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New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

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New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by Tony Bennett on 05.09.14 11:40

The hymn sheet currently being sung by Jim Gamble, Anthony Summers, Robbyn Swan, Martin Brunt, SkyNews, Rupert Murdoch and all the compliant British media and others is focussing attention on too many agencies allegedly being involved, 'spoiling the broth', causing confusion etc. and of course that old canard, the incompetence of the Portuguese Police.

'Lance de Boils' on here has very helpfully nailed that lie by posting up written and oral evidence by Matt Baggott, former Chief Constable of Leicestershire Constabulary, given at Leveson, about the 'co-ordinating group' set up by Leicestershire Police after Baggott apparently received orders to do so on Tuesday 8 May 2007.

As a result, earlier this morning I have successfully submitted to Leicestershire Police, via the most excellent 'WhatDoTheyKnow' site, the following Freedom of Information Act questions:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    
@ Leicestershire Police - Freedom of Information Act 2000

In written evidence to the Leveson enquiry, Mr Matt Baggott, former head of Leicestershire Police at the time Madeleine McCann was reported missing, made these statements, either in writing, or orally: 

(1). “On 8 May 2007 Leicestershire Constabulary was asked to co-ordinate the UK response to assist the Portuguese enquiry on behalf of the UK Government and Association of Chief Police Officers. The Gold Strategy set on this date established that it was a Portuguese-led enquiry and that all actions would comply with requirements of Portuguese law including their Judicial Secrecy Act. Due to the unprecedented media interest in the UK, a co-ordination group was set up on behalf of law enforcement agencies and government departments to coordinate the media interaction and ensure that a consistent stance was taken. This co-ordinating group was chaired by the Head of Corporate Communications from Leicestershire Constabulary. That group has continued to meet as required since 2007”, and 

(2). “Due to the thirst for information from the media, every individual working in Leicestershire supporting the police investigation signed a confidentiality agreement. Messages were also disseminated to all staff to make them aware that even private conversations with friends could be reported on in the media…the confidentiality agreement…was something that was put together by the Gold group who were running the enquiry as part of the U.K. effort, not by myself as Chief Constable”.

Please supply the following information to amplify these on-the-record public statements at a public enquiry by Matt Baggott:

1. Who, on 8 May 2007, asked Matt Baggott to set up the ‘co-ordinating group’ to which he refers?

2. Matt Baggott refers to the ‘Gold Strategy’ being set on the same date (8 May 2007). Which person or persons determined the ‘Gold Strategy’?

3. What was the ‘Gold Strategy’ (please provide a copy of the document in physical or electronic form).  

4. Matt Baggott says: “…a co-ordination group was set up on behalf of law enforcement agencies and government departments…” Please state the date this co-ordination group was set up and the date of its first meeting.

5. Please list all ‘law enforcement agencies’, ‘government departments’ and any other individuals, groups or agencies who were members of this co-ordinating group (a) at its outset and (b) at any time during its existence.

6. Who was the Head of Corporate Communications for Leicestershire Police when the co-ordinating group was set up? Does he still chair this group? If not, please give the names of those persons who have subsequently chaired this group, with the dates of any changes.  
 
7. On what date was it decided that (quote Matt Baggott) ‘every individual working in Leicestershire supporting the police investigation’ must sign a confidentialty agreement?

8. Please supply in physical or electronic form a copy of the confidentiality agreement.
 
9. How many staff in total signed the confidentiality agreement?
 
10. Is the ‘co-ordination group’ still in existence?

11. On what dates, and at what locations, has the co-ordination group met since 8 May 2007?

12. Was the co-ordination group at any time (and if so, on what date) made aware of the statements made in May 2007 by two General Practitioners, Drs Arul and Katharina Gaspar, which contained allegations against two members of the McCanns’ group of friends, and which was not delivered to the Portuguese Police until October 2007?

Anthony Bennett

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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by plebgate on 05.09.14 12:23

What I do not understand is -   if it was felt that too many cooks had spoiled the broth so to speak - whether due to mistranslation, egos, competiton WHATEVER, then why on earth hasn't the new Met investigation STARTED FROM THE VERY BEGINNING?

Excuse me if this sounds too simple but SURELY IT IS JUST THAT - Simples, get the Tapas9 in for re-interview and start from there.  If this had been done maybe the  total cost of this Onion investigation might have cost a lot less.  Who knows where one possible new piece of info. from one of them may have led?

