident could later be found — triggering accusations Mr Craik ordered its removal for fear of it becoming public. Details of the alleged love triangle fracas were kept secret for nine years — until they were yesterday revealed at the unfair dismissal hearing of
Northumbria Police’s former legal chief Denise Aubrey, 54...... .........
“One of the stories circulating was that Craik had been having a barbecue at his house when Mrs Peacock’s husband turned up and punched him. “It was said police were called and Craik was alleged to have insisted the incident log was removed from the force computer system. “I have since found out from former Inspector Gilroy, who was the operational commander on duty, that the log was indeed removed.”
Link to story here: https://www.thesun.co.uk/archives/news/1...

003: Independent .ie newspaper: Police chief 'punched at barbecue by husband of assistant chief constable over affair' - "A chief constable had an affair with his assistant chief constable, resulting in her husband, who was also an officer, attacking him at home, a tribunal has heard.

Mike Craik, who has since retired from Northumbria Police, was alleged to have been in a relationship with Carolyn Peacock, a fellow high-ranking officer at the force at the time.

Giving evidence at an employment tribunal, the former head of legal services from the force alleged that Mrs Peacock's chief superintendent husband, Jim, punched Mr Craik at a barbecue after learning of the affair.

The tribunal in North Shields, North Tyneside, was convened after Denise Aubrey, 54, who worked in legal services at Northumbria Police for 20 years, was sacked for gross misconduct after she allegedly disclosed information about the affair.

She denies this and has instead accused her former bosses of "unfair dismissal following a protected disclosure, sex discrimination, disability discrimination, victimisation and harassment".

The names of those involved can now be reported after restrictions at the tribunal were lifted.

Tomorrow, Sue Sim, the retired chief constable who was in charge at the time Ms Aubrey was dismissed is due to give evidence in her support.

Ms Sim left the force a month after she was cleared of misconduct over allegations of bullying made by a number of other senior officers. She later called for a police watchdog investigation into allegations of sexual discrimination in the force." Link to story here; https://www.independent.ie/world-news/eu...

004: Legal Cheek - Being a generalist helps to develop your advocacy skills, argues Serjeants’ Inn’s Angus Moon QC. The unfair dismissal claim brought against Northumbria Police by its former head of legal, Denise Aubrey, helped to produce one of the most memorable tabloid headlines of recent times:

‘Loin of Duty: Police chief punched by Superintendent at BBQ over affair with top cop’s wife’ ....... https://www.legalcheek.com/lc-careers-po...

005: The Oxford Mail - Police chief 'lied to lawyer and spent public cash on affair cover-up',,,, "A police chief lied to the force's top lawyer and spent public money to cover up the affair he was having with another high-ranking officer, a tribunal has heard.

Revelations of a second affair at the top of Northumbria Police also emerged, as more claims about the tangled web of relationships between senior officers were aired.

Former chief constable Mike Craik was accused of lying to head of legal services Denise Aubrey about his fling with his assistant chief constable, Carolyn Peacock.

Mrs Peacock's chief superintendent husband, Jim, is then said to have punched Mr Craik at a barbecue after learning of the affair.

Details of a second affair involving groin stroking at work, "nipples with tassels" and "hula hoops" were also revealed, which allegedly involved assistant chief constable Greg Vant and Mr Craik's secretary, Juliet Bains.

Mr Vant was accused of sexually harassing Ms Bains by Mr Craik, but the tribunal heard she never made a complaint." ...... Ms Aubrey said she had been asked by Mr Craik to advise him on libel and trying to keep accusations of the affair out of the media. "I don't know if he lied to me but from what I have found out since I think he did," she said. "At the time he told me it had not happened and I acted on those instructions. But something did happen because of what was revealed to me."
She said: "If we used public money to cover it up then we do have an issue here and a potential criminal investigation." ........ ........ ..........
Link to story here; https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/nation...

006: Huffington Post - Police Chief Mike Craik 'Lied To Northumbria Force's Top Lawyer Over Affair'
"The woman's husband allegedly punched Craik at a barbecue after learning of the relationship. ..... A police chief lied to the force’s top lawyer and spent public money to cover up the affair he was having with another high-ranking officer, a tribunal has heard. Revelations of a second affair at the top of Northumbria Police also emerged, as more claims about the tangled web of relationships between senior officers were aired. Former chief constable Mike Craik was accused of lying to head of legal services Denise Aubrey about his fling with his assistant chief constable, Carolyn Peacock, the Press Association reports.
Mrs Peacock’s chief superintendent husband, Jim, is then said to have punched Mr Craik at a barbecue after learning of the affair. Details of a second affair involving groin stroking at work, "nipples with tassels" and "hula hoops" were also revealed, which allegedly involved assistant chief constable Greg Vant and Mr Craik’s secretary, Juliet Bains. ...... ..............." .......... Link to story here: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/p...

007: The Independent (UK) - Third sex scandal engulfs Northumbria Police,,,
A third senior officer with a scandal hit police force abused his position to pressurise an “extremely vulnerable” employee into performing sex acts on him, a tribunal has heard.

