Added by Freedom of Information Team on 19 September 2016 at 12:57
I was wondering if you could you please provide me with an up to date fleet list for your force, please include any new '16' plate vehicles and new cars being commissioned if possible.
Please could you include:
-Full rear roof code
Please find the information attached.
With regards to the marked vehicles the make/model, registration plates, and roof codes have been provided where applicable. The vehicle roles and base however have been deemed exempt from disclosure. With regards to the unmarked vehicles the make/model has been provided, the registration, roof code, and vehicle role/base has been deemed exempt from disclosure. Details of covert vehicles have also not been included. The exemption applicable to the withheld information is section 31(1)(a)(b) of the act which relates to law enforcement. 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 which is below.
Section 31 considerations
Harm has been identified in providing you with the details of ‘vehicle role/base’ as release of this information could allow those intent on criminal behaviour to map our vehicle resources and establish specialist vehicles which would undermine law enforcement.
Although ‘marked’ police vehicles are identifiable in the public domain, it is not always clear what the specific function of each of these vehicles is. Therefore, providing you with information regarding the ‘vehicle role’ together with the ‘registration plate’ would also potentially divulge what these vehicles are used for. These details would allow those criminally minded to identify specific vehicles and use this information to evade apprehension thus negatively impacting on our ability to prevent and detect crime. Moreover, in this current climate to detail specific vehicle identification and locations could go some way to demonstrate our operational capacity and could lead to stations being targeted. This would hinder our ability to prevent and detect crime and as a result crime could escalate.
There are concerns associated with the release of any information that would identify covert vehicles as law enforcement could be adversely affected. The release of this information in relation to vehicles used for covert activities would equip individuals involved in criminal activity with an indication of our capabilities. This information, together with other information already in the public domain would assist those involved in criminal behaviour in identifying the vehicles that are used for covert operations. This would render them useless, hinder the prevention and detection of crime and could compromise ongoing and future enquiries. Similarly releasing information that would identify ‘unmarked’ police vehicles would equip individuals involved in criminal activity with information to allow them to avoid and evade Officers again negatively impacting on law enforcement.
Public Interest Test for section 31(1)(a)(b)
Considerations favouring disclosure
Disclosure may add value to the accuracy of public debate with regards to resources allocated for the prevention and detection of crime.
Considerations favouring non-disclosure
The Police Service has a duty to deliver effective law enforcement ensuring that the prevention and detection of crime, apprehension or prosecution of offenders, and administration of justice is carried out appropriately.
Identifying ‘the vehicle role/base’ and identifying ‘unmarked’ vehicles could compromise the vehicles operational purpose as specialist vehicles could be identified and targeted. It is a reasonable assumption that a police station will have a number of vehicles based at the location which may reflect the area covered, however to reveal specific figures could demonstrate to the criminal fraternity the operational capacity of areas. Disclosure may reveal what resources are available for a given area and this information could enable police strength to be determined and circumvented by those intent on committing crime. Disclosure of this information may prejudice police activities and not only has the potential to reveal what resources are available for a given area but also potentially reveal details of a discreet location. The release of this information could therefore provide a tactical advantage to offenders which would negatively impact on public safety and undermine the policing purpose.
Disclosure relating to the role of a vehicle may reveal operationally sensitive details, this might include the fact that a particular vehicle is used solely by firearms officers. Any ability to identify its presence at (or absence from) a particular location may be useful to those intent on criminal activity.
Disclosing the details of covert vehicles would provide sufficient information to those involved in criminal activity of the capabilities available to the force when carrying out covert activities in certain areas. This could result in them taking steps to evade detection and to destroy evidence if they believe that their movements are being monitored. This could also lead to vehicles and officers being identified which would render their covert capabilities useless.
The ability to deliver effective law enforcement is of paramount importance. Whilst the value of transparency is recognised, there is no further tangible benefit to identifying covert operation vehicles. This may be interesting to some individuals however this is as you will appreciate different to being in the public’s interest to know. To disclose vehicle roles/base and information concerning covert and unmarked vehicles would have an adverse effect on our ability to prevent and detect crime. Therefore on balance the factors favouring non-disclosure outweigh those favouring. This represents a refusal notice for this part of your request.
FOI reference 1039/16
Date of request: 11.08.16