Working backwards, never heard anything like it,I really have not.

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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by Tony Bennett on 05.09.14 12:30

@plebgate wrote: ...then why on earth hasn't the new Met investigation STARTED FROM THE VERY BEGINNING?
! sarcasm alert !

plebgate, clearly you have not been following this case with your usual thoroughness and vigour.

Or have you forgotten that DCI Redwood, in one of his most memorable phrases, drew everything back to zero?  

Which means that he DID start from the 'very beginning'.

And, if I may say so, a very good place to start:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIjobdArtiA

Doh!

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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by sallypelt on 05.09.14 12:41

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@plebgate wrote: ...then why on earth hasn't the new Met investigation STARTED FROM THE VERY BEGINNING?
! sarcasm alert !

plebgate, clearly you have not been following this case with your usual thoroughness and vigour.

Or have you forgotten that DCI Redwood, in one of his most memorable phrases, drew everything back to zero?  

Which means that he DID start from the 'very beginning'.

And, if I may say so, a very good place to start:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIjobdArtiA

Doh!

Tony, have you been watching too much Sound of Music? spit coffee

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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by plebgate on 05.09.14 12:42

Doh - I have to go back to Sandra (Pullman) Tony - she used to  Draw Everything Back to Zero, and that meant she started where the events began.  lol.

Draw everything back to zero, but start backwards.   Doh.   Is that an oxymoron?

Or am I too simples????? big grin

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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by Tony Bennett on 05.09.14 13:30

@plebgate wrote:Draw everything back to zero, but start backwards.   Doh.   Is that an oxymoron?
To paraphrase a comment made by DCI Andy Redwood after one year's intensive work by him and his 38.5 officers:

"We are proceeding on the basis of two hypotheses: one, that this is an oxymoron, and, sadly, the other hypothesis is that this is not an oxymoron".

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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by Doug D on 05.09.14 13:33

Plebgate:
 
‘Excuse me if this sounds too simple but SURELY IT IS JUST THAT - Simples, get the Tapas9 in for re-interview and start from there.  If this had been done maybe the  total cost of this Onion investigation might have cost a lot less.  Who knows where one possible new piece of info. from one of them may have led?’
 
The trouble is starting at the very beginning (as you or I would see it) and getting to the bottom of the ever changing T9 stories, would probably have solved the case and may be why he has gone off on every available tack to try to bypass the issue and find a different ‘very beginning’ in which to start from in accordance with his ‘abduction’ remit.
 
If he had gone down this line and by virtue of the answers received was really able to absolve them all of any wrongdoing, (other than making a 'not POI' statement in much the same way the PJ did just days before making the Mc’s arguido’s), he could have avoided the scorn and ridicule heaped upon him and his team and released the T9 crew from the suspicion and accusations constantly put their way.
 
If this had been the route taken, the T9, Murat, Wilkins, OC staff, etc etc should all have been jumping up and down demanding proper statements be released by the Met. backed up by supporting evidence, actually vindicating them all, to free them from the ongoing burden they must all feel.
 
If this evidence were available, there would be no reason to withhold it under an ‘ongoing investigation’ type banner, as such ‘innocence proving’ evidence would by it’s very nature be irrelevant to any ongoing investigation to find the ‘real truth of the matter’.
 
One wonders (rhetorically) why this has not happened. Maybe next weeks book will give us all the answers we have been looking for (joke!)

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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by Woofer on 05.09.14 14:20

Well if a Co-ordinating Group was set up by Batt Maggott he didn`t do a very good job of co-ordinating all those cooks did he, because the broth did get spoiled.
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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by Tony Bennett on 05.09.14 14:42

@Woofer wrote:Well if a Co-ordinating Group was set up by Batt Maggott he didn't do a very good job of co-ordinating all those cooks did he, because the broth did get spoiled.
But Baggott says he was told - or ordered - on Tuesday 8 May 2007 by someone else higher up to set up this 'co-ordinating group'.

No doubt within the statutory 20 working days for a reply, Leics Police's Freedom of Information Officer will tell me who this 'someone else higher up' was/is (Question 1 in the OP).

And so maybe it was the fault of that 'someone else higher up' to co-ordinate properly.

The alternative explanation (however unlikely this may be) is that Jim Gamble, Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan are all liars. 

