I recently contacted Northamptonshire Police with a Freedom of Information Request, asking how many Police Stations had closed in the last 5 years, and how many were envisaged to close in the coming 5 years.
They answered the 1st bit perfectly and for that I thank them.
When it came to the second bit, they were a bit more cagey.
They issued me with a Refusal Notice on the following grounds;
“Disclosure of information, which would be likely to prejudice the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension or prosecution of offenders or the administration of justice.
Section 43 – Commercial Interests. Disclosure of this information would breach the commercial interests of the company if its disclosure under this act would, or would be likely to, prejudice commercial interests of any person.
Law enforcement tactics would be compromised which would hinder the prevention or detection of crime and impact on police resources and may increase the commission of crime. Disclosure would enable the geographic mapping of our resources throughout the county.
Interests of third parties – Third party interests might be jeopardised by release of information relating to sensitive commercial information held about business, financial, contractual or operational issues.
Thus, although this information may be interesting to the public I do not see how its release can benefit the community at large. Having weighed up the argument, I feel the balance lies in withholding this information in order to protect those working on the strategy and staff affected by its outcome. ”
Well it takes more than that to put me off, so I set about finding the information elsewhere’
A quick search on my old friend Google very quickly came up with (amongst others)
It seems it’s OK for the PCC and the Chief Constable to discuss planned Police Station closures with the Press but plebs such as myself must be kept in the dark and fed bullshit, the old Mushroom Syndrome.
Needless to say, when their staff get back to work on Monday they will find my Appeal against their Refusal waiting.