Former Superintendent David Borrie, 57, allegedly took advantage of the woman, who was 20-years his junior, when she was having personal problems.

But when his Chief Constable, Mike Craik – who was embroiled in his own sex scandal - found out, he decided to have a “quiet word” with the officer, rather than take further action, allowing him to keep his pension.

It took an internal investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to rule that Mr Borrie, who worked in Northumbria Police’s department of professional standards, should receive an official warning.

Criminal proceedings were also considered but Mr Borrie eventually retired from the force without any further action, it was claimed.

Details of the third scandal emerged during a tribunal brought by Northumbria Police’s former head of legal services, Denise Aubrey, who claims the force was riddled with sex scandals.

Earlier the hearing heard claims that Mr Craik was punched by one of his Chief Superintendents, Jim Peacock, after he discovered he was having an affair with his wife, Carolyn, who was an assistant chief constable with the force.

In another scandal Mr Craik allegedly tried to axe one of his assistant chief constables, Greg Vant, after discovering he was having an affair with his secretary, Juliet Bains.

Ms Aubrey claims she was fired for allegedly disclosing confidential details of sexual affairs amongst high ranking officers, an accusation she denies.

In her evidence to the hearing in North Shields, North Tyneside, said said: “Superintendent Borrie, a high ranking officer in the professional standards department (PSD,) pursued a (junior civilian staff member.)

“He was 44, she was (in her twenties) and she was extremely vulnerable.

“The disclosed files show that he groped her in the office. On another occasion, he took her for a drink in the afternoon at a pub and then pressurised her into giving him oral sex.”

She explained that sometime later the woman became concerned that her boyfriend might have had a history of domestic violence and asked Mr Borrie to look into it for her.

She said: “He used the fact that he had this information to get her into his car and again pressurised her into giving him oral sex.

“Eventually she told her female colleagues about what had happened and there was an external investigation because of the seriousness of the allegations.

“Borrie was not dismissed, whilst it was felt that a criminal charge would not succeed, he had clearly breached police standards.

“Instead, it was decided to move him out of PSD but to allow him to complete his service so that he could get his pension.

“Mr Craik decided to have a ‘quiet word’ with him and told him not to bother applying for promotion.

“However the IPCC insisted that he received a formal written warning.” Who’s who | Northumbria Police tribunal
Mike Craik
Former Chief Constable of Northumbria Police
Retired in 2010. Married to Sharon but accused of having an affair with his Assistant Chief Constable Carolyn Peacock. Was allegedly attacked by her husband, Chief Superintendent Jim Peacock, at a barbecue at his home.

Carolyn Peacock
Assistant Chief Constable of Northumbria Police
Retired in 2007 and is now a non-executive director with the North East ambulance service. Married to fellow officer Chief Superintendent Jim Peacock but was accused of having an affair with her boss, Chief Constable Mike Craik.

Jim Peacock
Chief Superintendent with Northumbria Police
Married to fellow officer Carolyn. Allegedly attacked Chief Constable Craik after discovering he was having an affair with his wife. Was accused of punching him while at a barbecue at his home, sparking a response by armed officers who raced to the scene. The incident was allegedly later hushed up.

Greg Vant
Assistant Chief Constable
Retired in 2013. Married to wife Gillian for 25-years when he had an affair with the Chief Constable’s secretary Juliet Bains. Was placed on secondment after his boss learned of the relationship. Later left his wife and is understood to be living with Mrs Bains.

Juliet Bains
Secretary to Chief Constable Mike Craik
Left her husband, Alan, for a police officer before starting a relationship with Assistant Chief Constable Greg Vant. Initially denied the affair. Was moved from her job to a role in Human Resources when the relationship was confirmed.

Sue Sim
Former Chief Constable of Northumbria Police
Retired in 2015 Accused senior male colleagues at Northumbria Police of sexism and said she was treated differently because she was a woman.

Ms Aubrey has also made claims against lower ranking officers, who she says were not suspended for much more serious misdemeanors than the ones she was accused of.

In her evidence she says: “At the time of my suspension Detective Constable Calvert and Detective Sergeant Johnson were facing serious allegations involving serious misconduct.
“The allegations included DC Calvert having an inappropriate relationship with a female suspect on bail and whose charges were later dropped, numerous failures involving the seizure and handling of firearms, failing to investigate arson and fraud, misleading other officers about the investigations and disclosing police information to criminals. “Despite these and more serious allegations, which took many months to investigate, they were never suspended pending their disciplinary hearing. They were just moved and continued to have unfettered access to all police information systems. “In contrast, I was suspended for what I am supposed to have said when I was mentally ill.”
The tribunal continues."
Link to story here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05...

The Mail newspaper also reported following;

007: Mail - Sex scandal police force hit by THIRD claim: Under-fire chief constable 'let high-ranking officer who pressured a vulnerable colleague into a sex act KEEP his job' Superintendent David Borrie allegedly pressurised the vulnerable woman She wanted information on her partner, fearing he had history of violence Chief constable Mike Craik allegedly had a 'quiet word' with Mr Borrie, 57
Tribunal heard Mr Craik, 61, simply told him: 'Don't apply for a promotion' Bombshell allegations are latest in string of claims against Northumbria Police ...... ....... ..... https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article...

