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Lies, Damn' lies and Lancashire Constabulary statistics

Somebody admiringly cited statistics related to OpSnap Lancs, gleaned from WhatDoTheyKnow, showing what would indeed be an admirable response rate for submissions. LC claims in its FoI response that 2674 submissions were received at OpSnap between 25.10.21 to 30.11.22, and that 1550 of those had resulted in action being taken against the driver. Cor! 58% of submissions, many of which (but none of mine!) would have been crap, resulting in 'action against the driver'.The War Against the Driver in action in Lancashire!

People should have smelled a rat at an action rate much better than Judge Dredd's and I knew immediately it was wrong. My first submission to OSL was APL101900 on 22.12.21- my last in the period described by LC was  APL109592 on 29.11.22. I made about 400 submissions over the period- since mid May 2022 the great majority were reporting vehicles on the road without MOT. The number of submissions over the period was therefore considerably greater than 7692, which is about 3 times as many as claimed by LC- those claiming that the submissions are not numbered strictly consecutively, or that there are gaps in the allocated numbers are wrong.

I made submission APL107489 on 23.8.22 just before an absence and restarted with APL108065 on 18.9.22- an absence from the area of 25 days. Without my assistance the population of Lancashire made about 575 submissions- so it's about 750 a month when I'm around, which is compatible with the 8000-odd I claim above, and not the 250 submissions a month LC claims

LC is undoubtedly lying, in the usual sense that they know that the information provided by the un-named person in response to the FoI request is untrue- they will have some dodge that there was a misunderstanding, the person providing the response did not know anything about OSL etc etc. So you can be pretty sure that LC is lying about the rest of the figures provided in the FoI response. I have shown that the evasive language used in the 'action letter' (which they have refused to change) allows them to decide, in the end after consideration etc. etc., to do nothing at all- yet that will still be counted as 'action being taken'. LC is unlikely to be the only police force trying tricks like this- we recently saw that Sussex had copied Lancashire's abuse and mis-statement of GDPR regulations to force applicants to agree that they were 'displaying notification on the mode of transport', presumably including legs, that they were filming. Watch out for similar deceptions from your own local force!

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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wtjs | 11 months ago
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This case against LancsFilth is EA/2023/0271, which is listed here, although it's just a pending case with no hearing date set. Strictly speaking, of course, the case is an appeal against the Information Commissioner's Decision to support the police in not telling cyclists what the police (didn't do!) did about offences against them. There's now a letter from the Information Tribunal asking the Chief Constable whether he wishes LC to 'join the appeal', and it's likely he would rather see LC conduct a Sheffield NW-style Close Pass Operation- which LC has never done, and has no intention of doing, ever!

The CC would like the Commissioner to do his defending for him, which suits me as I will make strenuous efforts to be allowed to introduce evidence that LC routinely ignores all evidence from cyclists and does nothing at all even when it claims to be taking action. Then, if all goes according to plan, the IC will say 'but LC is not here to defend these actions!' and I will say that the Chief Constable should therefore be forced to join the appeal- that's my present aim. They're talking about a video hearing between 30th October and 27th November- it seems unlikely that these hearings are 'broadcast' to outsiders, but we'll see. LC is continuing its evil ways, and didn't respond to this at all- it's almost 3 weeks since the incident. Blackburn Council claimed to be 'investigating' but looks like it's also trying to forget about it and has said nothing about it since claiming that the taxi driver was licensed at the time even though he's still not included on the Blackburn taxi driver registration list(link is external). This is looking rather suspicious!

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wtjs | 11 months ago
3 likes

This is copied over from another topic, for reference

As an aside, I have just used information from CyclingMikey's YouTube channel (including a page dated only yesterday) in my appeal of the Information Commissioner's Decision Notice which not only allows, but mandates, police forces to refuse to tell you what they did about the offences you report to them. The Information Commissioner states that it is an offence against GDPR/ FOIA for the police to even tell you that they hold information about what they did. This is quite important because it could be used by all forces as a precedent. So, the appeal is now at the Information Tribunal, with numerous files of evidence: I have several emails from Lancashire Constabulary in which they tell me what happened (generally nothing because 'case not processed in time') to the driver of vehicles identified only by the registration number. I even have an email from LC telling me that I must make an FoI request if I wish to know what happened over a particular offence! I generally don't have close up video of the driver himself, for obvious reasons if they're close-passing me to within an inch of my life, or crashing through a red light at 50 mph.