During the early days, leading Freemason Edward Smethurst (who made a brief appearance on the BBC Panorama programme about Madeleine on 19 November 2007) was frequently described as 'the McCanns' co-ordinating solicitor'.

You would think that the McCanns' co-ordinating solicitor would have made a better job of, well, making sure the co-ordinating group did what they were supposed to.

i.e. co-ordinate  

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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by Woofer on 05.09.14 15:10

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@Woofer wrote:Well if a Co-ordinating Group was set up by Batt Maggott he didn't do a very good job of co-ordinating all those cooks did he, because the broth did get spoiled.
But Baggott says he was told - or ordered - on Tuesday 8 May 2007 by someone else higher up to set up this 'co-ordinating group'.

No doubt within the statutory 20 working days for a reply, Leics Police's Freedom of Information Officer will tell me who this 'someone else higher up' was/is (Question 1 in the OP).

And so maybe it was the fault of that 'someone else higher up' to co-ordinate properly.

The alternative explanation (however unlikely this may be) is that Jim Gamble, Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan are all liars. 

During the early days, leading Freemason Edward Smethurst (who made a brief appearance on the BBC Panorama programme about Madeleine on 19 November 2007) was frequently described as 'the McCanns' co-ordinating solicitor'.

You would think that the McCanns' co-ordinating solicitor would have made a better job of, well, making sure the co-ordinating group did what they were supposed to.

i.e. co-ordinate  
well good on you for attempting to get this info Tony - but what`s the betting it`ll be answered as vexatious or secret in the interests of national security.  I will keep my fingers crossed that I`m wrong.
P.S. I started a thread trying to find out exactly what `national security` might have to do with a missing child.  Do you or PeterMac have any ideas?
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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by cloak'ndagger on 05.09.14 16:31

The McCann national security documents Daily Mirror
 
By JON CLEMENTS
Feb 20, 09 10:45 AM
 
Thanks for taking so much interest in my post about the McCanns and "national security".
 
I have to say I'm a bit surprised that some of you think this proves that much about what happened to Madeleine, though.
 
From my point of view, it suggests Kate and Gerry may, I stress may, have been subjected to an unusual - perhaps unprecedented - degree of surveillance after the returned to the UK.
 
I'm not sure it indicates that much about what has happened to her and where she may be now.
 
I've made some more inquiries and it it would appear that the most likely agency involved in any bugging would be the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca).
 
They provide a lot of "technical assistance" to small police forces who don't have the skills or equipment to mount a major surveillance operation.
 
As some of you have pointed out, they work closely with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP) who carry out some very complicated and delicate operations against paedophiles.
 
If you click below you can see the letter from Leicestershire police.
 
Thanks
 
McCanns FoI request PDF

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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by jeanmonroe on 05.09.14 17:16

Slightly OT.

Does anyone KNOW what the MET were ACTUALLY 'looking' for in their extremely high profiled 'digs/searches'?

And WHY only at those 'specific' locations? (only 2 or 3 'locations')

That HAD to be 'based' on specific 'intelligence', musn't it?

Did the better, than Eddie and Keela, dogs ever get to go into Apartment G5A?

It hasn't been mentioned they they ever did.

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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by Guest on 05.09.14 17:52

@jeanmonroe wrote:Slightly OT.



Did the better, than Eddie and Keela, dogs ever get to go into Apartment G5A?

It hasn't been mentioned they they ever did.
Would they need to,it is only the McCanns who doubt the dogs.
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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by Tony Bennett on 05.09.14 18:08

@Woofer wrote: 
well good on you for attempting to get this info Tony - but what's the betting it'll be answered as vexatious or secret in the interests of national security.  I will keep my fingers crossed that I`m wrong.
P.S. I started a thread trying to find out exactly what 'national security' might have to do with a missing child.  Do you or PeterMac have any ideas?
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a whole number of reasons for making certain categories of information exempt from disclosure to the public.

One of them is 'the interests of national security'.

There is a 13-page guidance note on this on the Ministry of Justice website, in a pdf., the link is here:
 
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=9&ved=0CF8QFjAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.justice.gov.uk%2Fdownloads%2Finformation-access-rights%2Ffoi%2Ffoi-exemption-s24.pdf&ei=xOQJVIO7NYaVas6CgpgM&usg=AFQjCNGz2r9rG50qyQ7d-4CISvw-E7-80w&bvm=bv.74649129,d.d2s

But if that doesn't work, google 'Freedom Information UK National Security' and you should get a link, or go straight to the Ministry of Justice website and look for the 'FoIAct guidance note: Exemptions - Section 24 - National Security.

