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

Police Fleet

Date of request: April 23, 2021
Reference: 558/21

Request

Please can you provide a list of vehicles currently used by the force, including a separate list on unmarked police vehicles?

Where possible, please provide the list in the format of manufacturer, generic model name and number of examples in the force

Response

Please find attached Avon and Somerset Constabulary current fleet list.

As our fleet is ever changing, this may differ to any fleet list previously published by the constabulary and any list published in the future.

Please use the filters in each column to identify those that are marked, unmarked or used for general purposes and to identify the make and model of each vehicle.

Any information relating to any covert vehicles used by the constabulary has been considered exempt from disclosure. The exemption applicable to this is;

  • Section 31(1)(a)(b) – 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.

Harm

There are concerns associated with the release of any information that would identify the purpose of overt police vehicles and any covert vehicles as law enforcement could be adversely affected. The release of this information in relation to police vehicles and policing 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 specific purposes or covert operations. This would render them useless, hinder the prevention and detection of crime and could compromise ongoing and future enquiries.

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.

Disclosing information that would allow the identification of vehicles within a specific unit could compromise the vehicle’s operational purpose and allow these to be targeted. Disclosure may reveal what resources are available for a given role and this information could enable police strength to be determined and circumvented by those intent on committing crime.  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.

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.

Balance Test 

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 or the role vehicles are attached to.  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 this information concerning Police 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 serves as a refusal notice under section 17(1) of the FOI Act for any further information relating to your request.

 

Information last updated 23/04/21

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