Dear Police Scotland,

I request the following information to be disclosed under the FOISA.

1. Which unit and division are Authorised Firearms Officers a part of?
2. Which unit and division are Specialist Firearms Officers a part of?
3. Which unit and division are Armed Response Vehicles a part of?
4. What is the command structure within the Tactical Firearms Unit (up to an ACPO level)?
5. What is the command structure within any other unit which controls AFOs (up to an ACPO level)?
6. Do AFOs have to be granted authorisation to use their firearms for each possible firearms incident they attend? If so, how is this done?
7. Which unit and division are Counter Terrorism Specialist Firearms Officers a part of?
8. How many ARVs are within the service?
9. How many AFOs are within the service?
10. What is the process for training an AFO?
11. Which Standard Operating Procedure governs the deployment of AFOs of all levels? I request these SOPs are also published.
12. Which weapons are standard issue to AFOs/SFOs/CTSFOs, and which weapons can they be specially deployed with?
13. What is the process for authorising an operational officer to carry a Taser?
14. Which unit and division is Taser a part of?
15. How many officers are generally crewed in an ARV?

Yours faithfully,
John Maguire

FOI Glasgow, Police Scotland

1 Attachment

NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED
Good morning

Please find attached a response to the questions posed by you.

Thank you for your interest in the Service.

Kind regards

Andrew

Andrew McCulloch
Lead Disclosure Officer
Police Scotland
2 French Street
Dalmarnock
Glasgow
G40 4EH
Tel: 01786 895863
Email:  [email address]

Dear FOI Glasgow,

I would like to clarify that I have not received some of the information requested, namely section 4, the command structure for the Tactical/Specialist Firearms Unit within the service. I ask that this particular part of the request is reevaluated.

Yours sincerely,
John Maguire

Andrew McCulloch, Police Scotland

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Good morning,

Thank you for your email.

Concerning your enquiry, namely in respect of question 4: "What is the command structure within the Tactical Firearms Unit (up to an ACPO level)?" I responded in terms of advising that whilst there is a Specialist Firearms Unit there is not a Tactical Firearms Unit.

By way of assistance you were provided with the information that Armed Policing has a Superintendent in charge, however ultimately ACC Operational Support is the strategic lead for Armed Policing in Police Scotland.

I hope this clarifies the matter.

If however, you still require a response to provide for the command structure within Specialist Firearms Unit, I can progress this as a new request.

For the avoidance of doubt, and whilst the Service will always treat a request for information under the Act on a case by case basis, I would draw your attention to a response provided to you in January, 2329/2016.

In that response, you requested the Command structure of specialist units (Operational Support, Tactical Firearms, Air Support, Specialist Crime, etc.) and further explained that you refer to the structure WITHIN EACH UNIT, not how they are commanded within the service in general.

On that occasion you were advised that:

Your request for information has now been considered and it is not possible to provide the information requested for the structure within each specialist unit and it is considered to be exempt in terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (the Act). Section 16 of the Act requires Police Scotland to provide you with a notice which: (a) states that it holds the information, (b) states that it is claiming an exemption, (c) specifies the exemption in question and (d) states, if that would not be otherwise apparent, why the exemption the exemption applies. Where information is considered to be exempt, this letter serves as a Refusal Notice that information is held and an explanation of the appropriate exemption is provided.

35 (1) (a) & (b) – Law Enforcement
The information requested is considered to be exempt, as its disclosure would or would be likely to prejudice substantially the prevention or detection of crime and apprehension or prosecution of offenders. If the structure of each specialist unit was disclosed, experience has shown that it would allow those intent on committing crime or causing disorder to gauge the likelihood of detection or to take measures to negate the likelihood of detection. It would allow criminals to plan how best to engage or occupy existing police resources in an effort to maximise their chances of committing serious crime, therefore harming the efficient and effective conduct of the service.

This is a non-absolute exemption and requires the application of the public interest test.

Public Interest Test
As you will be aware, the exemption listed is non-absolute and require the application of the Public Interest Test. I would suggest that public accountability would favour disclosure, given that the information concerns the efficient and effective use of resources by the Service. Likewise, disclosure of the information would also inform the public debate on the issue of policing and contribute to the accuracy of that debate. Furthermore, the applicability of the exemptions listed above, the need to ensure the effective conduct of the service in relation to prevention and detection of crime and, the public safety considerations involved in the delivery of operational policing clearly favour non-disclosure of the information requested. On balance I would contend that the public interest in disclosing the information is outweighed by that in maintaining the exemptions listed, as, it is doubtful if it can ever be in the public interest to disclose information which would prejudice the prevention or detection of crime or, which would jeopardise the delivery of operational policing and the safety of officers and police staff.

However, to be of assistance please find listed below the top level command structure for Operational Support ...

Operational Support

1 x Assistant Chief Constable
Specialist Services – 1 Chief Superintendent Armed Policing – 1 Superintendent, 3 x Chief Inspectors Specialist Operations 1 Superintendent, 1 x Chief Inspector North, 1 x Chief Inspector East and 1 x Chief Inspector West.
Support – 1 x Superintendent, 1 Chief Inspector FoCUS, 1 x Chief Inspector SDCU Roads Policing – 1 x Chief Superintendent, 1 x Superintendent, 1 x Chief Inspector Events and Emergencies Planning – 1 x Chief Superintendent, 3 x Superintendent, 1 x Chief Inspector North, 1 x Chief Inspector East, Chief Inspector West.
Criminal Justice and Custody Division – 1 x Chief Superintendent, 5 x Superintendents,
11 x Chief Inspectors, 7 x CJ Operations, 2 x CJ Support, 2 x CJ Partnerships.

Taking all of the foregoing into account, concerning both requests 1602/2017 and 2329/2016, you have been advised that whilst we do not have a Tactical Unit we do have Armed Policing which has a Superintendent in charge, however ultimately ACC Operational Support is the strategic lead for Armed Policing in Police Scotland.

Given that the top level command structure was provided at that time for assistance, which refers to Operational Support, I consider that this should be sufficient for your purposes.

Please however, if you require any further assistance, or clarification do not hesitate to contact me per below.

Kind regards

Andrew

Andrew McCulloch
Lead Disclosure Officer
Police Scotland
2 French Street
Dalmarnock
Glasgow
G40 4EH
Tel: 01786 895863
Email:  [email address]

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