Usage of (some) custody suites

The request was successful.

Dear Metropolitan Police Service,

This request is a refined request based on that at http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/us... taking into account the s16 assistance provided by Mr Bloomfield.

Can you please provide, preferably in a spreadsheet format, the following recorded information:

1a) The list of the 52 custody suites that are operational on a 24/7 basis.
1b) The list of the remainder 20 'overflow' custody suites.
1c) The number of cells in each custody suite, per custody suite.

2) The number of detainees held in the Westminster borough from September to November 2011, per custody suite, per month (if -and only if- even this already very much narrowed down question would still exceed the reasonable cost/time limit, then limit question 2 to just the Marylebone custody suite, and explain your time calculations) :
2a) under PACE (1984);
2b) under the Terrorism Act (2000);
2c) under immigration regulations (e.g., Immigration Act 1971 and Immigration and Asylum Act 1999);
2d) under the Mental Health Act (1983);
2e) under the Children )Act 1989);
2f) on remanded or sentenced;
2g) for other reasons.

3a) The name and/or description of the event targeted by the pre planned public order operation for which the Marylebone custody suite was opened on Saturday 2011-10-29.
3b) The rank and name of the officer who took the decision to open Marylebone custody suite that day.

Yours faithfully,

David Mery

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Mery

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011120001361
I write in connection with your request for information  which was
received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 08/12/2011.  I note
you seek access to the following information:

      "This request is a refined request based on that at
     http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/us...
     taking into account the s16 assistance provided by Mr Bloomfield.
     
     Can you please provide, preferably in a spreadsheet format, the
     following recorded information:

1a) The list of the 52 custody suites that are operational on a 24/7
basis.
1b) The list of the remainder 20 'overflow' custody suites.  
1c) The number of cells in each custody suite, per custody suite.

2) The number of detainees held in the Westminster borough from September
to November 2011, per custody suite, per month (if -and  only if- even
this already very much narrowed down question would still exceed the
reasonable cost/time limit, then limit question 2   to just the Marylebone
custody suite, and explain your time  calculations) :  

2a) under PACE (1984);    
2b) under the Terrorism Act (2000);
2c) under immigration regulations (e.g., Immigration Act 1971 and
Immigration and Asylum Act 1999);  
2d) under the Mental Health Act (1983);  
2e) under the Children )Act 1989);
2f) on remanded or sentenced;  
2g) for other reasons.  

 3a) The name and/or description of the event targeted by the pre planned
public order operation for which the Marylebone custody suite was opened
on Saturday 2011-10-29.
3b) The rank and name of the officer who took the decision to open
Marylebone custody suite that day."

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act).  You will receive a response within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, subject to
the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third
party.  In some circumstances the MPS may be unable to achieve this
deadline.  If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised
time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to
another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest
possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet, which details your right of
complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write
or contact FOIA Team on telephone number 02071613640 quoting the reference
number above.

Yours sincerely

Peter Deja
Policy and Support Officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr. Mery

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011120001361

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 08/12/2011.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

     1a) The list of the 52 custody suites that are operational on a 24/7
basis.

     1b) The list of the remainder 20 'overflow' custody suites.

     1c) The number of cells in each custody suite, per custody suite.

     
     2) The number of detainees held in the Westminster borough from
September to November 2011, per custody suite, per month (if -and only if-
even this already very much narrowed down question would  still exceed the
reasonable cost/time limit, then limit question 2 to just the Marylebone
custody suite, and explain your time calculations):

     2a) under PACE (1984);

     2b) under the Terrorism Act (2000);

     2c) under immigration regulations (e.g., Immigration Act 1971 and

     Immigration and Asylum Act 1999);

     2d) under the Mental Health Act (1983);

     2e) under the Children )Act 1989);

     2f) on remanded or sentenced;

     2g) for other reasons.

     
     3a) The name and/or description of the event targeted by the pre
planned public order operation for which the Marylebone custody suite was
opened on Saturday 2011-10-29.

     3b) The rank and name of the officer who took the decision to open
Marylebone custody suite that day.

Decision

This letter is to inform you that it will not be possible to respond to
your request within the cost threshold.  Please see the legal annex for
the sections of the Act that are referred to in this letter

Costs estimation

I hope the following explanation will clarify why it will not be possible
to respond to your request within the 18 hour cost threshold stipulated by
the FoIA.  In order to assess whether the information that you have
requested was held and could be located, retrieved and extracted within
the cost limit, I have made some initial enquiries with the MPS
Performance Information Bureau (PIB) and would advise it would exceed 18
hours to even determine if the information is held. This is because the
information you are requesting in regards to question 2 is not broken down
into any easily retrievable format by Act and Sections and therefore it
will require a member of staff to manually read each custody record in
order to determine if the information is held and locate and extract
information specific to your request.  
 
