Strip searches in custody suites

David Mery made this Freedom of Information request to British Transport Police

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.

Dear British Transport Police,

I am looking for information on the frequency of strip searches and when these are CCTV recorded. It is likely that to be able to respond to this request some manual inspection of records may be needed, so I am mindful of the appropriate limits of section 12 of the FoIA. The following specific request should be reasonable within the limits:

Please provide, preferably in spreadsheet format (such as Excel or CSV), for the Central London Police Station, Brewery Road Custody Suite and Hammersmith Police Station the following details for the last 33 (from the latest one going back in time) strip searches in each of these custody suites:
a) The date of the strip search.
b) Whether the strip searched detained prisoner was male or female, and adult or juvenile.
c) Whether the strip search was recorded on CCTV.
d) The reason for doing a strip a search.
e) The reason to record the strip search.

If this request as detailed would exceed the appropriate limits, then I rely on your s16 duty of assistance to narrow it further to only the Central London Police Station and Brewery Road Custody Suite. And if your s12 calculations still showed this would require too much work then to reduce the number of strip searches (from the latest recorded one going back in time) from 33 to a number where this request could be responded to is acceptable and welcome. If some of the five types of information requested are not recorded for some of the strip searches, please state so and provide a response as complete as possible from the recorded information.

Yours faithfully,

David Mery

Calderwood, Kay,

 

Dear Mr Mery,

 

Freedom of Information: Right to know request

 

Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the
Act’) for the following information:

 

 

“I am looking for information on the frequency of strip searches and when
these are CCTV recorded. It is likely that to be able to respond to this
request some manual inspection of records may be needed, so I am mindful
of the appropriate limits of section 12 of the FoIA. The following
specific request should be reasonable within the limits:

    

Please provide, preferably in spreadsheet format (such as Excel or CSV),
for the Central London Police Station, Brewery Road Custody Suite and
Hammersmith Police Station the following details for the last 33 (from the
latest one going back in time) strip searches in each of these custody
suites:

 

     a) The date of the strip search.

     b) Whether the strip searched detained prisoner was male or female,
and adult or juvenile.

     c) Whether the strip search was recorded on CCTV.

     d) The reason for doing a strip a search.

     e) The reason to record the strip search.

    

If this request as detailed would exceed the appropriate limits, then I
rely on your s16 duty of assistance to narrow it further to only the
Central London Police Station and Brewery Road Custody Suite. And if your
s12 calculations still showed this would require too much work then to
reduce the number of strip searches (from the latest recorded one going
back in time) from 33 to a number where this request could be responded to
is acceptable and welcome. If some of the five types of information
requested are not recorded for some of the strip searches, please state so
and provide a response as complete as possible from the recorded
information.”

 

Your request was received on 12^th March and will be processed in
accordance with the Act.

 

Please quote the above reference number on any correspondence.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Kay Calderwood
Data Protection & Freedom of Information Researcher

British Transport Police
' Telephone/Teliffon: 02920 525326
6  Fax/Ffacs:  02920 525327
:  E-Mail/E-Bost: [1][email address]
+ Mail/Bost: 

Disclosure Unit,
British Transport Police/Heddlu Trafnidiaeth Prydeinig
3 Callaghan Square/3 Sgŵar Callaghan
Cardiff/Caerdydd
CF10 5BT
DX 153042 CARDIFF 36

BTP PROTECTIVE MARKING applies to all emails.

Unless otherwise stated this email is considered 'NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED'

 

show quoted sections

Rogers, Claire,

2 Attachments

Dear Mr. Mery,

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request, our reference 304-12.

 

Please find our response attached.

 

Regards

 

Claire Rogers

Data Protection & Freedom of Information Researcher

British Transport Police
' Telephone/Teliffon: 02920 525326
6  Fax/Ffacs:  02920 525327  

:  E-Mail/E-Bost: [email address]
+ Mail/Bost: 

Disclosure Unit,
British Transport Police/Heddlu Trafnidiaeth Prydeinig
3 Callaghan Square/3 Sgŵar Callaghan
Cardiff/Caerdydd
CF10 5BT
DX 153042 CARDIFF 36

 

show quoted sections

Dear British Transport Police,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of British Transport Police's handling of my FOI request 'Strip searches in custody suites'.

