The policing of fracking and fossil fuel extraction/exploration activities in your constabulary

Liam Ward made this Freedom of Information request to North Yorkshire 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 partially successful.

Dear North Yorkshire Police,

I am writing on behalf of the Office of Keith Taylor MEP; I would like to make the following requests relating to the policing of any fracking, oil and/or gas drilling/exploration protests and opposition in your constabulary in the last five years.

The questions should follow logically and should not prove too burdensome to answer. I have tried to be as clear as possible, but please let me know at the earliest possible opportunity if you require any clarifications.

I am requesting all of the information in digital form, an excel file for data is preferred to graphs and tables embedded within pdf files.

Can you please provide the answers to the following questions, in every case I am asking for details within the last five years and by 'drilling' I mean shale gas exploration, conventional and unconventional oil and gas drilling:

Staffing

1. Have there been any licences granted for drilling in your constabulary?
2. Have there been any licences granted for drilling in your constabulary that has required your force to deploy officers to manage/police any opposition/protests in relation to those drilling licences?
3. If yes, in relation to which licences and sites has officers from your force been employed?
4. How many officers have been on-site to police protests since the first deployment until the present day - a cumulative total is requested?
5. Have all of the officers on-site been from the North Yorkshire Police?
6. If not, from which constabularies and in what numbers were officers drafted?
7. Which force was responsible for covering the cost of bringing in officers from outside the North Yorkshire Police?
8. What has the total cost been, so far, to the North Yorkshire Police, for bringing in officers from outside the North Yorkshire Police?

Costs

9. How many staff hours in total, from the first deployment until the time of this request, has been diverted to policing the aforementioned protests?
10. How many North Yorkshire Police officers have been taken from other, regular duties to police the protests?
11. How many North Yorkshire Police officers are working overtime to cover the protests?
12. What is the highest payment/remuneration paid to an officer for one shift covering the protest, including any bonus or overtime payments? How long was said shift?
13. What is the average amount of extra/bonus/overtime remuneration paid to all of the officers who have been responsible for policing these sites?
14. What has been the total cost to the North Yorkshire Police for the policing of drilling sites, from first deployment until the time of this request?
15. How much have the firm/s operating the licence/s paid the North Yorkshire Police to cover the cost of the policing efforts?

Arrests

16. How many arrests have been made during the policing operation at the site/s? (Can arrestee details be categorized by age, gender, and town/city of residence, please?)
17. What were the grounds of each arrest?
18. How many of those arrested were later charged? (Can the details of those charged be categorized by age, gender, and town/city of residence, please?)
19. Of those charged, how many cases progressed to court? (Can the details of the people in those cases be categorized by age, gender, and town/city of residence, please?)
20. How many charges were dropped before any court appearance? (Can the details of those charged, whose charges were later dropped, be categorized by age, gender, and town/city of residence, please?)
21. Of the cases that progressed to court, how many defendants were found guilty of the charge against them? (Can the plea of the defendant, their age, gender, and town/city of residence also be provided, please?)

Use of force

22. How many reports of violence or aggression against your officers have you received - in relation to the policing of the site/s?
23. Have any of your officers reported any injuries sustained during the policing of the site/s?
24. If so, what were their injuries and how were they sustained?
25. How many official complaints have the North Yorkshire Police received by protesters and local residents about the policing of their activities at the site/s?
26. What were the complaints relating to?
27. How many 'use of force' reports have been submitted by officers at the site/s? (I would like the day as the number of reports per day, from the first deployment until the present day)
28. Can you provide any further details of the nature of the force detailed in the reports? If so, what force was used against protesters?
29. What equipment are officers permitted to use in the course of their policing at the site/s (i.e. batons, cuffs, spray, etc.)?
30. How often has the North Yorkshire Police had cause to use any of that equipment, and what specifically, since first deployment at the site/s and the date of this request?
31. Are officers been given any specific training before being deployed on the site/s for the first time?
32. If so, what is the training?
33. If no, why not?