To provide you with a reasonable estimation, I can advise you that there
were over 5000 custody records for the timeframe you are interested in for
Westminster Borough Operational Command Unit (BOCU) if it took just 10
minutes to manually examine each NSPIS custody record to determine if it
held information relevant to your request would equate to over 800 hours.
 The MPS has considered your request ' if-and only if- even this already
very much narrowed down question would still exceed the reasonable
cost/time limit, then limit question 2 to just Marylebone custody suite,
and explain your time calculations.'  I have made some initial enquiries
and can confirm this will still exceed the 18 hour cost threshold.   This
is because there were 137 relevant custody records which will require a
member of staff to manually examine to determine if held, locate and
extract the information pertaining to your request. To provide you with a
reasonable estimate if it took just 10 minutes to manually examine each
NSPIS custody record to determine if it held information relevant to your
request would equate to over 22 hours.

This time estimation does not include the remaining part of your request.

Fees Regulations

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) advises on using the Fees
regulations  'Section 12 makes it clear that a public authority does not
have to make a precise calculation of the costs of complying with a
request.  Only an estimate is required ... what amounts to a reasonable
estimate can only be considered on a case by case basis.'  The Information
Commissioner also advises 'where a reasonable estimate has been made that
the appropriate limit would be exceeded, there is no requirement for a
public authority to undertake work up to the limit.'  

We estimate that the cost of complying with this request would exceed the
appropriate limit. The appropriate limit has been specified in regulations
and for agencies outside central Government; this is set at £450.00.  
This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours [at a
rate of £25 per hour] in determining whether the MPS holds the
information, and locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

Section 16 - Advice and Assistance

Section 16 of the Act places a duty upon a public authority to provide
advice and assistance, so far as it would be reasonable to expect the
authority to do so. I would like to assist you further with submitting a
new request for recorded information which can be located, retrieved and
extracted within the 18 hours specified by the Act.  In relation to
question 2 - You may wish to narrow your request for information held for
Westminster BOCU, by Station, by Month for the timeframe already stated,
but for the First arrest offence only. This will provide you with a
descriptor only, for example ABH and will not include the Act and section
nor remanded or sentenced nor for other reasons.  This is because a person
could be detained for a number of different reasons, which would again
require a manual search of records and again exceed the cost threshold
allowed under the Act.   Any new request will then be considered under the
Act.

Whilst I appreciate this may not be the response you would have liked, I
hope the explanation I have provided has explained why the MPS is unable
to comply with your request within the 18 hours fees limit as set out by
the Fees Regulations mentioned above.

Legal Annex

Section 17(5) of the Act provides:

(5) A public authority which, in relation to any request for information,
is relying on a claim that section 12 or 14 applies must, within the time
for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice stating that
fact.

Section 12(2) of the Act provides:

(2)Subsection (1) does not exempt the public authority from its obligation
to comply with paragraph (a) of section 1(1) unless the estimated cost of
complying with that paragraph alone would exceed the appropriate limit.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet which details your right of
complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write
or contact Mike Lyng on telephone number 02071613605 quoting the reference
number above.

Yours sincerely

Mike Lyng Quality and Assurance Advisor
Co-Ordinated on behalf Territorial Policing (TPHQ) and Westminster BOCU.
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

David Mery left an annotation ()

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)'s handling of my FOI request 'Usage of (some) custody suites'.

S12 was claimed (twice) for question 2 only of this request (and the preceding one), however the other parts of the request were never answered. The specific issue I would appreciate this review to look into is the deliberate avoidance to provide recorded information for the parts of the request to which s12 do not apply, and for which no other exemption has been claimed.

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

Yours faithfully,

David Mery

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear  Mr Mery

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012010001418

I write in connection with your letter dated 10 January 2012 requesting
that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) review its response  to your
request for information relating to:

* Original FOI case number 2011120001361.

The review will be conducted in accordance with the MPS complaints
procedure. The MPS endeavour to respond to your complaint by 7 February
2012.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Thank you for your interest in the MPS.

Yours sincerely

S. Strong
FOIA Complaints Officer

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

David Mery left an annotation ()

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Mery,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012010001418

Further to our letter of 12 January 2012, I have unfortunately been unable
to meet the response time originally provided to you in relation to:

* Original FOI case number 2011120001361

I hope to complete your review no later than 3 March 2012. Should there be
any unforeseen delay, I will contact you and update you as soon as
possible.

I apologise for the delay, and thank you for your patience.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Thank you for your interest in the MPS.

Yours sincerely

Ms S. Strong
FOIA Complaints Officer

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Dear Ms Strong,

Thank you for your email, I look forward to receiving your internal review by your new deadline.

