Was a Police Dog used ...

Richard Taylor made this Freedom of Information request to Cambridgeshire Constabulary

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 refused by Cambridgeshire Constabulary.

Could you please let me know if a police dog was used at about 0415 on the 15th of November 2008 to try and catch youths on the rampage damaging cars in Arbury, Cambridge.

Were the those responsible caught, either by the dog or by other means?

This request relates to incident number 15/11/08-144

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Richard Taylor

Cambridge

http://www.rtaylor.co.uk

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

Information on the background to this request is available on my website:
http://www.rtaylor.co.uk/rampage-in-arbu...

Cambridgeshire Constabulary

Dear Richard

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO: 0536/2008

We acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information (FOI) request which
was received by Cambridgeshire Constabulary on 17th November 2008.

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. You will receive a response within the statutory
timescale of twenty working days as defined by the Act. In some
circumstances, we may be unable to achieve this deadline. If this is the
case, you will be informed and given a revised time-scale at the earliest
opportunity.

If we require any further clarification regarding this request, you will be
notified.

We would advise you that the nature of certain requests may involve payment
of a fee. If this is the case, you will be notified.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
telephone on 0845 456 456 4 extension 2396 or email [Cambridgeshire Constabulary request email]

Regards

David Price
Information Access Office
Cambridgeshire Constabulary

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Cambridgeshire Constabulary

1 Attachment

Dear Richard

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO: 0536/2008

In reply to your request for information under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000, dated 17th November 2008 and was received in Cambridgeshire
Constabulary as:

1. Could you please let me know if a police dog was used at about 0415
on the 15th of November 2008 to try and catch youths on the rampage
damaging cars in Arbury, Cambridge.

2. Were the those responsible caught, either by the dog or by other
means?

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (The Act) requires us to handle all
requests in a manner that is blind to the identity of the requestor. Any
information released in response to a request is regarded as being
published, and therefore in the public domain without caveat.

Your questions relate to a specific incident or series of incidents which
occured in the Arbury area of Cambridge during the early morning of 15th
November 2008. I have considered your request and provide your response
below.

Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) places two duties
on public authorities. Unless exemptions apply, the first duty at S1(1)(a)
is to confirm or deny whether the information specified in a request is
held. The second duty at S1(1)(b) is to disclose information that has been
confirmed as being held. Where exemptions are relied upon s17(1) of the
FOIA requires that we provide the applicant with a notice which: a) states
that fact b) specifies the exemption(s) in question and c) states (if that
would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.

The Cambridgeshire Constabulary can neither confirm nor deny that it holds
the information you have requested as the duty in S1(1)(a) of the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 does not apply, by virtue of the following
exemption:

Section 30(3) Investigations. This exemption applies where the release of
any information will be detrimental to any investigation that has been
carried out or is still ongoing.

Section 30 is a qualified exemption and requires us to carry out a public
interest balancing test before it can be relied upon. In respect of this
exemption, we have determined that in all the circumstances of the case,
the public interest in maintaining the exclusion of the duty to confirm or
deny outweighs the public interest in confirming whether we hold the
information.

Public Interest Disclosure Considerations

The request asked questions around specific policing activity on 15th
November. To confirm or deny whether any specific action had been taken
would undermine any ongoing investigations and may potentially reveal
policing tactics which would itself undermine the efficient and effective
actions of the constabulary.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary is committed to demonstrating accountability in
respect to its activities especially in this type of incident. However if
we were to either confirm or deny these questions it is possible that
other and future investigations will be compromised by the need to release
information of this nature. This may well help other subjects avoid
detection, and inhibit the prevention and detection of crime.

Factors favouring Compliance with Section 1(1)(a) (To confirm or deny)

Confirming or denying that we have deployed police dogs in the policing of
this incident would increase public scrutiny of police actions and in turn
hold the police service to account. It would additionally allow for the
public to be able to be better informed as to the use of resources and thus
further both public awareness and informed debate.

Factors Favouring the Need to Neither Confirm Nor Deny

Any disclosure of information under the FOI Act is a release of the
information to the whole world in general and not to an individual
applicant. Therefore simply confirming or not that such information was
held would disclose activity relevant to the request as both a positive or
a negative answer would give an insight into our managing the tactics in
incidents of this nature. It is also extremely rare that details of an
active investigation, such as you request, would be disclosed as to do so
would compromise future law enforcement through revealing specific tactics.

An example of where this harm could occur may best be demonstrated with a
fictional scenario. If I made a Freedom of Information request, asking for
confirmation of whether police dogs were deployed in the event of a public
disturbance and that information were to be provided; there would be the
unintended consequence that an individual planning a similar disturbance
would be able to use that information to their advantage in order to lessen
the effectiveness of that tactic.

In summary I need to balance where the public interest lies in relation to
the above. It is my decision that, at this time, the balance of public
interest favours maintaining our stance in being unable to confirm or deny
that the information in relation to your questions regarding the use of
police dogs exists.

However, this should not be taken as conclusive evidence that the
information requested exists or does not exist.

If you are unhappy with this response, please see the attachment below,
which sets out your rights to appeal.

(See attached file: Complaint Rights.pdf)

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact the Information Access Office via email, or on telephone number
0845 456 456 4 extension 2396.

Regards

David Price
Information Access Office
Cambridgeshire Constabulary

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