Weeding Process & Cessation

Mr P Swift made this Freedom of Information request to West Midlands Police Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was refused by West Midlands Police.

Dear West Midlands Police,

I am seeking clarification of a previous response - link below. I ask to be provided the following information:

1. the data supplier referred to
2. the name of the new system to which you refer and if the 'system' is a policy, a copy of the policy
3. the date the 'system' was implemented and any notes/guidance associated with its implementation
4. an explanation of your statement a vehicle reported stolen is 'switched to PNC' and information held about this process.

The above information will address the 'new' process you have described:

‘When a Car is reported stolen and we add to PNC it does weed after 6 weeks if it is not confirmed, and years ago we used to wait for it to be crimed before confirming however this is no longer the case and was changed when our new system was implemented...'

You have written 'Los report added to PNC and automatically confirmed even if not crimed, hence stays on PNC and does not weed'

the information I am seeking is:

5. the date did this 'automatic confirmation' commence i.e. from what date did the 6-week 'weed' no longer occur
6. the notes and guidance issued about this change of process - I assume there was a change in procedure/software that was circulated to relevant parties

Yours faithfully,

Mr P Swift

xref:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...
WMP:
Should you wish to progress this enquiry you will need to submit a new request and advise what specific recorded information it is that you require. We require specific search parameters in order that we can allocate the request to the most appropriate department/s to research and retrieve information requested

Freedom of Information, West Midlands Police

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Freedom of Information, West Midlands Police

Dear Mr Swift

 

FOI Request Reference: 1792A/23

Thank you for your requests for information, received 16/11/23 and
20/11/23. As advised previously, we require specific search parameters in
order that we can allocate requests to the most appropriate department/s
to research and retrieve information requested. The authority is not
obliged to cross-reference other information, documents, and links etc in
order to try and establish the specific information that an applicant
requires, and we will not refer back to previous correspondence to answer
questions that you may have on it. Therefore, references and links to
previous correspondence have been removed.

REQUEST 16/11/23

1. the data supplier referred to

2. the name of the new system and if the 'system' is a policy, a copy of
the policy

3. the date the 'system' was implemented and any notes/guidance associated
with its implementation

4. a vehicle reported stolen is 'switched to PNC' and information held
about this process.

5. the date did this 'automatic confirmation' commence i.e. from what date
did the 6-week 'weed' no longer occur

6. the notes and guidance issued about this change of process

 

REQUEST 20/11/23

10/11/2023 you provided vehicle information - WMP recorded make/model
under 1,936 listings and for the months of January to June 2023, the total
is 7,530 vehicle thefts.  However, at you record 8,077 vehicles stolen, a
difference of almost 500 vehicles.   Please can you explain the
discrepancy?

 

RESPONSE

Please be advised that these questions do not constitute a valid request
for information under the FOI Act, as they are not a request for specific
recorded information held. This is invalid by virtue of Section 8. The
authority does not have to answer your question/s if this would mean
creating new information or giving an opinion or judgement that is not
already recorded.

 

I also refer to you my correspondence of 14/11/23, ref 1456A/23, in which
I advised that it is fair for WMP to point out that Section 14 (1) of the
Freedom of Information legislation states that an authority is not obliged
to comply with a request for information if the request is deemed
vexatious. Requests are deemed vexatious if they fit one of more of the
following criteria:

* Complying with the request would impose a significant burden on the
authority

* It is fair to regard the request as obsessive

* The request is harassing to the authority or causing distress to its
staff

* The request is designed to cause disruption or annoyance.

 

You have now submitted multiple requests with numerous overlapping e-mails
and questions, that are submitted before the Public Authority has had an
opportunity to address earlier enquiries. Appropriate advice on this has
been provided on each occasion, however you choose to disregard this. In
continuing to submit requests/correspondence of this type, despite our
advice to the contrary, evidence has been provided of a pattern of
behaviour that has been identified as being obsessive and vexatious, and
we will now apply the above exemption - Section 14(1), in relation to any
further requests that you submit in the same manner. They will not be
responded to.

 

I hope that this is of assistance and clarifies the matter.

 

RIGHT OF APPEAL

Your attention is drawn to your right to request a re-examination of your
case under West Midlands Police review procedure, which can be found at:

 

[1]http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/revie...