Yours faithfully,

David Mery

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr. Mery,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012010001418

Further to our letter of 13 February 2012, I am now able to provide a
response to your complaint dated 10 January 2012 concerning:

* Original FOI case number: 2011120001361

Original FOI Request (dated 18/11/11)
Can you please provide the following recorded information for each custody
suite, for each month from June 2009 to now:
1. Whether the custody suite is, during that month,
(a) Open regularly most of the time
(b) Opened occasionally for scheduled events (e.g. Holloway police
station's custody suite)
(c) Opened occasionally without a preplanned schedule (e.g. Marylebone's
police station's custody suite),
(d) or Closed
2. The number of days the custody suites was open, per month.
3. The maximum number of cells available at that custody suite, per month.
4. The number of detainees held at that custody suite, per month:  (a)
Under PACE (1984); (b) Under the Terrorism Act (2000); (c) Under
immigration regulations (e.g., Immigration Act 1971 and Immigration and
Asylum Act 1999); (d) Under the Mental Health Act (1983); (e) Under the
Children Act (1989); (f) On remanded or sentenced; (g) For other reasons.
5. The reasons a custody suite that is opened occasionally without a
preplanned schedule can be opened
6. The reason Marylebone custody suite was opened on Saturday 2011-10-29
(for just one detainee).
7. The rank and name of the officer who took the decision to open
Marylebone custody suite that day.

Second FOI request (dated 8/12/11)
1. (a) The list of the 52 custody suites that are operational on a 24/7
basis.
1. (b) The list of the remainder 20 'overflow' custody suites.
1. (c) The number of cells in each custody suite, per custody suite.
2. The number of detainees held in the Westminster borough from September
to November 2011, per custody suite, per month (if -and only if- even this
already very much narrowed down question would
still exceed the reasonable cost/time limit, then limit question 2 to just
the Marylebone custody suite, and explain your time calculations) : (a)
under PACE (1984); (b) under the Terrorism Act (2000); (c) under
immigration regulations (e.g., Immigration Act 1971 and Immigration and
Asylum Act 1999); (d) under the Mental Health Act (1983); (e) under the
Children) Act 1989); (f) on remanded or sentenced; (g) for other reasons.
3. (a) The name and/or description of the event targeted by the pre
planned public order operation for which the Marylebone custody suite was
opened on Saturday 2011-10-29.
3. (b) The rank and name of the officer who took the decision to open
Marylebone custody suite that day.

DECISION

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has completed its review and has
decided to:

* Uphold the original decision

REASON FOR DECISION

I would first like to take this opportunity to apologise for the delay to
you complaint and for any inconvenience caused.

Your letter of complaint (dated 10/01/12) dated that Section 12(2) was
claimed for question 2 only in respect of request number 2011120001361 and
preceding case (reference 2011110002932). You find, however, that the
other parts of the request were never answered. The specific issue you
wish this review
to look into is a deliberate avoidance to provide recorded information for
the parts of the request to which Section 12 do not apply, and for which
no other exemption has been claimed.

On review of the decisions for both 2011120001361 and 2011110002932, I
find that Section 12 correctly applied to the questions you had posed.
However, I do find that it was not sufficiently explained within both
letters that Section 12 applied to your aggregated questions in full,
rather than just having been applied to one question in particular.

To explain the position of ‘aggregation’ further, I refer to Section 12(4)
of the Act which provides that, “The Secretary of State may by regulations
provide that, in such circumstances as may be prescribed, where two or
more requests for information are made to a public authority - (a) by one
person, or (b) by different persons who appear to the public authority to
be acting in concert or in pursuance of a campaign, the estimated cost of
complying with any of the requests is to be taken to be the estimated
total cost of complying with all of them”.

Review of response to the original FOI request (received 18/11/11, case
reference 2011110002932)

The original response to your first request (sent 8/12/11) explained that
it was not possible to respond to your request within the cost threshold
as the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate
limit and that the appropriate limit.

The refusal notice specifically focused on questions one, two, three, four
to explain why the time to locate and extract the data for your request
would exceed the 18 hour threshold.

You were provided with reference to the Information Commissioner's advice
which states 'where a reasonable estimate has been made that the
appropriate limit would be exceeded, there is no requirement for a public
authority to undertake work up to that limit.'

However, I find that at this point it should also have been explained that
due to the related subject matter of your questions, they had all been
aggregated and refused on cost grounds in full.

Therefore, as indicated in the ICO guidance, the MPS was not required to
answer the remaining parts of your request or work up to the cost limit if
it was already estimated it would exceed 18 hour to locate/retrieve or
extract information even one aggregated part.

I refer to a decision notice (please see link within the Legal Annex)
issued to National Savings and Investments. Within this notice the
Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) refer to 'Advice and Assistance
and Fees' of the section 45 Code of Practice. It was highlighted that the
public authority needed only to consider "providing an indication of what,
if any, information could be provided within the cost ceiling.”

