Use of Tasers against ANY man or WOMAN
I am the agent for the fictional strawman that was created with the name Sarah Goldsmith made this Freedom of Information request to Home Office This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.
Dear Home Office,
On the 5th of May 2009 the Home Office issued a press release entitled : "Increase in taser use following rollout to more officers".
This contained the statement: "The £8 million fund to support the national roll-out from the trial has already led to forces taking up 7000 new Tasers."
I am aware this rollout is in line with increasingly detrimental (to me) legislatory acts, but under the FOI would you please inform me:
a) is the use of a 'taser' LAWFUL against ANY man or woman who does not give their consent under Common Law (which is a higher power than Statutory Acts)?
b) is it LAWFUL for ANY man or woman to be 'likewise armed' against corporate enforcers (commonly called 'police'), under Common Law if they do not give their consent to United Kingdom Corporation to assume the right to attack them with violent force?
Reference : T3547/10
Thank you for your e-mail enquiry of 20/02/2010 4:48:20 PM
A reply is attached.
Dear Home Office,
I thank you very much for your full and frank responce to my question.
Your reply 'almost' answers my question, so may I perhaps rephrase it by quoting somethig you said?
You state "The private ownership of prohibited weapons for self-protection is illegal in Great Britain and there are currently no plans to change this.",
Given that legal and LAWful are completely different 'animals', and 'prohibited' means by statute, (therefore legal - but NOT LAWful) and 'Great Britain' is a fictional legal (not LAWful) 'entity'- my FOI question is very clear and precise:
Is the private ownership of ANY weapon/s for self-protection (against the police force or any other) UNLAWFAL on the landmass commonly called ENGLAND?
Dear Home Office,
Thank you for your reply. You have stated statute (again) and called it LAW.
Please tell me what LAW I would have broken if I were to own any firearm for self defence in England?
Who would I be harming?
Who would I be taking from?
What would I be breaking?
How would his constitute mischief?
These are the FUNDAMENTALS OF LAW (rather than statute) as I know you know.
Dear Home Office,
YOU ARE BREAKING YOUR OWN LAW! This FOI request is now overdue. Please respond with the answer immediately.
Dear Home Office,
Will you continue to indefinitely ignore this FOI request? This clearly demonstrates the contempt you have for the legislation (I will not call them laws) that you assist in making!
Dear “Sarah Goldsmith”,
I write further to your email of the 20^th April 2010 which you submitted
via the whatdotheyknow.com website concerning the police use of Taser.
Your original email to the Home Office, dated the 20^th February 2010, was
not handled as a valid request under the Freedom of Information, but as
normal correspondence to the department in which you asked us a number of
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) provides a general right of
access to information held by a public authority. A valid request under
this Act must indicate what information you would like released. This is
provided under Section 8(1)(c) which states that a valid request must
describe the information requested. The Act places two key duties on
public authorities that are subject to it. These are provided in section
1(1) of the Act and state that any person making a [valid] request for
information is entitled to be informed (in writing) whether it holds the
information requested (section 1(1)(a)) and, if information is held, to be
provided with that information (section 1(1)(b)) unless that information
is considered to be exemption information. In other words, if a request
or question does not ask us about recorded information that is held by the
department, we are unable to meet out duties under section 1 of the Act –
we can’t answer a question under FoIA that doesn’t ask us about
information we might hold.
Whilst stating a desire to make an FoI request in any correspondence is a
clear indication of your intent, it does not necessarily mean that that
letter / email / correspondence is a valid request. Whilst some questions
can be considered as part of a valid FoI request, the onus is on the
receiving authority to correctly identify the appropriate legislation that
might apply to any piece of correspondence – i.e FoIA, the Data Protection
Act, the Environmental Information Regulations, Reuse of Public Sector
Information Regulations 2005, and so on.
Your letter of the 20^th February 2010 asked two questions as to whether
the use of Taser is lawful. Both questions started with, “Is it…” and did
not indicate at any point that you were asking for the Home Office to
search for and release any recorded information that is holds. As such,
your email was not treated as a valid FoI request and was instead passed
to the appropriate policy unit in the Home Office to answer your
questions. The Public Order Unit in the Home Office’s Crime and Policing
Group provided an answer to your questions on the 2^nd March 2010. This
was entirely in accordance with our correspondence handling guidelines.
You then submitted some follow up questions by email on the same day. For
the same reasons as I have described above, these two were handled as
normal correspondence and not as a request for information under the
Freedom of Information Act. A response was provided by the Public Order
Unit on the 15^th March 2010 which also, in my opinion, answered your
questions. I also consider that the questions you pose in your email of
the 15^th March 2010 have been answered in our correspondence of the 2^nd
and 15^th March 2010.
Because we have not handled any of your previous correspondence on this
topic under the provisions of the FoI Act, we can not conduct an Internal
However, in the hope it’ll help address the questions you have posed about
the relationship between Common Law, Statute Law and Acts or Parliament, I
have provided links below to several websites that, in my opinion, clearly
describe Common Law and Statutory Law and the difference between them.
In essence, Statute law is written law that refers to law that has been
created by Parliament in the form of legislation. Common Law is
essentially the way in which judges interpret the law using their
knowledge of legal precedent and common sense and by applying the facts of
the case they are hearing to those prior decisions. This means, as far as
I understand it, that Acts of Parliament (such as the Criminal Law Act
1967, the Firearms Act 1968 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
constitute as statute law.
If you would like to make a request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act, please indicate what information you would like us to
locate and release and we will be happy to progress it in accordance with
our obligations under the Act.
Information Access Consultant
Information Access Team
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