However, CM often does show close up video of the phone offending driver stationary in a queue, and also plasters the vehicle registration all over the page. Yet the Met. frequently tells CM (unless CM is lying, which seems highly improbable) what happened to this very identifiable driver- driving course, warning letter, points, court etc. (obviously, nothing or warning letter are the only options ever considered by LC!). According to the Information Commissioner, the Met. is committing an offence, so I'm looking forward to the Commissioner prosecuting the Met! I have asked for a court hearing at the Information Tribunal, rather than a decision based on reading the papers alone, because it's a potentially important decision.

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hawkinspeter replied to wtjs | 11 months ago
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Did you just throw stones at the police bears?

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wtjs replied to hawkinspeter | 11 months ago
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There's no sign that LC are perturbed by my baiting as yet- the policy of ignoring pretty much every moving traffic offence persists. They don't seem to be worried about any form of regulation. PJ07 NFP is often seen around Garstang, and is here 20 yards from the police station- almost a year since I first reported it. He's going for 3 1/2 years without insurance, MOT or VED and is clearly not worried that LC will suddenly wake up.

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hawkinspeter replied to wtjs | 11 months ago
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I reckon the MET will just state that there's a clear exception in GDPR for law enforcement purposes and Lancs will continue to lie and not do their job.

It's a great idea, though.

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HoldingOn replied to wtjs | 11 months ago
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Genuinely - are you not worried about some form of petty retaliation from the police? I know they shouldn't, but the news would have us believe they do lots of things they shouldn't.

I guess its not like they could ignore your submissions more....

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wtjs replied to HoldingOn | 11 months ago
5 likes

are you not worried about some form of petty retaliation from the [Lancashire] police?

I have considered this for about 4 years, since I was hit by a vehicle coming down the wrong side of the Sainsbury's access road and became alarmed at the police willingness to find any excuse for driving offences: in that case it was 'only a momentary loss of concentration'. I bought the headcam and it has been downhill since then- they have, at least, supplied me with plenty of ammo. I know they would really stuff me for any driving offence which they would generally ignore. 

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HoldingOn replied to wtjs | 11 months ago
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Fair play to you. I hope that in the future utopia where cyclist and drivers mingle together safely and happily, you (and others) will be seen as the pioneers of the harmony.
It is depressing that you have to fight against the establishment that is meant to protect.

I certainly appreciate your (and others) hard work.

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wtjs replied to HoldingOn | 11 months ago
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My guess is that the Commissioner will argue that police forces can hand out information if they choose to, but can equally claim exemption from disclosure if they don't choose to. This power to ignore things or enforce them at will is a way for the police to deploy patronage and let people off who pay the unofficial private fine, and to stuff people they don't like: such as those who annoy them by reporting offences with immaculate evidence.

 I will read up about it when the Commissioner's reply arrives (there's a huge backlog of appeals to the Information Tribunal because the IC has learned from the police that you can get away with not doing things the law dictates by simply saying you're busy. So the IC applied to the IT for all appeals to be paused because they didn't have time to respond by the IT deadline.

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HoarseMann replied to wtjs | 11 months ago
1 like

wtjs wrote:

My guess is that the Commissioner will argue that police forces can hand out information if they choose to, but can equally claim exemption from disclosure if they don't choose to.

This is probably the state of things. However, if the close pass has caused you harm, then according to the victims code, you are a victim and have a right to be informed of the outcome:

"for the purpose of this Code, the definition of a ‘victim’ is: a person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss which was directly caused by a criminal offence"

If you want some evidence of a police force that is willing to share submission outcomes, have a look at Northamptonshire. I can confirm that the reference number I received for a close pass submission in April, is listed in the published spreadsheet and I can see they are recommending the driver receives points.

https://www.northantspas.com/PAWeb/Public/Content/23

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HoldingOn | 1 year ago
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After reading this, I have gone through the submission portal I use - it is an "OpSnap" portal that West Yorkshire policing use.
I have not been able to find any reference to having to display signage - hopefully they have removed it. I have only just noticed the "1 minute before and after" clause - I have made 9 submissions, all of which have been shorter than 30 seconds. 7 resulted in the police taking "action" against the driver (they never clarify what action)
I questioned the 2 and they did respond with their reasoning.
Never any mention of GDPR.

The ever useful BlackBelt Barrister has made this video recently:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM2heUKjvak
which is a bit long, but relevant.
It has made me question whether I should be uploading some of the questionable incidents to YouTube, but I believe he would argue it is for educational purposes - I make no money from them, I am putting them up in the hopes that drivers might see a cyclists side of the interaction/ new cyclists can see what they might be faced with.