Training and guidelines

34. Does the North Yorkshire Police have any specific guidelines relating to the policing of protests at the site/s - particularly relating to 'slow walking' protests?
35. If so, what are those guidelines and how were they communicated to protesters?
36. Is there a record of the number of times protesters broke those guidelines and what action was taken?
37. If yes, please provide those details.

Yours faithfully,

Liam Ward

Fryar, Liz, North Yorkshire Police

1 Attachment

Good morning,

 

Please see attached response to your request for information
(511.2017-18),

 

Kind Regards

 

Liz

 

Liz Fryar

Collar Number 4437

Legal Officer – Civil Disclosure

Joint Corporate Legal Services

North Yorkshire Police

 

Please note my normal working days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and
Friday.

 

Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number.
If using my collar number please state each number individually.

 

[1]www.northyorkshire.police.uk

 

Committed to the Code of Ethics

 

Please note  that North Yorkshire Police is moving to its new HQ from 5
July 2017. With immediate effect the address is:

 

North Yorkshire Police HQ

Alverton Court

Crosby Road

Northallerton

North Yorkshire

DL6 1BF

 

The DX will remain as DX 68810 Northallerton 2 and telephone numbers will
remain the same.

 

THIS EMAIL AND ANY ATTACHMENT(S) MAY BE SUBJECT TO LEGAL PROFESSIONAL
PRIVILEGE - PLEASE DO NOT DISCLOSE THE CONTENT TO ANYONE ELSE WITHOUT
ASKING JOINT CORPORATE LEGAL SERVICES

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/

Dear Fryar, Liz,

I will happily limit my reference terms to the last two years, and simplify my questions as follows:

Costs

1. Has your force been involved in the policing or management of any fracking or oil and gas drilling/exploration protests in the last two years?
2. How many operations, relating to the above, have your force been involved with?
3. What has been the total cost to your constabulary of policing these protests (itemised per operation is possible)
4. Have you received any outside funding, i.e. from the firms operating any drilling of fracking licences, towards the cost of the policing operation?
5. If yes, how much and from who (itemised per question 3 if possible)?

Arrests

6. How many arrests were made during the operations outlined above?
7. Who was arrested and on what grounds (here I am requesting suitably anonymised data limited to age, gender, town/city of residence, and the reason for arrest)?
8. How many of those arrested were later charged (here I am requesting suitably anonymised data limited to age, gender, town/city of residence, and the reason for arrest)?
9. Of those charged, how many cases progressed to court (here I am requesting suitably anonymised data limited to age, gender, town/city of residence, and the reason for arrest)?
10. Of the cases that progressed to court, how many defendants were found guilty of the charge against them (here I am requesting suitably anonymised data limited to age, gender, town/city of residence, and the reason for arrest)?

Use of force

11. How many reports of violence or aggression against your officers involved in the above operations have you received?
12. How many of your officers reported any injuries sustained during the operations (and what were their injuries and how were they sustained)?
13. How many official complaints have NY Constabulary received by protesters about the operations (and what were they relating to)?
14. How many 'use of force' reports have been submitted by officers working on the operations?
15. Are officers been given any specific training before being deployed on these operations?
16. If so, what is the training?
17. If no, why not?

Yours sincerely,

Liam Ward

Fryar, Liz, North Yorkshire Police

Good morning,

Thank you for your refined FOI request - this has been logged under reference 606.2017-18 and a response will be sent to you in due course.

Kind Regards

Liz

Liz Fryar
Collar Number 4437
Legal Officer – Civil Disclosure
Joint Corporate Legal Services
North Yorkshire Police

Please note my normal working days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number. If using my collar number please state each number individually.

www.northyorkshire.police.uk

Committed to the Code of Ethics

Please note  that North Yorkshire Police is moving to its new HQ from 5 July 2017. With immediate effect the address is:

North Yorkshire Police HQ
Alverton Court
Crosby Road
Northallerton
North Yorkshire
DL6 1BF

The DX will remain as DX 68810 Northallerton 2 and telephone numbers will remain the same.

