WM Police fatal collision in Birmingham 22 January 2019

dennis fallon made this Freedom of Information request to Independent Office for Police Conduct

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 partially successful.

Dear Independent Office for Police Conduct,
I note that on Tuesday 22nd January 2019 West Midlands Police were involved in a 12 mile high speed chase through the streets of Birmingham, following a vehicle desperate to escape and which ignored red lights,drove the wrong way down a dual carriageway and was finally involved in a fatal collision with another vehicle at a junction.
The Court case has now been completed and the errant driver pleaded guilty and was sentanced to 9 years, presumeably to be released in 4.5 years because of his guilty plea.

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/black-c...

I note that IOPC Regional Director Derrick Campbell announced the following day that he would be completing an investigation into the circumstances.
Now that the Court case has been completed I would appreciate clarification of some details which the media have failed to report clearly and thus causes confusion.

FOI Q1.Please disclose a copy of the referral made to the IOPC by West Midlands Police ,regarding the collision incident of 22nd January 2019, so the details of the stages of the pursuit can be understood.
FOI Q2.Please disclose a copy of the IOPC report completed by Regional Director Derrick Campbell and advise to who the report was circulated after being completed or, if not yet completed, who is due to be copied in on the report and when is it due for completion.

End of FOI request.

Thanking you in anticipation.
Yours faithfully,
Dennis Fallon (BScHons)

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Dear Independent Office for Police Conduct,
Incident reported locally and nationally
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article...

Yours faithfully,
Dennis Fallon(BScHons)

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Dear Mr Fallon
 
Thank you for your email to the IOPC requesting information. This request
is being considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).  We
will now consult with the relevant department to gather the response to
your request.
 
We propose to respond to you on or before the 22 March 2019 in line with
the timescales prescribed by the FOIA.
 
If you have any questions about this request please contact us. Please
remember to quote reference number 1007459 in any future correspondence
about this request.
 
Yours sincerely
Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)
PO Box 473
Sale
M33 0BW
[1]www.policeconduct.gov.uk 
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dennis fallon left an annotation ()

It will be interesting to see how long Darren Ogom survives in jail after this police related incident.

!Request Info, Independent Office for Police Conduct

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Dear Mr Fallon

Please find attached our interim response to your request for information.

Yours sincerely

Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)
PO Box 473
Sale
Manchester
M33 0BW

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Dear !Request Info,
Reference number 1007459
I note that your interim response is simply a request for more time to decide what should be revealed to the public,QUOTE,"Information can be refused under section 30 only when the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure. We now need further time to decide where the balance of the public interest lies and expect to reach our decision within 20 working days of the initial due date for compliance, meaning that you can expect a final decision by the 23 April 2019."
I appreciate that your Regional Director Derrick Campbell is focussed on investigating the recent deaths of Sean Fitzgerald and Trevor Smith shot during seperate Police raids,but the deaths/injuries caused by police chases are far more common and an ongoing cause for concern amongst many motorists who might randomly be killed or injured as a result.

My questions are a serious public interest matter and excessive redactions would impact upon the integrity of both the police and the IOPC, there are aspects of this and many other chases which need to be explained and,sadly,the IOPC seems to have a heavy workload.
I am happy to wait,as long as I receive a quality reply,and if you can complete well before 23rd April it would be appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Dennis Fallon(BScHons)

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Dear Independent Office for Police Conduct,
Whilst I await the delayed FOI response from your office I would appreciate knowing why the additional time is required,as I thought your office was supposed to be `independent`and would be able to provide release simply on the basis on information held,with minor redactions as per normal policy.I would appreciate knowing if the delay is being generated by outside influences,such as legal or police,and,if so,please identify the nature of the delay.

Yours faithfully,

Dennis Fallon(BScHons)

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Dear Independent Office for Police Conduct,
Sorry about the confusion you may be experiencing but I am not being vexatious but simply researching the nature of police pursuits and how they are reported to the media.I currently have only two police chases under review with you,one for Staffordshire Police 1007491 which is now subject to appeal,and this one for West Midlands Police 1007459 which is subject to unexpected delay.
This public website is an invaluable opportunity for the IOPC to demonstrate their standards of independence and transparency and should be a useful historical research tool.
To clarify,I will reiterate my recent clarification request,confirming that it relates to request 1007459 West Midlands Police.
Quote "Whilst I await the delayed FOI response from your office( ref 1007459) I would appreciate knowing why the additional time is required,as I thought your office was supposed to be `independent`and would be able to provide release simply on the basis on information held,with minor redactions as per normal policy.I would appreciate knowing if the delay is being generated by outside influences,such as legal or police,and,if so,please identify the nature of the delay".

Yours faithfully,

Dennis Fallon(BScHons)

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Dar Mr Fallon

The delay is to allow us more time to consider the public interest arguments because we consider that some of the material you have requested engages an exemption under section 30 of the FOIA, which is a qualified exemption. A qualified exemption means that it is subject to a public interest test.

Section 10(3) of the FOIA enables a public authority to extend the 20 working day limit where it requires more time to determine whether or not the balance of the public interest lies in maintaining the exemption.