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wtjs replied to HoldingOn | 1 year ago
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I have not been able to find any reference to having to display signage

It's still there on OpSnap Lancs! You still have to accept this, and when I'm filming people hurtling through a red traffic light, my transport is legs. The fact that most forces don't deploy this dodge indicates that it has no legal foundation:

I confirm that I understand that dashcam footage falls under the Category of CCTV and as the footage is taken in the public domain, the Domestic Purposes Exemption under the Data Protection Act/UKGDPR does not apply and therefore all users are Data Controllers in their own right. As such you should be informing the public that they are being filmed and should have some form of notification on your mode of transport as you have responsibilities under the Data Protection Act /UKGDPR

 I have only just noticed the "1 minute before and after" clause- around 2019, Lancashire used to demand either 2 minutes or 5 minutes (I've forgotten) before and after at a time when you were limited to a 60 MB file! They don't have that 'rule' (read 'dodge, to discourage submissions) here any more

hopes that drivers might see a cyclists side of the interaction

Sadly, this hope is almost always forlorn- especially with readers of the hyper-junk press. I had it in my mind, from something on here I think, that Sussex was using the same GDPR stuff as Lancashire, but I thought I ought to check. I could only get part way through the process before having to give in my details, so I don't know much about Sussex police except that they're going with the one minute before and after rubbish, which they claim is essential for video to be accepted in court. This is obviously just a Trump type made-up 'fact'- this one is 14 seconds long and would be excellent evidence in court. It obviously didn't get there because this is Lancashire, and RLJs are legal here!

 

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chrisonabike | 1 year ago
5 likes

Cartoon on a parallel topic but equally applicable - in case you hadn't seen it.

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wtjs replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
1 like

Great stuff! May be useful...

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Bungle_52 | 1 year ago
3 likes

I'm afraid I have no suggestions but I'd just like to record my admiration for your tenacity and wish you the best of luck in your endeavours. I really think it's time road.cc or cyclingUK got involved in this.

Gloucestershire have recently changed to OPsnap from their old system. I have been informed that they will no longer be providing information on submissions as a matter of course although I was told that my first OPsnap submission had been dealt with by sending a warning letter. The feedback was the best aspect of the old system.

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wtjs replied to Bungle_52 | 1 year ago
2 likes

Gloucestershire have recently changed to OPsnap from their old system

This is more important than it seems! We now know that Sussex copied Lancashire with the GDPR dodge that you have to accept, or your submission will be rejected:

I confirm that I understand that dashcam footage falls under the Category of CCTV and as the footage is taken in the public domain, the Domestic Purposes Exemption under the Data Protection Act/UKGDPR does not apply and therefore all users are Data Controllers in their own right. As such you should be informing the public that they are being filmed and should have some form of notification on your mode of transport as you have responsibilities under the Data Protection Act /UKGDPR

I have just looked at OpSnap Gloucs and they don't seem to have adopted that dodge, but have the 2 minutes before and after dodge. Have you come across the GDPR dodge with Gloucestershire?

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Bungle_52 replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
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I've never noticed any mention of GDPR when reporting and it's never been mentioned. May be I should be thankful for that at least.

Under the old system I filled in an online form leaving the video url section blank and then they got back to me asking for the footage. I then emailed a short clip (<24mb) and they replied usually with NFA but occasioanlly a NIP or warning letter. I adopted this approach of not putting the video online so I always knew that they had viewed the footage which I wasn't convinced of when I uploaded the video to dropbox which used to be their preferred option. It seemed to work well as the PC only had to look through a short clip which presumably saved them time and I got immediate feedback. To me the new system is a retrograde step.

Under OPsnap you fill in a form and upload the footage, 2 mins before and after as you say. The file sizes are around 500mb and it takes ages with a slow upload speed. Initially the  intro confirmation email* said they WOULD get back to to me within 14 days. Predictably they didn't for my first one so I got in touch and was informed that the 14 days was a mistake and that they would not be giving any feedback as a matter of course. They did tell me they had sent a warning letter for my first one though and implored me to carry on reporting. I haven't followed up the other 3 reports I submitted yet but I will do at some point to see if they will give feedback on an adhoc basis.

Out of interest, the last report I did under the old system was in November last year. I had no more problems until the last week of January when I had 4 incidents in the space of 10 days. Not sure what was going on but I've had no issues since.

