wildlife and environmental crime statistics, Chichester District

Paula Chatfield made this Freedom of Information request to Sussex 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 Sussex Police.

Paula Chatfield

Dear Sirs,

for each of the last 5 years* and within the Chichester District**, please supply details of the wildlife and environmental crimes reported to Sussex Police, including:
- the number of potential crimes reported;
- the types of potential crimes reported (e.g. disturbing nesting birds, illegal uprooting of wild plants, hunting with dogs, etc ***);
- any information you have on the source of the reports (e.g. member of the public, public authority, landowner where the crime took place);
- the outcome of those reports (e.g. no action, education, taken to court - not convicted, taken to court - conviction); and
- any penalty/sentence that resulted from a conviction; or
- any insight you have as to why a report failed to achieve prosecution/conviction.

Please also advise if you analyse the cost of policing wildlife and environmental crime, the cost headings you use, and the amount spent on policing in each of the years for which you provide data. Please give details of any specific wildlife/environmental crime prevention initiatives you have undertaken in each period. (If not available at District level, Sussex-wide would be acceptable.)

I have not seen any local wildlife/environmental crime statistics, yet hear of destruction that would constitute such a crime and of crimes unreported. They are not victimless crimes, even on a human level (where both our individual wellbeing and our public economic interests are affected, e.g. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio... ). I would like to understand the performance of Sussex Police in the wildlife/environmental crime sector in the area I live.

As well as this FOI request relating to data, it would be much appreciated if I could have a conversation with a relevant officer to improve my understanding of current Sussex policing practice and experience in relation to wildlife and environmental crime.

With thanks,

Paula Chatfield

* either calendar or budget years, whichever is easier for you, so long as consistent
** either Chichester District Council area, or similar if you use different boundaries
*** I do not know what classifications you use (e.g. if you differentiate between crimes against different species and/or habitats, and/or by Statute/section of Statute).

Sussex Police

Date: 07/04/2021

Your Ref: wildlife and environmental crime statistics, Chichester District

Our Ref: FOI 1172/21

Contact Name: Roger Brace FOI Officer
Email : [email address]

Contact number: 101 ext 545251

Dear Paula,

Thank you for your request which was received by Sussex Police.

This request will be dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and you will receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, from the date of receipt. In some circumstances Sussex Police 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.

Please Note:
Sussex Police are currently receiving a high volume of FOI requests at a time of reduced staffing levels to process them. Every effort is being made to comply with the statutory 20 working day response deadline but on occasions this may not be possible – we apologise for the inconvenience this may cause.

Yours sincerely

FOI

Sussex Police HQ
Lewes
BN7 2DZ

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Paula Chatfield

Dear Sussex Police,

as the deadline of 4th May 2021 for responding to this FOI request has passed with no communication other than your acknowledgement (on 7th April), I would be grateful for your update of what progress you have made.

Yours faithfully,

Paula Chatfield

Paula Chatfield

Dear Sussex Police,

my Freedom of Information Act request of 7th April 2021 is now long overdue.

Your acknowledgement of my request confirmed I would "receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, from the date of receipt. In some circumstances Sussex Police 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." and warned that you are generally struggling to meet the FOI deadline.

Please advise progress with preparing your substantive response.

Yours faithfully,

Paula Chatfield

Sussex Police

Good morning,

Unfortunately we are currently experiencing a backlog of work which we are addressing in the order in which we received it. Due to the amount of time and work which each request takes, it is not possible to provide you with an estimated by which your request is likely to have been processed.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Kind regards

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Paula Chatfield

Dear Sussex Police,

thank you for explaining. Good luck with clearing the backlog.

It might help us folk asking FOI questions to see the "queuing" system, so we can see where we are in the queue (and how each request is getting nearer). I'm also assuming the necessary high-ups (including the Police and Crime Commissioner) are aware, so they can include this in resourcing and/or funding requests.

Thank you for everything you do.

Yours faithfully,

Paula Chatfield

Sussex Police

1 Attachment

 

 

FOI REF 1173/21

 

Dear Paula,

 

Freedom of Information

 

I refer to your request for information which may be held by Sussex
Police. I apologise for the significant delay.

 

Please find enclosed a letter.

 

Kind regards,

 

Information Access Officer

DPU, 3rd Floor Pevensey Block

Sussex Police HQ

BN7 2DZ

 

Tel: 01273 470101

 

You can report crime and incidents online at

[1]https://www.sussex.police.uk/report-online

We want to know your views - see what’s new and give us your feedback and
suggestions at [2]www.sussex.police.uk
If you have received this message in error, please contact the sender as
soon as possible - you may not copy it, or make use of any information
contained in it for any purpose, or disclose its contents to any other
person. Messages sent and received by Sussex Police are not private and
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References

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1. https://www.sussex.police.uk/report-online
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Paula Chatfield

Dear Sussex Police,

thank you for your reply dated 17th June 2021 - it is enlightening to understand that you do not create crime reports for wildlife crimes because they are "non-notifiable" or "non-recordable" (I'm assuming this means there is no central database to which the various Police forces are required to submit returns, nor performance measurement) and, in this context, I can understand your refusal of that aspect of my request.

Please would you consider and respond to the two other aspects of my original request:

"Please also advise if you analyse the cost of policing wildlife and environmental crime, the cost headings you use, and the amount spent on policing in each of the years for which you provide data. Please give details of any specific wildlife/environmental crime prevention initiatives you have undertaken in each period. (If not available at District level, Sussex-wide would be acceptable.)"
(Could this be for 5 years, please, as there are no years of data?)

"As well as this FOI request relating to data, it would be much appreciated if I could have a conversation with a relevant officer to improve my understanding of current Sussex policing practice and experience in relation to wildlife and environmental crime."

It seems to me that it's really difficult to get a picture of what's happening with wildlife crime, and consider the prioritisation of resources needed to tackle it, if data on it isn't being collected and able to be analysed, so I (or someone more appropriate than me) will need to raise this with the Chief Constable, our Police and Crime Commissioner, and/or whoever is appropriate at a national level. I'd rather do this with the most accurate understanding of current knowledge and practice that I can and would much appreciate your help to improve my understanding.

With best wishes,

Paula Chatfield