As I am sure you can appreciate, information we hold regarding investigations can be extremely sensitive and we require additional time to consider the public interest arguments related to this material and to decide whether the exemption should be maintained or information should be disclosed.

Yours sincerely

Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)
PO Box 473
Sale
Manchester
M33 0BW

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Dear !Request Info,
Thank you for your prompt reply.I live within the West Midlands Police area so I have a genuine concern about dangerous police chases involving low grade known criminals who could easily be arrested at a later opportunity and are instead panicked into driving recklessly .I know of several incidents over recent years which have resulted in disaster for innocent parties.Quite often there has been no real need for the extreme chase if the police had planned their early interventions more cleverly and,in this case and the Staffordshire chase I am concurrently questioning,there appears to have been a deployment of a stinger device that seems to have failed and this surely should be an issue of concern which is not being addressed.There can be no safe way to stop a determined criminal by chasing him from behind,and I am concerned that this particular incident involved at least three police vehicles over very many inner city roads, and the deployment of a stinger device, still ended in a nonprofessional outcome.
I hope you will disclose sufficient information to understand where the chase started,how it progressed,and where the stinger device was deployed,because if police chases are not properly scrutinised there will be no considerations for improvements .The appropriate authorities seem to be too busy to supervise incidents in detail so these information requests help provoke a little more consideration.
Thanking you in anticipation of the appropriate disclosures in due course.
Yours sincerely,

Dennis Fallon(BScHons)

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Dear Mr Fallon

Please find attached our response to your request for information.

Yours sincerely

Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)
PO Box 473
Sale
Manchester
M33 0BW

www.policeconduct.gov.uk 
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Dear Independent Office for Police Conduct,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Independent Office for Police Conduct's handling of my FOI request 'WM Police fatal collision in Birmingham 22 January 2019'.
Unfortunately I find the response to be unsatisfactory due to apparently unjustified excessive redactions and no identification of the person who prepared the response,as accountability should be a feature demonstrating transparency and maturity of your actions.The appeal review is supposed to be completed by a different person to the original response and it is not demonstratably provable that this will be done, these cobwebs of secrecy within the IOPC are not acceptable to the general public and do not instil confidence.
To clarify my review request, although the disclosed notification from West Midlands Police helpfully demonstrates the lack of real detail supplied, and which totally plays down the dangerous extensive nature of the chase before it was allegedly called off, the notification is still excessively redacted without proper explanation, considering that the `offender`has now been through the Court process and been sent back to jail and there has been no mention of any officers being subject to proceedings for the way the chase was carried out, so there is no further legal action lined up.
Accordingly,I would like the redactions removed from section J,Sub Judice considerations, because in law, sub judice, Latin for "under judgment", means that a particular case or matter is under trial or being considered by a judge or court, and this restriction no longer exists.
I note that regarding section D,details of officers involved has been left totally blank, no one identified who might be subject to interview regarding the reasons and nature of the chase and similar blankness in section E, Address where the incident took place , please advise if the location should have been identified or is this a design fault of the IOPC referral document.
The most important part of the referral, section F the FULL details of the incident, is strangely relegated to the bottom of the third page,after the large spaces allocated to questions about ethnic beliefs,sexual orientation and religious beliefs, which are indicative of the mentality and priorites currently in place, but not only are WM Police`s FULL details of the incident massively incomplete and provide a misleading skew but they are also heavily redacted for no apparent justified reason. I would appreciate a review of EACH of the redactions within section F with a justification for each.Something is being covered up that should not be covered up without good reason.
Section G,all relevant factors, appears to have been inaccurately completed by the police in that they failed to include RTA and drugs in part 1, yet when they do mention drugs in G part 3 the details are redacted out, and I can see no good reason for it and would appreciate justification for the ongoing redaction.

I do not rate your IOPC referral form very highly,it appears to be a badly designed document that does not prioritise information appropriately and does not allow data to be retrieved easily as,for example in this case,the form does not clearly identify the incident was provoked as a result of a police chase, a very common occurence, and therefore would not be easily identified by your information search procedures.
It seems a common policy for organisations to record their informations in a disorganised manner that cannot be interogated for retrieval within cost limits but the IOPC do not have to follow the trend.

I accept the redactions reference personal data in parts A to E of the referral form, and the last paragraph of part F(1), but I would appreciate all of the other redactions removed unless you can provide justification for each redaction individually.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/w...
Thanking you in anticipation of completion by a named person,

Yours faithfully,

Dennis Fallon(BScHons)

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Dear Mr Fallon

Thank you for your email. We will be conducting an internal review of our original FOIA response and expect to provide you with our findings on or before 23 May 2019.
If you have any further queries regarding this matter, please contact us quoting reference number IR1007459.

Yours sincerely

Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)
PO Box 473
Sale
Manchester
M33 0BW

www.policeconduct.gov.uk 
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Dear Mr Fallon

Please find attached our letter responding to your request for internal review, together with the redacted document to which the letter refers.

