2 May 2014 – FOI Response 71. 2014-15 – Freedom of information request
‘Copies (granted the redaction of personal data covered by the DPA) of the allegedly “disgraceful” emails that the PCC alleges to have been sent to her by me or my so-called (by the PCC) “associates” who contribute political comment articles to the Real Whitby Magazine.’
I have decided to exempt any information, if held, pursuant to the provisions of section 40(1) and 40(2) of the Act. Section 40 refers to Personal Information.
Section 40(1) and 40(2) 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’.) 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.
Therefore, 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 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.
Additionally, North Yorkshire Police can neither confirm nor deny that it holds the information you have requested.
To either confirm or deny that information is held about an individual would in itself disclose personal information about that individual, and therefore the force is not obliged to fulfil its duty under Section 1(a) of the Act pursuant to Section 40(5)(a) of the Act.
Should an individual wish to know what information (if any) the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire Police holds about them, then a request can be made in writing to the Civil Disclosure Unit at Police Headquarters, Newby Wiske Hall, Newby Wiske, DL7 9HA. The Civil Disclosure Unit will process these requests in accordance with the Subject Access Procedure. Payment of a £10.00 fee and proof of identification must accompany a completed application form. Such a form can be obtained from any police station or downloaded from the North Yorkshire Police website.
Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet which details your right of complaint.