 

Please note that such an appeal must be received within 40 working days of
the date of this correspondence. Any such request received after this time
will only be considered at the discretion of the FOI Unit.

 

If you require any further information, then please e-mail the FOI Unit.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mrs R Williams l FOI Manager

Lloyd House l West Midlands Police

 

Working in partnership, making communities safer

 

This email is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged
or confidential information. If received in error, please notify the
originator immediately. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. Views or opinions
expressed in this email do not necessarily represent those of West
Midlands Police. All West Midlands Police email activity is monitored for
virus, racist, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate activity. No
responsibility is accepted by West Midlands Police for any loss or damage
arising in any way from the receipt or use of this email.

References

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Dear West Midlands Police,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of West Midlands Police's handling of my FOI request 'Weeding Process & Cessation'.

Dear West Midlands Police,
Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.
I am writing to request an internal review of West Midlands Police's handling of my FOI request 'Weeding Process & Cessation'.
I have made several overlapping or very similar requests.
I have done so seeking information
I am not asking questions.
I believe you know what I am asking for.
I am not being assisted
If, as you appear to believe, I am struggling to present my requests in a format you do understand, some hand-holding would be appreciated
You have stated, in a response 'weeding does not occur'
I have explained that it does. I can evidence this and it has arisen in 2023. I am at a loss to understand why facts are being misinterpreted.
The situation is of concern:

a you are correctly placing stolen VRMs to PNC LoS
b these LoS reports are not being confirmed within 6 weeks as a result
c the LoS marker falls from the PNC LoS register, the VRM is no longer recorded as stolen
d however the vehicles are not recovered, they are still stolen

in the instances I have noted during 2023, WMP did not advise the insurer or victim. WMP appear to have taken no action. Had it not been for my approach these VRMs would continue to return ‘clear’ on PNV LoS (possibly at DVLA). The chances of recovery would be greatly reduced if not nil. An insured/victim (if not receiving settlement) would be at a loss, and let down. An insurer, if having made a settlement, would lose the recovery opportunity, and be unlikely to reduce their loss.
The only party benefiting from the conduct is those who steal/handle vehicles. At a time when your crime levels are substantial, recoveries and prosecution low, I would expect my concern and request to be appreciated and handled professionally.
Kindly undertake your review so I can present to the ICO.
In the meantime, I shall monitor further instances of ‘weeding’ to ensure there has been a policy change – which would be after I raised the issue i.e. I hope to have achieved my purpose.

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

Yours faithfully,

Mr P Swift

Freedom of Information, West Midlands Police

Dear Mr Swift

 

FOI Internal Review References: 1867A/23 and 1868A/23

Thank you for your correspondence received 01/12/2023. You have requested
West Midlands Police to review its response to a request/s for information
but have not provided a reference number that the review relates to, what
specific information the review relates to, or your grounds for review.

 

Request Fri 01/12/2023 13:28

[1][FOI #1048628 email]

I am writing to request an internal review of West Midlands Police's
handling of my FOI request 'Weeding Process & Cessation'.

I have made several overlapping or very similar requests.

I have done so seeking information

I am not asking questions.

I believe you know what I am asking for.

I am not being assisted

If, as you appear to believe, I am struggling to present my requests in a
format you do understand, some hand-holding would be appreciated. You have
stated, in a response 'weeding does not occur'. I have explained that it
does.  I can evidence this and it has arisen in 2023.  I am at a loss to
understand why facts are being misinterpreted. The situation is of
concern:

a       you are correctly placing stolen VRMs to PNC LoS

b       these LoS reports are not being confirmed within 6 weeks as a
result

c       the LoS marker falls from the PNC LoS register, the VRM is no
longer recorded as stolen

d       however the vehicles are not recovered, they are still stolen

in the instances I have noted during 2023, WMP did not advise the insurer
or victim.  WMP appear to have taken no action.  Had it not been for my
approach these VRMs would continue to return ‘clear’ on PNV LoS (possibly
at DVLA).  The chances of recovery would be greatly reduced if not nil. 
An insured/victim (if not receiving settlement) would be at a loss, and
let down.  An insurer, if having made a settlement, would lose the
recovery opportunity, and be unlikely to reduce their loss.

