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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Avon and Somerset Estates 2010-2020

Date of request: April 28, 2021
Reference: 575/21

Request

How many force police stations in operation at the start of 2010 are no longer operational? Please provide the name and address for each.

  • How many force police stations closed since the start of 2010 had a public front counter where the public could speak to an enquiry officer? Please provide the name and address for each.

 How many force police stations are currently planned for closure? Please provide the name and address for each, and the expected date of closure (as accurately as is possible).

  • How many of those stations currently planned for closure have a public front counter? Please provide the name and address for each.

 How many police stations does the force currently have open? Please provide the name and address for each.

  • How many police stations with a public front counter does the force currently have open? Please provide the name and address for each.

 

Response

Please find attached our estate information correct as of the date of your request. Please use the tabs along the bottom for open stations, closed stations and those for future disposal.

With regards to question 1d, we have provided you with the roles covered in each of the buildings, such as whether the buildings are used for an operational and/or support reason and if the buildings have a custody suite or an enquiry desk. I am not obliged to provide you with a further breakdown by virtue of the following exemptions:

  • Section 24(1) – National Security
  • Section 31(1) – Law Enforcement

Sections 24 and 31 are prejudice based qualified exemptions and there is a requirement to articulate the harm that would be caused by disclosing the information as well as carrying out a public interest test.

Harm

The constabulary holds properties which are not in the public domain. This allows for policing activities to be carried out away from the possibility of being observed. Whilst the constabulary accepts there is a general public interest in being open and transparent about its activities and how it spends public money, disclosing the locations of these properties would allow criminals and other elements to determine where these activities were taking place and thus observe them in order to gain intelligence to undermine those policing activities, leading to an increase in crime and victims of crime.

Public Interest Test

Factors favouring disclosure (S24 & S31)

Disclosure of this information could go some way to ensuring the public that we are appropriately equipped to tackle crime and have sufficient staffing resources across the whole force area. Furthermore members of the public are entitled to know how public funds are being spent by the constabulary.

Factors favouring non-disclosure (S24 & S31)

Revealing the location of properties not in the public domain would allow those properties to be observed and thus individuals working at those properties to be identified as being involved in policing activities. This could place identified individuals in danger of being targeted by criminals whilst carrying out those activities.

Consideration also needs to be given to national security. It is generally recognised that the international security landscape is increasingly complex and unpredictable. The current UK threat level from international terrorism is ‘Substantial’ which means an attack is likely. The security of the country is of paramount importance and the police will not divulge information if to do so would place the safety of an individual at risk or undermine National Security. The overriding priority is to keep the public safe by working together with all our communities to defeat terrorism and combat crime

Balance Test

After weighing up the competing interests, I have determined that the disclosure of the above information would not be in the public interest at this time. I believe the importance of the factors favouring non-disclosure outweigh those considerations favouring disclosure. There is no further tangible community benefit in complying with section 1(1)(b) of the Act at this time.

In accordance with the Act, this letter represents a Refusal Notice for any further information relating to question 1d.

 

Information updated 10/05/2021

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