Whilst the MPS was not required to work up to the 18 hour limit or to
answer the remaining parts of your request, I note that in order to assist
you under Section 16 of the Act, information was provided in respect of
questions five and six. Additionally it was explained how you could refine
parts of your request by either narrowing time periods or specifying
particular custody suites or Boroughs you may be interested in receiving
information for. On review of your questions, whilst the MPS was not
required to answer question seven, it would have been more helpful if you
were advised that the MPS would be able to answer this part of your
request within cost, should you wish to make a narrowed request. However,
in general, I believe the MPS adequately tried to assist you under Section
16 of the Act, and did not deliberately try to avoid providing information
for certain parts of your request.

Review of response to your second FOI request (received 8/12/11, case
reference number 2011120001361)

The original response (sent 10/1/12) for this second request again
explained why it is not possible to respond to your request within the 18
hour cost threshold.  

I appreciate the refusal notice specifically focused on question two alone
to explain why the time to locate and extract the data for your request
would exceed the 18 hour threshold.
 
This response again referred to the Information Commissioner's Office
(ICO) advice on using the Fees Regulations, in consideration that 'where a
reasonable estimate has been made that the appropriate limit would be
exceeded, there is no requirement for a public authority to undertake work
up to the limit.'. For this reason the your remaining questions were not
required to be answered.    

However, in the same respect as the previous response, I find that at this
point it should also have been explained that due to the related subject
matter of your questions, they had all been aggregated and refused on cost
grounds in full. The MPS was therefore not required to answer the
remaining parts of your request or work up to the cost limit if it was
already estimated it would exceed 18 hour to locate/retrieve or extract
information even one aggregated part. I do not believe focusing on
question two was a deliberate attempt to avoid answering the remaining
parts of your request.

Whilst the MPS was not required to work up to the 18 hour limit or to
answer the remaining parts of your request, I note that in order to assist
you under Section 16 of the Act, information was provided in respect of
question two. It was explained that avoid another cost refusal you could
narrow your request for information held for Westminster BOCU, by Station,
by Month for the timeframe already stated, but for the First arrest
offence only.

On review of your questions and assistance provided under Section 16, I
find the MPS was not required to explain how you could narrow each and
every question posed. However, in consideration this was an already
refined request, I do think it would have been more helpful for you if the
original response had explained whether the other parts of your request
(questions one and three could be answered within the cost threshold or
whether you would avoid exceeding the cost threshold by narrowing the
scope of your request through refining question two only. Additionally it
should have been explained why the MPS was not required to comply with the
remaining parts of your request.

I have therefore informed the original case owners (Ms Solomon in respect
of your first request and Mr Lyng in respect of the second), that where
Section 12 applies to an aggregated request, it should be clearly
explained that the exemption applies to the request in full. I have also
explained that where possible, the MPS should assist in explaining which
questions posed could be narrowed in scope or whether there is no
possibility for this.

In general respect of the second request, I believe the MPS had adequately
tried to assist you under Section 16 of the Act, and did not deliberately
try to avoid providing information for certain parts of your request.

Since your complaint was received (on 10/1/12), I understand question one
and three of this request
has actually now been answered under third case number 2012010001358. I do
hope this information was helpful.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to contact the Information
Commissioner with your complaint.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on 020 7161 3604 or at the address at the top of this letter,
quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Ms S. Strong
FOIA Complaints Officer

Legal Annex

The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and
Fees) Regulations 2004
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/...
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/...

ICO Decision Notice (FS50194062) - National Savings and Investment
http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/d...

Section 1(1)(a)(2)(3) (General right of Access) of the Act provides:
1 General right of access to information held by public authorities.

(1)Any person making a request for information to a public authority is
entitled—
(a)to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds
information of the description specified in the request, and
(b)if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him.
(2)Subsection (1) has effect subject to the following provisions of this
section and to the provisions of sections 2, 9, 12 and 14.
(3)Where a public authority—
(a)reasonably requires further information in order to identify and locate
the information requested, and
(b)has informed the applicant of that requirement,
the authority is not obliged to comply with subsection (1) unless it is
supplied with that further information.

Section 17(5) (Refusal of a Request) of the Act provides:
(5)A public authority which, in relation to any request for information,
is relying on a claim that section 12 or 14 applies must, within the time
for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice stating that
fact.

Section 12(2)(Cost exceeds appropriate limit) of the Act provides:
(2)Subsection (1) does not exempt the public authority from its obligation
to comply with paragraph (a) of section 1(1) unless the estimated cost of
complying with that paragraph alone would exceed the appropriate limit.
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

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Dear Ms Strong,

Thank you for your review. You wrote "I have also explained that where possible, the MPS should assist in explaining which questions posed could be narrowed in scope or whether there is no possibility for this." This recommendation would be useful and I hope you'll share it more widely than just with the two case owners involved in this FOI request.

Yours faithfully,

David Mery

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