Strategic Command Course 2019 (SCC2019)

The request was partially successful.

Dear College of Policing Limited (CoP),

I am aware, via this What Do They Know website, of two recent information requests made by Mr Edward Taylor and Patrick Breathen relating to SCC2019.

The former has led, in part, to an article published on my website on 21st December, 2018. It also involved helpful contact with the CoP press office. It can be read at this link.

https://neilwilby.com/2018/12/21/if-at-f...

It is noted that Mr Williams has also made a supplemental request earlier today. This does not go as far as the request I made earlier this year which, essentially, I wish to repeat here:

1. How many warranted officers will be candidates at SCC 2019?

2. How many civilians, ditto.

3. Breakdown by gender.

4. Breakdown by ethnicity.

5. Breakdown by candidates' employing police force, or policing body.

Turning to Mr Williams' earlier request, it would seem to me at least that the response to Q4 was incomplete.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Accordingly, may I request the following:

6. All emails, records of telephone calls, meeting notes, briefing notes where either the subject line or the body content includes Strategic Command Course or SCC and Dee Collins (or her staff officer, Daniel Ware, or her PA, Allison Key) is either sender, recipient or copied in.

7. Mark Burns-Williamson and Julie Reid, ditto.

8. All CoP internal emails, ditto.

Turning to Mr Breathen's request, may I ask for disclosure of:

9. Names of all contractors who provide external services to CoP in connection with SCC and a brief description of what that service comprises.

As it is Christmas Eve, may I wish all College staff compliments of the season?

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

College FOI, College of Policing Limited

Dear Neil,

Thank you for your email,

We are now processing your request for information and expect to respond within 20 working days.

Kind Regards,

Giselle

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College FOI, College of Policing Limited

Dear Mr. Wilby

 

Thank you for you Freedom of Information Act request. We would be pleased
to assist and are currently undertaking searches to obtain the information
requested.

 

After discussions with the subject matter experts in the College, we
wanted to check that we fully understood the parameters of your request. I
would be grateful if you could clarify in point 8, whether you request:

 

·         All CoP internal emails "where either the subject line or the
body content includes Strategic Command Course or SCC", or,

·         all CoP internal emails "where either the subject line or the
body content includes Strategic Command Course or SCC" and "Dee Collins
(or her staff officer, Daniel Ware, or her PA, Allison Key)" or Mark
Burns-Williamson and Julie Reid "is either sender, recipient or copied
in".

 

This information would help us answer your request to the best of our
ability.

 

The College will comply with your request promptly and no later than 20
working days unless certain circumstances apply, as per the Act. As
further information is required to clarify your request, the statutory
‘clock’ for response will re-commence upon receipt of your reply.

 

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

 

Kind regards

 

Diane

 

 

[1]_______________________
Freedom of Information

 

College of Policing
Central House, Otley Road, Beckwith Knowle, Harrogate, HG3 1UF
[2]www.college.police.uk

[3]_______________________

[4]College of Policing

Your profession is transforming, [5]read our briefing
Are you a member? [6]Join Now!

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear College FOI,

Thank you for your communication of even date.

Q8 can be limited to the first of the two options you have set out.

Apologies that it wasn't made sufficiently clear in the original request.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Dear College FOI,

It is very disappointing that this request has not been finalised before the start of the Course, yesterday.

The information sought is straighforward, readily retrievable and disclosable. The requirement under the Act is for requests to be dealt with PROMPTLY. The 20 working day limit is a backstop, not a target date.

A link to the relevant section of the Act is provided below:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/200...

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

College FOI, College of Policing Limited

Dear Mr Wilby,

The College FOI team is aware of the requirement to deal with requests promptly and no later than 20 working days, this can of course be extended where a relevant exemption applies. If you are dissatisfied with the time taken to facilitate your request you can raise this with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) (details below) however I can assure you that the College has acted with all due diligence and we are doing everything that we reasonably can to progress your request.

https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/offici...

Alternatively you can write to the ICO:
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe Hous
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: +44 (0)1625 545 700

Regards,

Jessica Hetherington
Legal Services Manager
Information Management and Legal Team
College of Policing
www.college.police.uk

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Dear College FOI,

If the College is aware of the requirement to deal with requests PROMPTLY, as Parliament requires you to do, then why is the very simple request of Mr Edward Williams not finalised? The course is now nearing the end of the second week. His request would take approximately 15 minutes to finalise, not 4 weeks and 3 days.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

My own request on this topic remains unfinalised, as do the ones made to West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner. I am told that Ms Collins visited the offices of the latter, in Wakefield, earlier this month regarding these requests.

