25 November 2013 – FOI Response: 654.2013-14 – Freedom of information request
I would like to request details under the Freedom of Information Act of any previous convictions of your PCC and their staff. More specifically, I would like to know the following:
- Details of any previous convictions of the Police and Crime Commissioner including:
- The number of people employed by the Police and Crime Commissioner, including the PCC him or herself, (including those suspended, subject to caution, etc.) who have criminal records (for example, but not limited to, convictions, out-of-court disposals, etc.)
- Of these, the number known to be on the Sex Offenders Register or have convictions or out-of-court disposals for sex offences (of any type, including child sex).
- For each case, please provide:
- A description of the offence committed
- The punishment received
- The date of the conviction and the date when the crime was committed.
Extent and Result of Searches to Locate Information
To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted within the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and with the Human Resources Department.
I have interpreted this question as a request for details of any previous convictions of the Police and Crime Commissioner, distinct from the statistical information you have requested at Question 1a.
The type of information you have requested is personal information which can only be disclosed to the individual concerned. The right given under the Act to request information held by public authorities does not apply to personal data. Releasing personal details to a person other than the data subject, or releasing details which could lead to the identification of individuals, would breach that individuals Data Protection rights and breach the obligations placed on an authority under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) is to the world and the type of information you have requested is exempt from disclosure under the Act pursuant to the provisions of Section 40(2). Section 40(2) is an absolute class based exemption as disclosure would breach the data protection principles, and so I am not required to consider the harm or public interest when applying this exemption.
Additionally, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any of the information you have requested. To either confirm or deny that the information is held would in itself disclose personal information about a named individual, and therefore the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is not obliged to fulfil its duty under Section 1(a) of the Act pursuant to Section 40(5)(b)(i) of the Act.
Questions 1a, 1b and 1c
I have interpreted these questions as a request for statistical information about the staff employed specifically within the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, rather than a request for information about all police staff within the force who are also employed by the Commissioner.
All staff within the OPCC are vetted to RV level within the recruitment process. I am unable to confirm any additional details in response to your request. There are only 10 individuals covered by this request (including the Commissioner) and so even to release statistical information could lead to the identification of individuals. For the reasons I have already cited above in respect of personal information, the type of information you have requested is exempt from disclosure in accordance with S40(2) of the Act. In addition, I am unable to confirm or deny whether any such information is held and again refer you to my reasoning above for a further explanation about this.
Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) requires the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, 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.
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. Pursuant to Section 17(4) of the Act this letter also acts as a refusal notice in relation to the duty to confirm or deny.
Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet which details your right of complaint.