All of that may not fully explain what is covered by the term 'national security'.

It clearly covers, e.g., foreign policy, the defence of the realm, the prevention and control of terrorism - and like matters which affect the security and safety of British citizens.

I think there may be one of two reasons why the 'national security' exemption has been applied in the case of Madeleine McCann:

1. Because (as we know is true) there have been discussions at Prime Ministerial level between the British and Portuguese government, possibly with some sort of secret understanding between them about how the case is to be handled, or

2. Because it would have been intensely embarrassing to reveal the requested information, and they just couldn't think up any other valid reason for their refusal.

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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by Woofer on 05.09.14 19:01

Thanks Tony.

On page 3 of that document it states that `the Nation does not only refer to the territory of the UK, but includes its citizens, wherever they may be or its assets wherever they may be, as well as the UK`s system of government."  So I`m wondering if this would cover THE SECURITY OF THE MCCANNS as they are citizens of this nation.

So in effect a refusal on the grounds of risking national security would cover all UK citizens security.
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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by aiyoyo on 05.09.14 19:53

@jeanmonroe wrote:
Does anyone KNOW what the MET were ACTUALLY 'looking' for in their extremely high profiled 'digs/searches'?

Body? Has got to be, they were using cadaverine detecting dogs?
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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by Lance De Boils on 06.09.14 18:30

Am interested to hear the results of this FOI request.
I cannot think of any good reason the LC could decline to answer those questions - they all seem perfectly reasonable to me.

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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by BlueBag on 06.09.14 23:40

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@plebgate wrote:Draw everything back to zero, but start backwards.   Doh.   Is that an oxymoron?
To paraphrase a comment made by DCI Andy Redwood after one year's intensive work by him and his 38.5 officers:

"We are proceeding on the basis of two hypotheses: one, that this is an oxymoron, and, sadly, the other hypothesis is that this is not an oxymoron".

To quote Inspector Sir Arthur Streeb-Gleebling of Scotland Yard when asked "who is behind this", he said "we are.. by some considerable distance".
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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by Angelique on 07.09.14 8:03

Tony

I too will be I interested in the response to your FOI.

In your initial post you quoted:

"The hymn sheet currently being sung by Jim Gamble, Anthony Summers, Robbyn Swan, Martin Brunt, SkyNews, Rupert Murdoch and all the compliant British media and others is focussing attention on too many agencies allegedly being involved, 'spoiling the broth', causing confusion etc. and of course that old canard, the incompetence of the Portuguese Police."

But wasn't this Gerry's agenda - confusion is good. The " too many agencies" was IMO deliberate - everyone running around confusing the PJ which make it difficult for them to conduct an enquiry. It had this affect but the PJ were determined enough to carry on. So now they are in effect trying to excuse what they did deliberately by saying everyone wanted to help but this was the exact opposite - it was everyone was asked to hinder.

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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by Tony Bennett on 07.09.14 10:17

@Angelique wrote:Tony

I too will be I interested in the response to your FOI.

In your initial post you quoted:

"The hymn sheet currently being sung by Jim Gamble, Anthony Summers, Robbyn Swan, Martin Brunt, SkyNews, Rupert Murdoch and all the compliant British media and others is focussing attention on too many agencies allegedly being involved, 'spoiling the broth', causing confusion etc. and of course that old canard, the incompetence of the Portuguese Police."

But wasn't this Gerry's agenda - confusion is good. The "too many agencies" was IMO deliberate - everyone running around confusing the PJ which make it difficult for them to conduct an enquiry. It had this effect, but the PJ were determined enough to carry on. So now they are in effect trying to excuse what they did deliberately by saying everyone wanted to help but this was the exact opposite - it was everyone was asked to hinder.
Yes, and remember Okeydokey's words on Wednesday, when he queried whether the 'Head of Corporate Communications' at Leicestershire Police was the real person in charge of the so-called 'co-ordination group' set up by Chief Constable Matt Baggott (in response to an order from an unknown person given apparnetly on Tuesday 8 May 2007).