THIS EMAIL AND ANY ATTACHMENT(S) MAY BE SUBJECT TO LEGAL PROFESSIONAL PRIVILEGE - PLEASE DO NOT DISCLOSE THE CONTENT TO ANYONE ELSE WITHOUT ASKING JOINT CORPORATE LEGAL SERVICES

Fryar, Liz, North Yorkshire Police

1 Attachment

Good afternoon,

 

Please see attached response to your request for information
(606.2017-18),

 

Kind Regards

 

Liz

 

Liz Fryar

Collar Number 4437

Legal Officer – Civil Disclosure

Joint Corporate Legal Services

North Yorkshire Police

 

Please note my normal working days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and
Friday.

 

Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number.
If using my collar number please state each number individually.

 

[1]www.northyorkshire.police.uk

 

Committed to the Code of Ethics

 

Please note  that North Yorkshire Police is moving to its new HQ from 5
July 2017. With immediate effect the address is:

 

North Yorkshire Police HQ

Alverton Court

Crosby Road

Northallerton

North Yorkshire

DL6 1BF

 

The DX will remain as DX 68810 Northallerton 2 and telephone numbers will
remain the same.

 

THIS EMAIL AND ANY ATTACHMENT(S) MAY BE SUBJECT TO LEGAL PROFESSIONAL
PRIVILEGE - PLEASE DO NOT DISCLOSE THE CONTENT TO ANYONE ELSE WITHOUT
ASKING JOINT CORPORATE LEGAL SERVICES

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/

Dear Fryar, Liz,

Thank you for your response Liz and providing some of the information you hold.

However, firstly, it seems odd that you would refuse certain questions on the basis of future publications but are not able to disclose any details about said publications. What is the format of the planned publication? When is the planned, ballpark, publication date? Who is the audience?

At the moment it reads as though disclosure is being denied with the requester, me, being asked to believe, without any evidence, that it is on the basis of some unknown future publication of the data?

It is worth noting that ICO guidelines weigh the balancing procedure in the balance of disclosure when "the publication date is far in the future or where it isn’t set" so can you reveal a publication date? If it is in a reasonable time period from this request then I will wait patiently, if it is not then I would like to request an internal review.

Your reasoning "The advance release of the specific information requested is not in the public interest" does not provide any evidence as to why it's not in the public interest. The balancing should also be public interest vs. harm, the absence of public interest (which I would dispute) does not rule out disclosure - only a risk of harm (which you have not suggested) would rule out disclosure.

Also, as per the ICO guidelines, if you still intend to withhold the information, can you confirm that each question which you are not answering under this exemption will be answered fully by the forthcoming publication?

"A general intention to publish some information will not suffice. It is not enough for the public authority to note that it will identify some, but not all, of the information within the scope of the request for future publication." - https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

I am confused as to how this guidance interacts with your suggestion that "Publishing any information now may not provide everything requested" - if you hold the information, which you have confirmed to be the case, how does that reasoning hold?

As for your Section 31 refusal of questions 15 - 17 I do not feel the reasoning in favour of non-disclosure is adequately evidenced, the question is asking whether training to deal with the particular circumstances surrounding fracking and drilling protests has been undertaken, at a time when public trust in the policing of such protests across the country is being called into question by NGOs and campaigners themselves I don't see how revealing that officers have received training would in any way compromise the integrity or efficacy of said training. Surely you would not argue that the knowledge that officers attending football matches have been trained in public order policing would undermine that training. Nor would being reassured that officers carrying firearms have had firearms training undermine said training. On question 15, I am formally requesting an internal review of the decision not to disclose.