While I am sincerely appreciative for Ms Rogers to have supplied the partial information that had already been collected, I feel obligated to request this internal review as the invoked s12 exemption has been manifestly disingenuously and incorrectly applied.

While writing my request, as I did anticipate it was likely there would be a need for individual inspection of some records, I was very careful to narrow it as much as I could without the hindsight of knowing the time that would be required per record. I even suggested accepted ways to narrow it further using your s16 duty of assistance. However this was ignored and what appears to be a boilerplate s12 exemption was applied.

The maximum number of records for which I requested some information is 99: records of the last 33 strip searches at 3 custody suites.

In your response, it is estimated 'it would take approximately 10 minutes per record to retrieve the information you requested'. So using this estimate, it would take approximately 990 minutes to retrieve the information for all three custody suites.

'[T]the appropriate limit is £450 which has been calculated to equate to a total of 18 hours of work'. That's 1080 minutes.

In other words the claimed s12 exemption based on the provided estimate shows that answering my request in full is estimated to be within appropriate limit with one hour and half spare to account for a margin of error in the estimate.

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

Yours faithfully,

David Mery

Calderwood, Kay, British Transport Police

2 Attachments

Dear Mr. Mery,

 

Please find attached the response to your Internal Review Request.

 

Regards,

 

Kay Calderwood
Data Protection & Freedom of Information Researcher

British Transport Police
' Telephone/Teliffon: 02920 525326
6  Fax/Ffacs:  02920 525327
:  E-Mail/E-Bost: [1][email address]
+ Mail/Bost: 

Disclosure Unit,
British Transport Police/Heddlu Trafnidiaeth Prydeinig
3 Callaghan Square/3 Sgŵar Callaghan
Cardiff/Caerdydd
CF10 5BT
DX 153042 CARDIFF 36

BTP PROTECTIVE MARKING applies to all emails.

Unless otherwise stated this email is considered 'NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED'

 

show quoted sections

Dear Mss Calderwood and Owen-Frazer,

Many thanks for your review. Unfortunately part of it is unclear and it ignored part of my request (without any explanation).

I understand your explanations for not including data about the Central London police station and appreciate you providing data for Hammersmith, Wembley & West Ham.

1) You wrote "Any searches conducted specifically at Hammersmith are clearly marked within the figures." Unfortunately there's no marking identifying Hammersmith. The list in your review has no obvious sorting order and no identification of which of the three stations entries refer to.

2) You have completely ignored the part of my request asking for each strip search "c) Whether the strip search was recorded on CCTV" and "e) The reason to record the strip search."
The initial response explained that all strip searches at the Brewery Road station are recorded on CCTV, is that the case for the other BTP stations (Hammersmith, Wembley & West Ham)? If these stations do not have a systematic CCTV recording of the strip searches what was the reason to switch on the CCTV recording in the cases it was done so?

Yours sincerely,

David Mery

Calderwood, Kay,

2 Attachments

Dear Mr. Mery,

 

Further to your email dated the 15^th May 2012, please find attached our
amended response.

 

Please note that two searches were duplicated in the figures previously
provided. This has now been amended.

 

Regards,

Kay Calderwood
Data Protection & Freedom of Information Researcher

British Transport Police
' Telephone/Teliffon: 02920 525326
6  Fax/Ffacs:  02920 525327
:  E-Mail/E-Bost: [1][email address]
+ Mail/Bost: 

Disclosure Unit,
British Transport Police/Heddlu Trafnidiaeth Prydeinig
3 Callaghan Square/3 Sgŵar Callaghan
Cardiff/Caerdydd
CF10 5BT
DX 153042 CARDIFF 36

BTP PROTECTIVE MARKING applies to all emails.

Unless otherwise stated this email is considered 'NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED'

 

show quoted sections

Dear Ms Calderwood,

Many thanks for the amendments.

Yours sincerely,

David Mery

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