Okeydokey said this:  QUOTE:   "...I have always thought [that] the Gaspar statement...went through a multi-agency committee before being forwarded on to the Portugese authorities (after over [FIVE] months)...I don't take this [co-ordination committee] at face value as a being Police-led. Whatever the formal set up (e.g. ACPO taking the formal lead), this multi-agency committee will have been controlled by central government. It will have done nothing without their say-so. It might be that material coming to that committee was in fact being forwarded on to a central government committee for vetting..."

I think we need all my 12 FoI Act questions answered in full to find out how this multi-agency committee being chaired by Matt Baggott's 'Head of Corporate Communications' really operated - and who was on it.

+++++++++++++++++++++

OFF-TOPIC BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST - Biographical note about Matt Baggott

One of the aspects of Matt Baggott's career that is seldom mentioned is that for some 15 years or more (until earlier this year in fact) he was the President of the Christian Police Association (CPA). A number of Christians within the CPA however voiced dissent at some of his actions and views.

Here for interst is an article that appeared in the Belfast Newsletter (Baggott moved from Chief Constable for Leicestershire to become Head of hre Poloice Service for Northern Ireland) in which he expounded his 'Christian' views at some length:

QUOTE

God and mammon – Matt Baggott's recipe for policing

Updated on the 06 April 2010 --  11:40    Published 05/04/2010 11:33

DURING an hour-and-a-half I spent talking to Matt Baggott, the new PSNI Chief Constable, last week he moved almost seamlessly, from efficient business models and the need for cuts through to how he handles the dissident republican threat and his born again Christian beliefs.

The only question he dodged was on the deployment of specialist Army units here.

"I am not going to go into detail but clearly anything which I need to use to prevent people being killed it is very important that I do that. What is also important is that we take operational control" was the furthest I could draw him on the subject, but technical military units are clearly still important.

Baggott had what he describes as "a real sudden sense of awareness of the presence of God" shortly after he entered Trinity School Croydon, a Church of England foundation, as a scholarship boy in Croydon. He stresses his openness to other religious traditions, mentioning an experience of the "wholeness of God" which he had during a retreat at a Catholic monastery. He works on the principle that faith and spirituality should "unite people" even if religious labels divide them.

He extends this principle to non-Christian religions. Unusually for a lay preacher, he enjoys wine and Guinness in moderation and likes a glass of malt whisky to help him unwind after a long day. He reads Old Testament accounts as allegories and doesn't believe that the world was made in seven days. He supports gay rights and believes that moralising against homosexuality cuts across Christ's injunction "do not judge, or you too will be judged".

Baggott believes he was called by God to be a policeman at age 18 and is convinced that, ever since, his career path has been part of the divine plan. "I am meant to be here," he says of his appointment as Chief Constable.

It is clear that Baggott's spiritual world and his prayer life is one of the keys to his passion for policing. The other key is a hardnosed business approach. In Leicester Constabulary, his last job, he consulted BMI, the airline, and efficiency experts at Cranfield University and on the continent, about how to squeeze the best outcomes from limited resources.

He casts a cold eye over the systems he found in place in the PSNI. "If we were a commercially driven business, doing the things that we have to do, we would be bankrupt," Matt Baggott says. "Just as the managing director of a business is judged on how share prices rise, I will be judged on whether the confidence in policing rises."

Getting more police on patrol and keeping them there is central to the whole approach. "Personal policing" has become his mantra. He believes that if communities get to know their local police and rely on them as "problem solvers" then that will lead to an increased flow of intelligence and increased confidence in the force. Confidence isn't a vague aspiration, he means to measure and monitor it once a month.

In future, if you call in the PSNI, you may get a follow up call from an outside company asking you to rate your satisfaction on range of measures. The results of these findings, collated monthly, will count towards promotion for individual officers as well as being used to direct more resources towards areas where confidence is low.

Police vehicles will be fitted with global positioning equipment so he can keep track of them and respond quickly to calls, a tip he picked up from Tesco delivery vans. They will also have mobile data terminals so that they only have to report back to stations for confidential briefings. “The car will become the police station,” he predicts.

This new technology and emphasis on police on the streets doesn’t come cheap. He intends paying for it out of a finite budget but cutting administrative costs – for instance, the police’s human resource budget has just been slashed by 29 per cent. Baggott doesn’t mince his words about the prosecution service either, saying: “I don’t believe it is fit for purpose anymore.”

