04 February 2016 – 931-2015-16 – Freedom of information request– Public comments made in 2015/16 precept survey
Received via Twitter 7 January 2016:
Can you publish all the public comments made in the course of last year’s precept survey by way of #FoI? Thanks
Extent and Result of Searches to Locate Information
To locate the information relevant to your request searches were carried out within the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).
I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by the OPCC.
I have today decided to disclose the located information to you.
Please see attached list of:
All recorded comments made in the 2015 precept survey in answer to the question ‘Do you have any particular views on the future of policing in North Yorkshire’.
Some of the respondents have signed their names on the comments; therefore I have redacted the personal details of any third parties within the comments pursuant to Section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Personal Information.
Section 40 – Personal Information
Where an individual can be identified by such data, releasing it would clearly breach the first data protection principle of being ‘fair’ to the data subject.
Section 17 of the Act requires North Yorkshire Police, when refusing to provide such information (because the information is exempt) to provide you the applicant with a notice which: (a) states that fact, (b) specifies the exemption in question and (c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.
Section 40(2)(b) is an absolute class based exemption, which does not require a public interest test, but requires the balancing of the legitimate interests of the public against the interests of the individual under the first Data Protection Principle (that of ‘fairness’).
The type of information you have requested is personal information which can only be disclosed to the individual concerned. This exemption applies because the right given under the Act to request official information held by public authorities does not apply to the personal data of third parties where disclosure of that information would not be fair to the individual, and where there is no legitimate public interest in disclosure.
In all the circumstances of this instance it has been determined that the duty to the individual under the Data Protection Act 1998, and the public interest in maintaining the exemption from disclosure of personal information held by the force in such cases, outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
Releasing personal details to a person other than the data subject would not only breach the data subject’s Data Protection rights it may also breach the obligations placed on an authority under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Pursuant to Section 17(1) of the Act this letter acts as a refusal notice under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in relation to your request.
Please note that systems used for recording information are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data. It should be noted therefore that this force’s response to your questions should not be used for comparison purposes with any other responses you may receive.