On question 16, I am not asking for copies of the training manual, I am asking for a short description i.e. yes, police officers have received 'specialist training' to help them tackle the unique circumstances of drilling and fracking protests - as per question 15 I see no reason why this would undermine the policing operation and I am requesting an internal review in regards to this question too.

On question 17, this may be a question best directed to the press office and I am happy to redirect it as such once question 15 and 16 are answered.

Yours sincerely,

Liam Ward

Fryar, Liz, North Yorkshire Police

Dear Liam,

Thank you for your email. I have logged your request for an internal review, and a response will be sent to you in due course.

Kind Regards

Liz

Liz Fryar
Collar Number 4437
Legal Officer – Civil Disclosure
Joint Corporate Legal Services
North Yorkshire Police

Please note my normal working days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number. If using my collar number please state each number individually.

www.northyorkshire.police.uk

Committed to the Code of Ethics

Please note  that North Yorkshire Police is moving to its new HQ from 5 July 2017. With immediate effect the address is:

North Yorkshire Police HQ
Alverton Court
Crosby Road
Northallerton
North Yorkshire
DL6 1BF

The DX will remain as DX 68810 Northallerton 2 and telephone numbers will remain the same.

THIS EMAIL AND ANY ATTACHMENT(S) MAY BE SUBJECT TO LEGAL PROFESSIONAL PRIVILEGE - PLEASE DO NOT DISCLOSE THE CONTENT TO ANYONE ELSE WITHOUT ASKING JOINT CORPORATE LEGAL SERVICES

Gwen Swinburn left an annotation ()

Dear Liam

I pay into the NYP precept. I have been concerned about the costs of this operation, especially so when I saw yesterday a York Councillor calling for a blockade. I was going to ask your Q3,-regarding the costs. I will resist doing this at this time. I am saddened at the quality of the reply and the reliance of so many exemptions which clearly are not in the public interest.

Please keep this site up to date so we taxpayers can follow this shocking process.

Thanks

Gwen

Neil Wilby left an annotation ()

There was no future financial provision, for policing the fracking operations, in the draft audited accounts for y/e 31.3.17.

This is a curiosity, as NYP would be well aware of the likely cost (potentially £millions) of such an operation, as the force has provided 'mutual aid' to Lancashire Police to assist in inhibiting lawful protest at the Cuadrilla site near Blackpool.

https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-co...

There is also the issue of operational depletion - and a consequently greater risk to public - as scarce resources are applied at Kirby Misperton whilst, for example, drunks (and worse) maraud unchecked in York city centre.

There is also the potentially huge liability to factor in concerning civil claims against the police for PACE breaches, unlawful arrest/detention, assault and personal injury, infringement of convention rights.

Whilst it may be these claims (in the cases where they are successful) are covered in whole, or part, by insurance, we all know from our own experiences: Make claims on a policy and the premium increases.

As with Operations Rome and Hyson previously, the information-seeking public should be warned that NYP will soon default into the familiar FOIA 'lockdown' mode on their handling and financing of the fracking protests.

I will remain an interested observer, as a journalist concerned with wider policing matters, rather than a requester on this particular topic.

It is hoped that this annotation will assist with greater understanding of the inner workings of NYP, amongst the readers and users of the increasingly influential What Do They Know website.

Malone, Ashley, North Yorkshire Police

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Ward

 

Please see the attached response to your Internal Review request
606.2017-18.

 

Regards

 

Ashley Malone

Collar Number 4951

Police Lawyer (Civil Disclosure)

Solicitor

Joint Corporate Legal Services

North Yorkshire Police

Committed to the Code of Ethics

Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number.
If using my collar number please state each number individually.

 

www.northyorkshire.police.uk

 

 

THIS EMAIL AND ANY ATTACHMENT(S) MAY BE SUBJECT TO LEGAL PROFESSIONAL
PRIVILEGE - PLEASE DO NOT DISCLOSE THE CONTENT TO ANYONE ELSE WITHOUT
ASKING JOINT CORPORATE LEGAL SERVICES

 

 

 

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