He says that 44,000 prosecution files are completed every year but only a tiny fraction ever go to court. This ties up police time in form filling and he would like to replace it with summary penalties for less dangerous offences. This would mean giving police the power to hand out spot fines and cautions or broker restitution agreements for minor offences. People who felt they were unfairly treated could ask for the issue to be brought to court, as is the case with many road traffic offences now.

“People know if they are guilty or not and if they are given an opportunity to plead guilty most of them probably will sometimes,” Baggott believes, with a Christian’s confidence in human nature. He may also have a fight on his hands from the lawyers.

UNQUOTE


Let us hope that he and his former colleagues at Leicestershire will feel able to tell us, via the FoI Act request, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about that mysterious 'multi-agency co-ordinating committee' that Baggott was ordered to set up on Tuesday 8 May, the 5th day after Madeleine was reported missing.

You know, the one that, er, 'didn't co-ordinate' - according, that is, to McCann-backer Jim Gamble and establishment apologists Summers & Swan (and the British mainstream press who have obediently reproduced this lie

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Acknowledgement of FoI request

Post by Tony Bennett on 09.09.14 12:35

Received today:

+++++++++++++++++++++

From: Booth Christine
Leicestershire Constabulary

9 September 2014

Dear Mr Bennett

RE: Information about the Madeleine McCann co-ordinating group set up
after 8 May 2007


I acknowledge receipt of your request for information under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000.

This is receiving our attention and a response will be sent to you in due
course and within the specified time

Your response should be received by 2nd October 2014

With Kind Regards

Chris Booth
Information Management
Leicestershire Police
Telephone: 0116 222 2222 Ext 5222

Website:[1]http://leics.police.uk

Email to: [2][Leicestershire Constabulary request email]

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4. http://www.leics.police.uk/support
5. http://www.leics.police.uk/haveyoursay

http://www.leics.police.uk/haveyoursay

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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by Tony Bennett on 06.10.14 9:10

From: Anthony Bennett

4 October 2014

Dear Chrstine  Booth,

Your response is overdue, when can I expect the information please?

Yours sincerely,

Anthony Bennett

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From: Booth Christine
Leicestershire Constabulary

6 October 2014


Your email has been forwarded to Steven Morris who is dealing with your response.

With Kind Regards

Chris Booth

Information Management
Leicestershire Police
Telephone: 0116 222 2222 Ext 5222
Website:http://leics.police.uk
Email to: [Leicestershire Constabulary request email]

____________________

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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by Tony Bennett on 20.10.14 14:32

ANOTHER BLANKET REFUSAL

Important bits highlighted in bolded red below:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Dear Mr Bennett,

Freedom of Information Act 2000

I write further to your request for information received 09/09/2014.

I note you seek access to the following information:

(1) "On 8 May 2007 Leicestershire Constabulary was asked to co-ordinate the UK response to assist the Portuguese enquiry on behalf of the UK Government and Association of Chief Police Officers. The Gold Strategy set on this date established that it was a Portuguese-led enquiry and that all actions would comply with requirements of Portuguese law including their Judicial Secrecy Act. Due to the unprecedented media interest in the UK, a co-ordination group was set up on behalf of law enforcement agencies and government departments to coordinate the media interaction and ensure that a consistent stance was taken. This co-ordinating group was chaired by the Head of Corporate Communications from Leicestershire Constabulary. That group has continued to meet as required since 2007", and (2) "Due to the thirst for information from the media, every individual working in Leicestershire supporting the police investigation signed a confidentiality agreement. Messages were also disseminated to all staff to make them aware that even private conversations with friends could be reported on in the media…the confidentiality agreement…was something that was put together by the Gold group who were running the enquiry as part of the U.K. effort, not by myself as Chief Constable".

Please supply the following information to amplify these on-the-record public statements at a public enquiry by Matt Baggott:

1. Who, on 8 May 2007, asked Matt Baggott to set up the ‘co-ordinating group’ to which he refers?

2. Matt Baggott refers to the ‘Gold Strategy’ being set on the same date (8 May 2007). Which person or persons determined the ‘Gold Strategy’?

3. What was the ‘Gold Strategy’ (please provide a copy of the document in physical or electronic form).

Our Ref: 006473/14

Your Ref:

Address Correspondence to: Steven Morris, Information Management

Date 20 October 2014

4. Matt Baggott says: "…a co-ordination group was set up on behalf of law enforcement agencies and government departments…" Please state the date this coordination group was set up and the date of its first meeting.

