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Slamming Vinyl 2015 Policing Operation

Question

I would like to submit a Freedom of Information request in regard to the Slamming Vinyl 2015 event held on 31st October at the Bath and West Showground.

My requests are:

1. What are the total policing costs for all staff, whether charged to the organiser or not, for the planning and policing operation?

2. What sum of this total policing cost was charged to the Event Organiser?

3. What is the summary of police human resources by rank, role and hours worked / deployed to the planning and policing operation?

4. A copy of a redacted Operational Order for A&SC staff engaged at the event.

5. A summary of any debrief minutes / points post event.

Answer

1+2. The total cost recorded is £7,357.72. The full amount was recovered.

3. With regards to the hours worked please see the below:

Rank Grade

Total Hours

Constables

63

Sergeants

9

C/Inspectors

9

Specials

36

Total

117

4. Attached is a copy of the Operational order. Some redactions have been made concerning personal details of individuals who would not have an expectation that their information would become public.  The exemption applicable to the information is Section 40 (2), third party personal information, this is an Absolute exemption. Any information to which a request relates is exempt if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject and if disclosure of that information to a member of the public would contravene any of the principles of the 1998 Data Protection Act. In this particular case, disclosure of this information would contravene Principles 1 and 2 of the Act, whereby personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and only obtained for one or more specified purpose or purposes.

In addition some entries have been redacted as it relates to information concerning law enforcement (section 31 (1)(a),(b),(c)).  Section 31 is a qualified and prejudice based exemption which means there is a requirement to identify and evidence the harm that would be caused by disclosure and consideration given to the public interest. A full public interest and harm test has been provided at the end of this request.

5. A Safety Advisory Group meets at Bath & West regularly. You will need to apply to the Local Authority (Mendip Council) to obtain a copy of any minutes held relating to the de-briefing of this event.

Public Interest and Harm test – Law Enforcement (section 31(1) (a),(b),(c)) – question 4

 

Harm

There are concerns associated with the release of this specific information as law enforcement could be adversely affected, impacting on our ability to prevent or detect crime. Specific locations or persons could be targeted as a result of the release of this information, which could ultimately lead to pubic unrest. Operational information concerning officer and resource deployment, intelligence gathering, crime prevention tactics, emergency response procedures, and detailed maps of events would be highly valuable to members of the less law abiding fraternity and enable them to not only avoid detection but would greatly hinder our ability to police efficiently and ensure the safety of the general public. 

Public Interest Test

 

Factors favouring disclosure

Use of Police resources at festivals and events is of public interest. Disclosure of this information would contribute to the accuracy and quality of public debate. In addition disclosure would demonstrate that the Constabulary is effective and transparent in our decision making and may improve public confidence in how these events are policed and how we maintain public safety.

Factors favouring non-disclosure

Information will not be disclosed where the current or future law enforcement capabilities of the force could be compromised by the release of that information, i.e. where the prevention/detection of crime, the apprehension/prosecution of offenders or the administration of justice may be hindered as a result of the release of that information.

The operational order contains tactical information. Disclosure of specific details such as Police resources available, where they will be located at any time, details of multi-agency working, contingency planning, crime prevention tactics and operational telephone numbers would cause considerable harm to policing if disclosed.  Many policing tactics utilised by the Police today, have been in use for an undetermined length of time due to their proven ability to assist in the prevention and detection of crime.  To disclose police tactics would render these methods less effective ultimately undermining policing and resulting in new tactics needing to be developed and employed which may take a considerable amount of time. An increase in crime would be the definitive result. 

Disclosure of this information could seriously hamper the prevention or detection of crime as it would reveal to the criminal fraternity information which could be used to their advantage. Furthermore, by identifying the constabulary’s capability and any vulnerability to the criminal community would enable them to be more effective in carrying out criminal activities at future events.

Release of this information could potentially cause harm to individuals, including officers and members of the public and if there is a risk that the future law enforcement role of the force could be compromised and the publics' safety put at risk, it cannot be justified that the publics' interest would be served in releasing this specific information if either of these aspects were to be compromised in any way.

Balance test

When balancing the public interest test we have to consider whether the information should be released into the public domain.  Arguments need to be weighed against each other. 

The benefits of public debate are recognised, however the comparative arguments in favour of non-disclosure, which in this case is our ability to prevent and detect crime, by far out way these.  The Police service will not disclose information which will undermine law enforcement thereby assisting those intent on committing crime.  On balance therefore the decision is that those parts of the operational order deemed sensitive will not be disclosed.  This represents a refusal notice for this part of your request.

 

FOI reference: 548/16.

Date of request: 09.04.16.

Related documents

  • PDF icon Operational Order
    Last updated: 15 August 2016