It is also worthy of mention that the Mirror newspaper also published a story ( 18 August 2018) concerning this / your forces review / investigation into this matter, i.e.;

008: Mirror newspaper - New probe into claims 'police covered up' sex scandal bust-up as Line of Duty cops quiz ex-chiefs
Claims were made against ex-Northumbria Police chief Mike Craik and his Assistant Chief Constable Carolyn Peacock at an employment tribunal two years ago

"Anti-corruption cops are probing an alleged cover-up of a “sex scandal” involving a former chief constable.

Lurid claims about ex-Northumbria Police chief Mike Craik and his Assistant Chief Constable Carolyn Peacock were made at an employment tribunal two years ago.

Mr Craik, now 63, was alleged to be “shagging” Mrs Peacock, now 63, whose husband Chief Supt Jim Peacock allegedly punched him at a barbecue in June 2007.

Mr Peacock, also 63, is alleged to have gone to Mr Craik’s home to confront him after claims of his wife’s alleged infidelity emerged.

Mr Craik’s wife Sharon allegedly hit a panic alarm at the house in Bamburgh, Northumberland, which meant armed cops were called to it.

But the employment tribunal into the sacking of the force’s legal chief Denise Aubrey heard that details of the alleged showdown were removed from police logs, with officers ordered not to discuss it.

Now Northumbria Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has enlisted Staffordshire Police to carry out a review into the claims.

It is being led by Det Chief Insp Phil Duffy, head of Staffordshire’s anti-corruption unit, who has ­visited the North East to talk to ­former senior officers in the case.

Ms Aubrey, 54, said: “The timing of this investigation is something I do not understand, given the delay. But I am willing to assist.”

The tribunal upheld her sacking for breaching confidentiality over allegations surrounding Mr Craik.

Northumbria Police’s legal bill for the tribunal was £645,000, including the cost of advice to Mr Craik and other ex-senior officers.

Inspector Paul Gilroy, who was in charge of armed response vehicles, provided a statement to the tribunal in which he said that officers had been deployed at the Craiks’ home in Bamburgh.

“This followed the activation of the personal attack alarm,” he said.

“Before terminating duty I viewed a computer-generated log for the incident to find all the text subject of it had been deleted.

“After speaking to officers dispatched to the incident, it became apparent why the log had been deleted. The incident apparently involved an altercation between the Chief and Mr Peacock.”

Mr Craik retired in 2010. Asked if he had an affair with Mrs Peacock, he said: “Absolutely not. There was ­never any evidence other than unpleasant rumour and they are still rumours which are untrue.”

He called the allegations deeply distressing for his wife Sharon.

She said in 2016: “Mike first dealt with this nine years ago but it has come around again. It is nonsense. We did not have a party and the Peacocks have never been to my house.”

The Peacocks, of Ponteland, deny all claims of an affair and a dispute at a barbecue. Mrs Peacock retired in 2007.

Ms Baird and Northumbria Police declined to comment.

Staffordshire Police said:” We have been commissioned to undertake an independent review surrounding allegations in 2007 involving senior officers at Northumbria Police.

"No further comments will be made surrounding this matter.” "

Link to story here: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ne...

There are many other news reports which include all of the details, the full background of the entire case... as well as the names (and full details of all of the allegations) as included above - and within those listed above. And which would include the information that you / your force have redacted and are withholding from disclosure. From the public.

If, and I hope not, your force are going to continue to rely on the exemptions / their redactions to ToR I will be making a complaint to the Information Commissioner regarding this matter, the way it has been handled. I will also, if it becomes necessary, be requesting that the Information Commissioner issue a decision notice in this case.

It is difficult to see how your force can claim =(or indeed justify) that they are conducting an 'independent' review / investigation into these matters when at the same time they are going to great lengths to obstruct (including delaying) this / my FOI request. And when - at the same time - they are attempting to withhold (in fact, are withholding) details about this case which are already freely available to the general public (as above). I would request that your force disclose an underacted (copy of original) ToR without delay. And I would ask that they act openly and transparently with the public while dealing with this matter.

There will also be a very strong public interest in the disclosure of your force's / Det Chief Insp Phil Duffy's ( the head of Staffordshire’s anti-corruption unit) report and findings in to the review, investigation.

I await your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Martin McGartland

Martin McGartland (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

The below link, according to Staffordxshire Police, is their redacted copy of the Terms of Reference (ToR) relating to the review / investigation in to Northumbria Police --- claims of sex scandal bust-up ....

I'm not convinced that this is the complete ToR (looks some what incomplete to me; https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5...

Freedom of Information, Staffordshire Police

Dear Mr McGartland,

Thank you for your email.

We are satisfied that the exemptions have been applied correctly.

As explained in the response letter, if you are not content you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Kind regards,

Freedom of Information
Central Disclosure Unit
Staffordshire Police HQ
P.O. Box 3167
Stafford
ST16 9JZ
E: [Staffordshire Police request email]

show quoted sections