5. Please list all ‘law enforcement agencies’, ‘government departments’ and any other individuals, groups or agencies who were members of this co-ordinating group (a) at its outset and (b) at any time during its existence.

6. Who was the Head of Corporate Communications for Leicestershire Police when the co-ordinating group was set up? Does he still chair this group? If not, please give the names of those persons who have subsequently chaired this group, with the dates of any changes.

7. On what date was it decided that (quote Matt Baggott) ‘every individual working in Leicestershire supporting the police investigation’ must sign a confidentialty agreement?

8. Please supply in physical or electronic form a copy of the confidentiality agreement.

9. How many staff in total signed the confidentiality agreement?

10. Is the ‘co-ordination group’ still in existence?

11. On what dates, and at what locations, has the co-ordination group met since 8 May 2007?

12. Was the co-ordination group at any time (and if so, on what date) made aware of the statements made in May 2007 by two General Practitioners, Drs Arul and Katharina Gaspar, which contained allegations against two members of the McCanns’ group of friends, and which was not delivered to the Portuguese Police until October 2007.

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within Leicestershire Police to locate information relevant to your request.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, (the Act), this response represents a Refusal Notice under Section 17(1) of the Act.

Leicestershire Police can neither confirm nor deny that it holds the information you requested as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Act does not apply by virtue of the following exemptions:

Section 27(4) International Relations

Section 30(3) Investigations

Section 31(3) Law Enforcement
Section 40(5) Personal Information

REASONS FOR DECISION

Should it be held, constituents of this information would attract Section 27, other constituents 30, other constituents 31 and other constituents Section 40 of the Act.

It should not be surmised that should the information be held by the Leicestershire Police we would be applying Section’s 27, 30, 31 & 40 to the same
pieces of information.

Overall Harm with regard to Confirming or Denying that any information is held

Any release under the Act is a disclosure to the world, not just to the individual making the request.

Section 27 recognises that the effective conduct of international relations depends upon maintaining trust and confidence between governments. If the United Kingdom does not maintain this trust and confidence, its ability to protect and promote UK interests through international relations will be hampered, which will not be in the public interest.

Section 27 is a qualified exemption and as such there is a requirement to complete a test of the public interest in confirmation or denial.

Section 30 is a class based qualified exemption and consideration of the public interest must be given as to whether neither confirming nor denying the information exists is the appropriate response.

With Section 31 being prejudice based and qualified there is a requirement to articulate the harm that would be caused in confirming or not whether information is held as well as carrying out a public interest test.

Harm in complying with Section 1(1)(a) - to confirm or deny whether information is held

The Code of Practice on the Management of Police Information as recommended by the Bichard Inquiry and associated guidance, sets national standards for the management of police information, which includes intelligence material, its physical security and the security of sensitive material, such as personal information.

They are the authority on all questions of integrity of intelligence material and must be included as part of the operational protocols of the National Intelligence Model. The National Intelligence Model is adhered to by all police forces across England and Wales.

It is a business process with an intention to provide focus to operational policing and to achieve a disproportionately greater impact from the resources applied to any problem. It is dependent on a clear framework of analysis of information and intelligence allowing a problem solving approach to law enforcement and crime prevention techniques.

Irrespective of what information is or isn't held, the impact of confirming or denying whether information is held for this request has the potential to undermine the flow of information, (intelligence), relating to a criminal investigation. This action would undermine both ongoing investigations and the Management of Police Information guidance. This could in turn lead to police officers having to be removed from their frontline duties in order to increase manpower on an investigation.

In order to counter criminal behaviour it is vital that the police have the ability to work together, to obtain intelligence within current legislative frameworks to ensure the successful arrest and prosecution of offenders who commit or plan to commit acts of crime.

In order to achieve this objective it is vitally important that information sharing takes place between police forces, police officers and members of the public as well as other security law enforcement bodies within the United Kingdom and abroad.


Section 27(4) International Relations

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for S27

Releasing information on this issue would increase public knowledge about our relations with other countries, in particular Portugal.

Factors against confirmation or denial for S27

Section 27 recognises that the effective conduct of international relations depends upon maintaining trust and confidence between governments.

If the United Kingdom does not maintain this trust and confidence, its ability to protect and promote UK interests through international relations will be hampered, which will not be in the public interest.