Anyway, keep up the good work and best of luck with it.

* edited to correct an error.

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Famous Seamus replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
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So if there's a car accident, and I have dash cam footage showing it happening, and the police ask for any available evidence to be presented, they can't have it because I didn't have a sticker on my car saying I'm recording video? 

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andy753 replied to Famous Seamus | 1 year ago
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I think there's another interesting development here too. What about the many cyclists in London who wear helmet cams in London to help protect them in the event of an accident?  Where is a cyclist meant to display such a notice to say they are recording?!?!?  Would a GOPRO sticker on your helmet suffice? Crazy.

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Spangly Shiny replied to andy753 | 1 year ago
1 like

Try this. https://passpixi.com/
I bought the pocket version and it is surprisingly effective. Of course it won't deter the real psychopaths out there but at least it puts everyone on notice that you're recording.

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wtjs replied to andy753 | 1 year ago
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Where is a cyclist meant to display such a notice to say they are recording?!?!?  Would a GOPRO sticker on your helmet suffice? Crazy.

Clearly you have no experience of Lancashire Constabulary! You're supposed to display 'notification that you're recording' on your legs if you're walking or standing! In fact, these are just police dodges so they can claim that people who report offences were lying when agreeing to the statement forced on them by Lancashire Constabulary that they were displaying 'notifications'. I have still never seen such a notification on a vehicle or cycle around here. I repeat yet again: what would be the consequence if this was a truthful interpretation of GDPR which is touted by LC? Lawyers claiming that they couldn't see the notification as they zoomed past at 50mph, so therefore the video was inadmissible?! It's very difficult to conceive of much which is stupider than this

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wtjs replied to Famous Seamus | 1 year ago
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So if there's a car accident, and I have dash cam footage showing it happening, and the police ask for any available evidence to be presented, they can't have it because I didn't have a sticker on my car saying I'm recording video? 

Not quite. You can send it to them, but they will only accept the report if you agree that your bike, car or legs did display such a notification. They can then later invalidate your report unless you can prove you were actually displaying the notification- I have not yet seen any such notification and I insert in my reports a statement that I wasn't! 

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wtjs | 1 year ago
3 likes

So I'm still working on this. Simultaneously I sent in a FoI request about the actual outcome of this offence of 21.2.22

https://upride.cc/incident/4148vz_travellerschoicecoach_closepass/

This was before Lancashire Constabulary ceased responding to any submissions to OpSnap Lancs- they sent the standard 'we're going to do something but we won't tell you what it is' reply. LC failed to comply with the FOIA in the specified time, but today I received the reply from LC's Data Protection Office:

Lancashire Constabulary can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any information relevant to this request as the duty in Section1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply, by virtue of the following exemption:
 Section 40(5) Personal Information
To confirm or deny whether we hold any information would in itself reveal the personal data of the subject(s). It is important to note that disclosures under the FOIA are considered as disclosures “to the world” and as such, to confirm or deny whether or not any information is held would be unfair on the data subject(s).

This is nonsense, of course. I have the advantage that I already know how inept and idle LC is, so I am not impressed by this pseudo-legalistic twaddle. I have embarked on the long 'internal review' followed by a complaint to the Information Commissioner procedure which LC is relying upon to deter people who want to know what happened to drivers who offended against them. I already know what happened: nothing.

This should serve as an example to those of you have received 'action letters'- they are often not what they seem.

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Secret_squirrel replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
6 likes

That reply is utter bullshit.  There is no exemption under the FOIA for confirming or denying something exists coz it might breach PII comms.  The mere fact that confirming something happened does not breach any GDPR legislation anywhere in the world that I am aware of - and I do GDPR as my day job.

A complete an utter dodge.

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wtjs replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
1 like

Since I was hit by someone driving down the wrong side of the road when waiting to leave the Sainsbury's access road in December 2018, I have accumulated a collection of LC dodges, downright lies and extreme stupidities. They have little or no insight or conscience. I even have, from a couple of years ago, a letter from LC suggesting that I make a FoI request if I wanted to know about what happened in a case. This latest reply even contradicts what they say in Opsnap Lancs documentation and FAQs.

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lonpfrb replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
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Secret_squirrel wrote:

That reply is utter bullshit.  There is no exemption under the FOIA for confirming or denying something exists coz it might breach PII comms.  The mere fact that confirming something happened does not breach any GDPR legislation anywhere in the world that I am aware of - and I do GDPR as my day job.

