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MET POLICE: Can't answer your FOI Act questions yet because of the 'public interest' test

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MET POLICE: Can't answer your FOI Act questions yet because of the 'public interest' test

Post by Tony Bennett on 31.08.11 7:35

Dear Mr Bennett

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011080000691

I write in connection with your request for information which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 02/08/2011. I note you seek access to the following information:

Re: Freedom of Information Act 2000 Questions - Madeleine McCann Review Team Please answer the following questions in relation to the Madeleine McCann Review Team:

1. What is the precise remit of the Review Team?
2. When was that remit agreed?
3. Who decided the remit?
4. When completed, to whom will the Review Report be presented?
5. On 14 May 2011, the Daily Telegraph said that "Scotland Yard's new investigation is being overseen by Commander Simon Foy, one of the force's most experienced detectives". Please either confirm that, or provide information as to who is in overall command of this Review.
6. On 15 May 2011, the Daily Record said that " Scotland Yard said Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, would be the senior investigating officer in the case". Please either confirm that, or provide information as to who is the senior investigating officer in the case.
7. On 15 May 2011, the Independent on Sunday said that "Mr. Redwood will report to Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, Homicide and Serious Crimes Command (HSCC), operational command unit commander." Please either confirm that, or provide information as to who is the person in overall charge of the HSCC".
8. On 20 and 22 July 2011, an officer from the Intelligence Section of the Madeleine McCann Team, Sam, Pay No. 220629, stated that the policy of the Team was not to answer any correspondence. Please state whether or not this is the case.
9. Please state whether, if evidence or other information is sent to the Madeleine McCann Review Team, any acknowledgement of the receipt of that information will be given.
10. Does the Madeleine McCann Review Team have a deadline for completing its review? If so, when is it?
11. Does the Madeleine McCann Review Team have a budget? If so, what is it? Do the funds allocated to this Review Team come from the Home Office or from the Metropolitan Police Authority?

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act), we have 20 working days to respond to a request for information unless we are considering whether the information requested is covered by one of the 'qualified exemptions' (exemptions which must be tested against the public interest before deciding whether they apply to the information in question).

Where we are considering the public interest test against the application of relevant qualified exemptions, Section 17(2)(b) provides that we can extend the 20 day deadline.

Section 17(2) provides:

2) Where-
a) in relation to any request for information, a public authority is, as respects any information, relying on a claim-
i) that any provision of Part II which relates to the duty to confirm or deny and is not specified in section 2(3) is relevant to the request, or
ii) that the information is exempt information only by virtue of a provision not specified in section 2(3), and
b) at the time when the notice under subsection (1) is given to the applicant, the public authority (or, in a case falling within section 66(3) or (4), the responsible authority has not yet reached a decision as to the application of subsection (1)(b) or (2)(b) of section 2,
the notice under subsection (1) must indicate that no decision as to the application of that provision has yet been reached and must contain an estimate of the date by which the authority expects that such a decision will have been reached.

I am sorry to inform you that we have not been able to complete our response to your request by the date originally stated, as we are currently considering whether 'qualified exemptions' apply to the information you have requested. As a result we will not be able to respond within 20 working days.

For your information we are considering the following exemption(s):

Section 30 - Investigations
Section 31 - Law Enforcement

I can now advise you that the amended date for a response is 28 September 2011.

May I apologise for any inconvenience caused.


If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to make a complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please contact me on 020 7230 2003 or at the address at the top of this letter, quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Beaumont
SCD Information Manager


Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and assist with any problems.


If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your complaint within 20 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner please visit their website at, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Phone: 01625 545 700

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).
Tony Bennett

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Re: MET POLICE: Can't answer your FOI Act questions yet because of the 'public interest' test

Post by kikoraton on 31.08.11 9:57

Thank you for this information, TonyBennett.
My view is that we need not consider it in any way time-wasting or obstructive.
Thanks for taking the trouble to write.

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Re: MET POLICE: Can't answer your FOI Act questions yet because of the 'public interest' test

Post by pauline on 01.09.11 19:08

i find it pretty pathetic you haven't had a reply in the normal time.

Surely they could have made an attempt to answer some of the questions and defer the others which are causing them the angst?

For example Q.9 asks if people making submissions are getting acknowledgements - a simple question and good manners/good practice demands that they do. So why cant they answer yes or no to that!

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Re: MET POLICE: Can't answer your FOI Act questions yet because of the 'public interest' test

Post by Daisy on 02.09.11 21:36

Good luck Tony.

Although I don't hold out much hope of honest answers from an organisation so heavily infiltrated by 'Common Purpose'. Who knows though, they may decide to throw us a few scraps to chew over? Like they did in the following request for info from Leicestershire Constabulary.

This FOI request is very interesting. (Thank you Robert Clark, whoever you are). He asks about expenditure for Common Purpose courses/training for Leicestershire Constabulary for the years 1997-to date (request made July 2008). Note the huge spike in 2008. Why?

For those unaware of Common Purpose (I'm not surprised, it's largely unkown to the general public) here's a couple of links that give the 'official'/ 'unofficial' portrayal on what CP's all about (there's tonnes more info out there) make your own minds up. Either way, this organisation has had a profound impact on our society, it has infiltrated nearly aspect of our lives; that much I can see.



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