The only party benefiting from the conduct is those who steal/handle
vehicles.  At a time when your crime levels are substantial, recoveries
and prosecution low, I would expect my concern and request to be
appreciated and handled professionally.

Kindly undertake your review so I can present to the ICO.

In the meantime, I shall monitor further instances of ‘weeding’ to ensure
there has been a policy change – which would be after I raised the issue
i.e. I hope to have achieved my purpose.

 

Request Fri 01/12/2023 14:54

[2][email address]

I am writing to request an internal review of West Midlands Police's
handling of my FOI request 'PNC LoS Weeding Numbers & Policy'.

I believe this to be a valid request

I have made several overlapping or very similar requests.

I have done so by seeking information

I am not asking questions.

I believe you know what I am asking for.

I am not being assisted

If, as you appear to believe, I am struggling to present my requests in a
format you do understand, some hand-holding would be appreciated. You have
stated, in a response 'weeding does not occur'. I have explained that it
does.  I can evidence this and it has arisen in 2023.  I am at a loss to
understand why facts are being misinterpreted. The situation is of
concern:

a       you are correctly placing stolen VRMs to PNC LoS

b       these LoS reports are not being confirmed within 6 weeks as a
result

c       the LoS marker falls from the PNC LoS register, the VRM is no
longer recorded as stolen

d       however the vehicles are not recovered, they are still stolen

in the instances I have noted during 2023, WMP did not advise the insurer
or victim.  WMP appear to have taken no action.  Had it not been for my
approach these VRMs would continue to return ‘clear’ on PNV LoS (possibly
at DVLA).  The chances of recovery would be greatly reduced if not nil. 
An insured/victim (if not receiving settlement) would be at a loss, and
let down.  An insurer, if having made a settlement, would lose the
recovery opportunity, and be unlikely to reduce their loss.

The only party benefiting from the conduct is those who steal/handle
vehicles.  At a time when your crime levels are substantial, recoveries
and prosecution low, I would expect my concern and request to be
appreciated and handled professionally.

Kindly undertake your review so I can present to the ICO.

In the meantime, I shall monitor further instances of ‘weeding’ to ensure
there has been a policy change – which would be after I raised the issue
i.e. I hope to have achieved my purpose

 

RESPONSE

Your correspondence has been considered and I am not obliged to comply
with Section 1(1) of the Act on this occasion, and am not obliged to try
and supply information as the requests are considered Vexatious under
Section 14(1). This response therefore acts as a refusal notice under the
terms of Section 17(1) of the Act.

 

We have repeatedly advised that we will not cross-reference other
information, documents, and links etc in order to try and establish the
specific information that an applicant requires, and we will not refer
back to previous correspondence to answer questions that you may have on
it. However, you continue to submit the same.

 

You have submitted multiple requests with numerous overlapping e-mails and
questions, that are submitted before the Public Authority has had an
opportunity to address earlier enquiries. Appropriate advice on this has
been provided on each occasion, however you choose to disregard this. In
continuing to submit requests/correspondence of this type, despite our
advice to the contrary, evidence has been provided of a pattern of
behaviour that has been identified as being obsessive and vexatious, and
we are now applying this exemption - Section 14(1).

In relation to any further requests that you submit in the same manner.
They will not be
responded to.

Section 14 (1) of the Freedom of Information legislation states that an
authority is not obliged to comply with a request for information if the
request is deemed vexatious for any of the following reasons:

* It is fair to regard the request as obsessive

* The request is harassing to the authority or causing distress to its
staff

*The request is designed to cause disruption or annoyance

*The request lacks any serious purpose or value

 

In this instance the force regards the submission of a request for a
review, that does not indicate which request the applicant is referring
to, specify the information the review relates to, or the grounds for
review as vexatious. You have also indicated that you have already made
the decision that you will not be satisfied with the response/s that we
provide, as you have already decided to contact the ICO to complain.

 

An obsessive request can be identified where a complainant continues with
a request(s) despite being in possession of other advice, or is still in
consultation over the same issue.