A complete an utter dodge.

An utterly stupid dodge since vehicle registration is not PII. Only the police themselves will have PII of the Registered Keeper once DVLA provide it in response to their enquiry.
The witness never has PII as a result of recording a video.

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wtjs replied to lonpfrb | 1 year ago
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An utterly stupid dodge since vehicle registration is not PII

Although it makes this a bulky post, I will reiterate what I have written before, now including the Lancashire Constabulary Internal Review, soon to be on its way to the Information Commissioner- an organisation itself so paralysed by backlogs that it has had to apply to the Information Tribunal for extra time to deal with many, many appeals. Anyway, that's another story. The FOIA is knackered at the moment! However, you have to keep going or the b******s always win!

FoI request to LC, resulting from this offence, and the later letter to me from LC claiming they would be 'taking action'. Soon after, they ceased to respond to any reports on OpSnap Lancs

https://upride.cc/incident/4148vz_travellerschoicecoach_closepass/

FoI request to LC: This FoI request is for the information held about the action actually taken over this offence against the driver of what was then registered as 4148 VZ, using the information above to identify the offence

Naturally, Lancashire Constabulary refused to even admit that they held any information about what action Lancashire Constabulary had taken against the driver who committed this offence.

The Internal Review confirms this: 

Lancashire Constabulary can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any information
relevant to this request as the duty in Section1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 does not apply, by virtue of the following exemption:
 Section 40(5) Personal Information

Your Internal Review has now been considered and I can confirm that the information you are seeking cannot be provided at this time. Having reviewed the exemptions applied I agree that the use of s.40 has been applied correctly. I deem that “information held about the action actually taken over this offence against the driver” is classed as third party information and as such is not accessible to yourself via the FOI process. If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision

Anna Cawley 11044
Information Compliance & Data Protection Advisor
Lancashire Constabulary Data Protection Office

You may think this is not relevant to you, but if one bent force gets away with it, it will become the routine response from all the rest of them, from the Ultra-Bent Met emanating outwards. It will end up at the Information Tribunal, because the Commissioner sees it as his role to aid public bodies in evading the intent of the FOIA.

 

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wtjs replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
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This post is copied from this topic

I'm still waiting to hear back from Sussex Police - I've done an FOI on this

It won't do you any good! Sussex is one of the forces following the Lancashire Constabulary dodgy OpSnap model, which involves no prosecutions, lying about what they've done and refusing to disclose anything about anything. Cutting a long story short: see the most recent item on here, which is about this offence(link is external). I now have the Information Commissioner's Decision Notice dated 3.5.23, Ref: IC-225713-W2Y2. Oddly, this is not available on the Information Commissioner website(link is external), despite them being published up to the decision date of 10th May. Maybe they hold back when they think it's going to the Information Tribunal, which it is.

If you want to find out what the police actually did, when they claim to have taken action, this DN is important, because there will be numerous cases where they did nothing at all or, at best, sent out the joke warning letter for the offender to hang on a nail in the toilet.

This is the top of the DN, verbatim:

1. The complainant has requested information about an incident he reported, from Lancashire Constabulary. Lancashire Constabulary would neither confirm nor deny (“NCND") holding the requested information, citing section 40(5) (Personal information) of FOIA.
2. The Commissioner’s decision is that Lancashire Constabulary was entitled to rely on section 40(5) of FOIA. No steps are required.

What it means is: when the police tell you they're 'taking action', and you try to find out what the action was, they refuse to tell you, claiming that they can't even confirm that they have any idea what the police did! It's even possible, given the institutionalised ineptitude at Lancashire Constabulary that they really don't know!

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wtjs replied to wtjs | 12 months ago
1 like

So this is the Decision Notice from the Information Commissioner which supports police forces refusing to tell you what action they took after they claimed to you that they had taken action over a traffic offence report. It's worth reading, because they'll all be using such dodges if it's supported at the Information Tribunal. If it is, when the Met. or another force tells people that the offender received a warning letter, or a course etc. they have committed an offence

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chrisonabike replied to wtjs | 12 months ago
1 like

Wow, that's some catch,  that catch-22!

If that holds generally then good luck finding anything about pretty much any crime ever again.  "Did you catch my assailant?" "I'm afraid we're not allowed to disclose that".

I'm amazed the we're not reviewing the right of the meeja to report on convictions now.  Even if they didn't say the name they might have provided enough information for you to work it out.

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