Section 30(3) Investigations

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for Sec 30

Information, if it were held, would be gathered for the purposes of an investigation. Confirming or denying that information exists relevant to this request would lead to a better informed public in relation to when the Leicestershire Police initiate a criminal investigation which may encourage individuals to provide intelligence in order to assist investigations and reduce crime.



There is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations and providing assurance that Leicestershire Police is appropriately and effectively dealing with crime.



By confirming or denying the information you requested is held the public will be informed of investigations that public funds are spent on.

Factors against confirmation or denial for Sec 30

Confirming or denying the information you requested is held would hinder the investigative process. If this information were held, it would be held solely for the purpose of investigating a crime. It is not in the public interest to disrupt any investigative process by confirming or denying the information you requested is held.

Leicestershire Police is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime and protecting the communities we serve. The Leicestershire Police will not divulge whether information is or is not held if to do so would adversely affect these important roles.

Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations and providing assurance that Leicestershire Police is appropriately and effectively dealing with crime there is a strong public interest in safeguarding the integrity of police investigations and operations and in maintaining confidence in Leicestershire Police.

It is for these reasons that the Public Interest must favour neither confirming nor denying that the requested information is held.


Section 31 Law Enforcement

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for Sec 31

By confirming or denying whether information is held would enable the public to have a better understanding of the type of tactics employed by Leicestershire Police in carrying out their law enforcement role.

Better public awareness may reduce crime or lead to more information from the public as they would be more observant in reporting suspicious activity.

Factors against confirmation or denial for S31

By confirming or denying whether information is held would compromise law enforcement tactics and subsequently hinder the prevention and detection of crime and the apprehension or prosecution of offenders.

This would result in further risks to the public and consequently require the use of more Leicestershire Police resources.

Section 40(5) - Personal Information

A Freedom of Information Act request is not a private transaction. Both the request itself, and any information disclosed, are considered suitable for open publication. his is because under the Act any information disclosed is released into the wider public domain, effectively to the world not just to an individual.

To confirm or deny whether personal information exists in response to your request could publicly reveal information about an individual or individuals, thereby breaching the right to privacy afforded to persons under the Data Protection Act
1998.

Balancing Test

Leicestershire Police relies heavily on the public providing information to assist in criminal investigations and has a duty to protect and defend vulnerable individuals. The public has an expectation that any information they provide will be treated with confidence.

Anything which places that confidence at risk would undermine any trust or confidence individuals have in Leicestershire Police

The effective delivery of operational law enforcement is of paramount importance to Leicestershire Police in their duty to ensure the prevention and detection of crime is carried out and the effective apprehension or prosecution of offenders is maintained.

In addition any disclosure by Leicestershire Police that places the security of the country at risk would undermine any trust or confidence individuals have in us, therefore it is our opinion that for these issues the balance test favours neither confirming nor denying that information is held.

Please note this response does not confirm or deny that Leicestershire Police holds the information that you have requested.

Leicestershire Police provides you the right to ask for a re-examination of your request under its review procedure. Letters should be addressed to Information Manager, Professional Standards Department at the above address. If you decide to request such a review and having followed the Force’s full process you are still dissatisfied, then you have the right to direct your comments to the Information Commissioner who will give it consideration.


Yours sincerely

[size=32][size=32]Steven Morris[/size][/size][size=32][size=32]
[/size]
[/size] Information Management
Leicestershire Police 
[size=16][size=16]
dataprotection@leicestershire.pnn.police.uk 
+44 (0)0116 2485217
Website: http://www.leics.police.uk

Leicestershire Police in complying with their statutory duty under sections 1 and 11 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed information will not breach the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. However, the rights of the copyright owner of the enclosed information will continue to be protected by law. Applications for the copyright owner’s written permission to reproduce any part of the attached information should be addressed to The Information Manager, Leicestershire Police Headquarters, St. Johns, Enderby, Leicester LE19 2BX.

[/size]
[/size] +44 (0)116 222 2222

____________________

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Re: New Freedom of Information Act request 5 Sep 2014 to Leicestershire Constabulary about the 'co-ordination group' set up under the chairmanship of their Head of Corporate Communications

Post by tiny on 20.10.14 15:12

the FOI act is not there for any serious questions to be answered, god forbid us mere mortals knowing whats going on in this case.

thank you for trying Tony
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