Yours sincerely

Independent Office for Police Conduct
PO Box 473
Sale
M33 0BW

Find out how we handle your personal data on our website.

www.policeconduct.gov.uk 
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Dear Karen Jamieson,
Thank you for the partially helpful response but I would appreciate clarification as to how your organisation deals with FOI requests and appeals to understand the process.
Your response to my FOI Q1 appeal states "It is not clear why you believe the response was prepared by an unnamed person.The response was signed by Regional Director Derrick Campbell" but this is obviously not true, it was signed by someone with the apparent surname `Wilson`allegedly on behalf of Mr Campbell.
My requests were very simple, basically Q1 Disclose police referral Form,and Q2 Disclose the IOPC if yet completed by Mr Cambell, and the initial IOPC response was,basically,can only reveal a heavily redacted referral Form because the IOPC had not completed their report and it might lead to unwarrented intrusion, and you had no anticipated date for completion of the report.
The clarification I require is to understand why there has been,and is still ongoing ,such large amounts of redactions when Court proceedings have been completed and no Officers accused of behaving inappropriately.
Some details mentioned during the trial process( which obviously should be absolutely correct) differ significantly from the police story outlined clumsily in the referral form, which really should be a cause for concern as the IOPC rely upon these forms for their initial comprehension.

Clarification Point 1.How was my original FOI request dealt with by the IOPC?Was it forwarded to Mr Campbell for his personal attention, and was he the person who decided upon the level of redactions and did he receive legal advice to confirm his actions, and why did he not sign it himself?It was signed on his behalf so I wish to clarify his level of involvement in my simple request. Disclosures are supposed to comply with the FOIA unless there are good reasons to with hold information, please advise the reasons why it was originally considered necessary to redact the reported time of the incident and the fairly obvious fact that someone was going to be prosecuted,realistically why were you attempting to hide these basic realities and say they were sub judice when the case was already concluded?.

Clarification Point 2.Despite the Court case being finished,Mr Cambell has not yet completed the IOPC report and you have no idea when it will be completed.Please confirm,in this case where no Officers are suspected of being at fault,what is the latest date acceptable to the IOPC for the report to be completed, or will it just be forgotten about?

Thank you in anticipation of clarification
Yours sincerely,

Dennis Fallon(BScHons)

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Dear Mr Fallon

Thank you for your email.

The purpose of the internal review was to address the objections you raised regarding the redactions made. We have outlined our reasoning and rationale for the initial redactions as well as the public interest arguments in our initial decision letter of 23 April 2019 and explained our slightly revised decision in the internal review letter of 23 May 2019 and therefore do not feel that it is necessary to revisit this matter. We explained that a publication decision regarding our findings in respect of this investigation will be made at the appropriate time, taking into account our publication policy. If you remain dissatisfied with our response following the Internal Review then you should contact the Information Commissioner's Office, as advised in our letter of 23 May.

In terms of your 'clarification point 1', Mr Campbell is an Information Asset Owner responsible for investigation information within the Midlands region. As such he makes the final decision regarding what is released to ' the world at large' as part of any FOI request involving the data falling within his remit. In line with our normal procedures in handling FOI requests, he was made aware of your request on receipt, consulted regarding the approach and approved the final response. The letter was signed on his behalf because the administrative task of sending the response electronically was conducted from a different physical office.

In terms of 'clarification point 2' we are not aware that you have any status as an 'interested person' for this investigation as defined by section 21 of the Police Reform Act 2002 and therefore we are not under any obligation to keep you informed of the progress. As explained on our response letters of 23 April and 23 May 2019 a decision regarding publication of our findings will be made at the appropriate time once the investigation and all related proceedings are concluded. We have no other comment to make.

Yours sincerely

FOI and DPA Team
Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)
PO Box 473
Sale
Manchester
M33 0BW
Tel: 0300 020 0096
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Dear !Request Info,
Thank you for clarifying that the extensive redactions are the responsibility of your Regional Director Derrick Campbell and you feel that he does not have to explain anything he wishes to conceal or provide a date for the completion of his report.
I have posted this request on a public website to allow the public to judge the levels of transparency displayed by the allegedly new and improved version of the IPCC and see if it inspires public confidence.
On the basis of the revelations so far, I note that WM Police Professional Standards Department provided the IOPC with a VERY unsatisfactory and misleading version of events which tones down the extreme nature of the chase, saying in section F(Full details of incident) "At 2336 hours on 22nd January 2018 a Renault Megane(REDACTED....) "travelling in excess of the speed limit" when Court transcripts mention the chase FINISHED,not commenced, at 23.36 after covering many miles,exceeded speeds of 100mph,involved a Renault Scenic not a Megane, and was occured in 2019 not 2018.
Amazingly the politically correct data required at the start of the referral form,namely the complainant`s Ethnic Origin,Sexual Orientation,and Religion and Beliefs are all completed as `unknown`when the complainant was actually a police employee and,as such, all this data would be a requirement for joining the police service?
The Court records also disclose the offender had only just been released from prison and was driving after taking cocaine.
https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/black-c...
It has been very interesting seeing howing the police referral form differs from the reality of events and how your Mr Campbell applies excessive redactions.

Thank you for directing me to the Information Commissioner for further review.
Yours sincerely,

Dennis Fallon(BScHons)

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