 

I have not reviewed all the correspondence that you have recently
submitted to us but reference the communications listed on just one chain
on the WDTK.com website to evidence our application of Section 14(1):

We responded to your request reference number 1296A/23 and advised that
part of the information was not retrievable within cost, but there was
information that would be available should you refine the request.

Instead you asked for an internal review, this was dealt with under
reference 1456A/23. We advised that the response provided to you explained
that all of the information that you requested was not held in a
retrievable format, and advised what parts of the request this exemption
applied to. Under Section 16 of the Act we advised what information may be
available to you should you wish to refine your request. The relevant
information that we may be able to provide was detailed alongside each
question.

You then contacted us to advise that you would like to continue with the
refined request, but also submitted a further 2 monologues to us that did
not serve any purpose or value in relation to the request we were
progressing.

You also submitted a complaint to the ICO, reference IC-262116-B4K0.

We provided the available information for your refined request 1296A/23.
You then contacted us 5 times in relation to this.

During our contact with you we advised that we noted that we had received
queries and e-mails in relation to the subject matter over the past few
days, and although we aim to provide data and responses to queries where
asked as soon as we can - sending multiple/overlapping queries and e-mails
in a short period can place an administrative burden and can cause
unnecessary delays, especially if the force have not yet responded to the
original queries. The FOI department apply the FOI legislation, therefore
we need to refer to the data supplier to clarify any queries that are
asked. We advised that we would provide a response to your queries as soon
as possible.

We also advised that some of the narrative that you provided does not
constitute a request for information under the FOI Act, as it is not a
request for specific recorded information held. It is therefore invalid by
virtue of Section 8. The authority does not have to answer your question/s
if this would mean creating new information or giving an opinion or
judgement that is not already recorded.
We advised that should you wish to progress an enquiry you will need to
submit a new request and advise what specific recorded information it is
that you require. We require specific search parameters in order that we
can allocate the request to the most appropriate department/s to research
and retrieve information requested. The authority is not obliged to
cross-reference other information, documents, and links etc in order to
try and establish the specific information that an applicant requires, and
we will not refer back to previous correspondence to answer questions that
you may have on it.

You further requested an Internal review.

This IR was recorded under reference number 1765A/23, and you were advised
that where an applicant has already requested an internal review due to
dissatisfaction with the handling of their case, they are not entitled to
further review in relation to another/a different aspect of their case.
You had already requested an internal review in relation to the response
provided to you under reference number 1296A/23, and this was dealt with
under reference number 1456A/23. We advised that we will not be further
reviewing the advice/decision that was given to you under
reference 1296A/23.

You then contacted us a further twice in relation to this, with the latter
being a request for an Internal Review.

During our contact with you I have referred to my previous correspondence,
ref 1456A/23, in which I advised that it is fair for WMP to point out that
Section 14 (1) of the Freedom of Information legislation states that an
authority is not obliged to comply with a request for information if the
request is deemed vexatious. Requests are deemed vexatious if they fit one
of more of the following criteria:

* Complying with the request would impose a significant burden on the
authority

* It is fair to regard the request as obsessive

* The request is harassing to the authority or causing distress to its
staff

* The request is designed to cause disruption or annoyance.

 

These latest correspondence are considered to be in the same pattern as
your previous and are considered as obsessive and designed to cause
disruption and/or annoyance. They are refused by virtue of Section 14(1).

 

If you are not content with the outcome of this, you have the right to
apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s
Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Link to their website: [3]FOI and EIR complaints | ICO

[4]Contact us | ICO

 

However, I note that they have also already issued a Decision Notice in
relation to the complaint that you submitted to them under reference
IC-262116-B4K0, so I am unsure if they will progress another complaint on
the same subject.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mrs R Williams l FOI Manager

Lloyd House l West Midlands Police

 

Working in partnership, making communities safer

 

This email is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged
or confidential information. If received in error, please notify the
originator immediately. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. Views or opinions
expressed in this email do not necessarily represent those of West
Midlands Police. All West Midlands Police email activity is monitored for
virus, racist, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate activity. No
responsibility is accepted by West Midlands Police for any loss or damage
arising in any way from the receipt or use of this email.

References

Visible links
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2. mailto:[email address]
3. https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/foi-...
4. https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/