Use of section 50 Police Reform Act Provisions

Val Swain made this Freedom of Information request to Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

The request was refused by Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

From: Val Swain

17 January 2012

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I would like to request details of the use of powers under section
50 of the Police Reform Act 2002(which allows the police to demand
personal details) on demonstrations.

Specifically, I would like details of:

The number of times this provision was used in relation to the
electricians protest on 9th November. If you do not have such
specific details, please could you provide the total number of
times this provision was used to obtain details from any protester
on 9th November.

The number of times this provision was used in relation to the
protest at Panton Street on 30th November 2011, where a number of
demonstrators were contained.

The number of times this provision was used in relation to the
Congolese demonstration that took place on the 14th December 2011
in Whitehall, Trafalgar Square and Charing Cross Road.

Yours faithfully,

Val Swain

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Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

17 January 2012

Dear Ms Swain

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012010002148
I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 17/01/2012.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

* "I would like to request details of the use of powers under section 50
of the Police Reform Act 2002(which allows the police to demand
 personal details) on demonstrations. Specifically, I would like
details of:  The number of times this provision was used in relation
to the electricians protest on 9th November. If you do not have such
specific details, please could you provide the total number of  times
this provision was used to obtain details from any protester on 9th
November.  The number of times this provision was used in relation to
the protest at Panton Street on 30th November 2011, where a number of
demonstrators were contained. The number of times this provision was
used in relation to the Congolese demonstration that took place on the
14th December 2011 in Whitehall, Trafalgar Square and Charing Cross
Road. "    

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).

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Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

2 February 2012

Dear Ms Swain

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2012010002148

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 17/01/2012. I note you seek
access to the following information:

"I would like to request details of the use of powers under section 50 of
the Police Reform Act 2002(which allows the police to demand personal
details) on demonstrations. Specifically, I would like details of: The
number of times this provision was used in relation to the electricians
protest on 9th November. If you do not have such specific details, please
could you provide the total number of times this provision was used to
obtain details from any protester on 9th November. The number of times
this provision was used in relation to the protest at Panton Street on
30th November 2011, where a number of demonstrators were contained. The
number of times this provision was used in relation to the Congolese
demonstration that took place on the 14th December 2011 in Whitehall,
Trafalgar Square and Charing Cross Road. "

Before I explain the decisions I have made in relation to your request, I
thought that it would be helpful to outline the parameters set out by the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) within which a request for
information can be answered. To assist I have provided a legal annex.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 creates a statutory right of access to
information held by public authorities. A public authority in receipt of a
request must, if permitted, state under Section 1(a) of the Act, whether
it holds the requested information and, if held, then communicate that
information to the applicant under Section 1(b) of the Act.

The right of access to information is not without exception and is subject
to a number of exemptions which are designed to enable public authorities
to withhold information that is unsuitable for release. Importantly, the
Act is designed to place information into the public domain, that is, once
access to information is granted to one person under the Act, it is then
considered public information and must be communicated to any individual
should a request be received.

DECISION

This letter is to inform you that it will not be possible to respond to
your request within the cost threshold.

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.

Once part of the request goes over cost, the whole request is exempt by
virtue of section 12 and there is no obligation to answer any part of the
request. Therefore, In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act
2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice for the whole of your request
under Section 12 (2) (See ICO decision notice in Legal Annex).

REASONS FOR DECISION

You have asked for a vast amount of information which may be held by
individuals and departments throughout the MPS. It would require a
significant effort to locate and extract information that may or may not
be available. Having made numerous enquiries with various MPS central
departments such as Territorial Policing HQ, I have established that the
information you require is not held centrally though it may be held
locally and I estimate that the FOIA cost threshold would be exceeded on
the basis of the time needed to conduct the searches outlined below:

You have requested ‘details of the use of powers under section 50 of the
Police Reform Act 2002 (which allows the police to demand personal
details) on demonstrations’ and specifically ‘the number of times this
provision was used in relation to the electricians protest on 9th
November’ and if the specific details are not held you have asked for ‘
the total number of times this provision was used to obtain details from
any protester on 9th November. The number of times this provision was used
in relation to the protest at Panton Street on 30th November 2011, where a
number of demonstrators were contained. The number of times this provision
was used in relation to the Congolese demonstration that took place on the
14th December 2011 in Whitehall, Trafalgar Square and Charing Cross Road.’

There is no specific requirement for officers to record their use of
Section 50 of the Police Reform Act 2002. However, it is possible that
individual officers, if they have used this power, may record the
information in various formats. This information could potentially be
recorded in numerous places. For example the information may be recorded
in officers’ evidence and actions books, in notebooks or on Form 5090
(stop and search).

There were in excess of 4000 police officers deployed to police the public
sector, central London demonstrations of 30th November 2011 of which the
protest in Panton Street formed a part. Officers deployed could have been
from any of the 32 MPS boroughs. You have asked for statistical data
relating to the officers use of Section 50 of the Police Reform Act 2000
during the protest at Panton Street.

To provide you with the information you have requested would require a
disproportionate amount of time to retrieve. As previously explained, the
protest at Panton Street was part of the central London protest of 30th
November 2011. Firstly, I would have to establish which of the 4000 or
more officers were deployed specifically to Panton Street. This would
require contacting all 32 Boroughs (BOCU) and specialist support
departments (Territorial Support Group (TSG), Dogs Support Units (DSU) and
others). Once the officers were identified, I would have to ask each
officer to recall if they used Section 50 of the Police Reform Act 2000 on
30th November 2011 and if they did, was the use recorded and in what
format (EAB, Notebook etc) before retrieval could commence.

For example, if I gave each BOCU just 30 minutes to identify how many
officers were deployed to Panton Street, it would take 16 hours leaving
just 2 hours for the specialist departments to retrieve the same
information. Furthermore, this would not have taken into account the time
already spent on the request and the time needed obtain the information
from the identified officers and the time required to retrieve the
information for the other dates you have asked about.

Section 16(duty to assist)

We are required to offer you the opportunity to redefine your request
within the cost limit; however the information you have requested is not
captured in a recordable format. Additionally, there is no legal
requirement to record the information related to your request.
If you wish to discuss redefining your request, please contact me on 020
7230 3153 or via email [email address]

Legal Annex

Section 12 (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.

Section 17 of the Act provides:

(1) A public authority which, in relation to any request for information,
is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision in part II relating
to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request or on a claim
that information is exempt information must, within the time for complying
with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which-
(a) states the fact,
(b) specifies the exemption in question, and
(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies.
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 31:

Provides an exemption for information if disclosure would be likely to
prejudice the enforcement of law.
31(1) Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30
is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be
likely to, prejudice;-
(a) the prevention or detection of crime,
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,
(c) the administration of justice,
(g) the exercise by any public authority of its functions for any of the
purposes specified in subsection (2),
(h) any civil proceedings which are brought by or on behalf of a public
authority and arise out of an investigation conducted, for any of the
purposes specified in subsection
(2), by or on behalf of the authority by virtue of Her Majesty's
prerogative or by virtue of powers conferred by or under an enactment,
31(2) The purposes referred to in subsection (1)(g) to (i) are;-
(a) the purpose of ascertaining whether any person has failed to comply
with the law,
(b) the purpose of ascertaining whether any person is responsible for any
conduct which is improper,
(c) the purpose of ascertaining whether circumstances which would justify
regulatory action in pursuance of any enactment exist or may arise,
31(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent
that, compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to,
prejudice any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1).

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to make a complaint.
Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on 0207 230 3153 or at the address at the top of this letter,
quoting the reference number above.
Yours sincerely
Yvette Taylor
Information Manager

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).

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