A reasonable, fair-minded person might well conclude that there is a multi-agency cover-up over this troubled matter and the College is central to that. Which makes a complete mockery not only of the law of the land, but the College's own Code of Ethics.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twittker: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

College FOI, College of Policing Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr. Wilby

Thank you for your Freedom of Information Act request.

Please find attached the College of Policing response.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide you with any further assistance.

Kind regards

Diane

-------------------------------------
Freedom of Information

College of Policing
Central House, Otley Road, Beckwith Knowle, Harrogate, HG3 1UF
www.college.police.uk

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Dear College FOI,

Thank you for your rsponse. Please delete question 8 from the instant request. I may return, at a future date, with a request that plainly requires some refinement.

Please disclose all remaining data at the earliest available moment. That is to say questions 1 to 7, and question 9.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

College FOI, College of Policing Limited

Dear Mr. Wilby

Thank you for your email. We are pleased to assist and will process your request, omitting 'question 8' as you have asked. Further to ICO guidance, a refined request becomes a new request. As per the standard statutory times for compliance, we will provide a response promptly and no later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt of a new request.

We hope to be in correspondence with you again soon but if you have any queries in the interim, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards

Diane

Freedom of Information

College of Policing
Central House, Otley Road, Beckwith Knowle, Harrogate, HG3 1UF
www.college.police.uk

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Dear College FOI,

Thank you for your communication of even date.

Your interpretation of the ICO Guidance regarding a 'refined request' is disputed but, doubtless, it will be ultimately resolved by complaint to the Commissioner, or on appeal to the First Tier Tribunal.

I will be arguing, before the Tribunal if the matter reaches a hearing, that the information concerning the composition of the SCC cohort, each year, should, in fact, be part of the College's publication scheme, in accordance with ICO Guidance.

To a degree, the urgency in the request has decayed, following the posting on Twitter, earlier today, of a photograph of the SCC 2019 cohort, by Dee Collins. Unless my eyes deceive me, there is not a single BME representative - and the female contingent appears to be less than 15%. That is much worse than I, and it is ventured to suggest, most other commentators, thought it would be.

The working hypothesis is that delaying disclosure to the wider world, of this epic inclusivity fail, by a self-proclaimed diversity champion, is the true reason for the shenanigans over this information request.

But there we are, that is the deplorable state of the police service in 2019. I don't make the news, but it is an essential part of my "social watchdog" vocation to report it. This information request, and those made collaterally to WYP and WYPCC, has certainly provided plenty of good copy, so far.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Twitter: @Neil_Wilby
Web: neilwilby.com

Edward Williams left an annotation ()

Did the CoP ask permission of the students to post their image on the internet? This is a form of data processing. The GDPR apply.

College FOI, College of Policing Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr. Wilby

Thank you again for your FOIA request. Please find attached the College of Policing response.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.

Kind regards

Diane

Freedom of Information

College of Policing
Central House, Otley Road, Beckwith Knowle, Harrogate, HG3 1UF
www.college.police.uk

Your profession is transforming, read our briefing
Are you a member? Join Now!

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Edward Williams left an annotation ()

"As per section 1(1) of the FoIA, I can confirm that the College holds information within the scope of your request. However, after a holistic assessment of the circumstances, we believe the exemption under section 14(1) (vexatious request) applies. Please note that the meaning of
‘vexatious’ as used in the FoIA is slightly different to its dictionary meaning of ‘behaviour intended to cause annoyance, frustration or worry’. "

What a disgraceful response.

Dear College FOI,

Thank you for the response and the care with which it has been presented.

Having considered what information has been disclosed by the College, against the materials to which you have applied exemptions, it is my view that the matters at the heart of the information request have been satisfied by piecing together this request finalisation together with open source material.

Accordingly, it would be disproportionate to pursue the matter further and place at risk the ability to make future information requests to the College by way of the Act. Particularly, as there is now sufficient material available to write a strong, interesting article.

Your points concerning the publication scheme, and the College's approach to it with regard to the SCC cohorts, and their individual delegates (or students), are noted. The argument is presented intelligently, and there would only limited gain, from my point of view at least, by challenging it. Even if, ultimately, you were proved to be in error.

Similarly, it is now moot whether the small refinement (reduction) made to the request translated into a new request. The delay in the College responding has caused no harm, or inconvenience and a section 12 overcost exemption was worked around.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Web: neilwilby.com
Twitter: @Neil_Wilby