Operation Malaya

Status: Waiting for information…

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Lancashire Constabulary should normally have responded promptly and by 8 May 2019

  • Dear Lancashire Constabulary,I would like you to provide me with all information regarding Operation Malaya.This is a police task force operation that was discussed in an open court on 2rd April 2019 and therefore of public record. It was discussed by a man named George Vella who informed the court he was involved in the operation and privy to the details.If it is not possible to provide the information requested due to the information exceeding the cost of compliance limits identified in Section 12, please provide advice and assistance, under your Section 16 obligations, as to how I can refine my request to be included in the scope of the Act. In any case, if you can identify ways that my request could be refined please provide further advice and assistance to indicate this.I look forward to your response within 20 working days, as stipulated by the Act.Yours faithfully,Paul Ponting

  • Dear Lancashire Constabulary,

    I am writing to further clarify my request:

    • Please can you tell me who authorised the operation.
    • Please can you tell me the number of officers involved in the operation.
    • Please can you tell me how long the operation has been running?
    • When did the operation start?
    • Is it now finished?
    • What was or is the investigation purpose?
    • Under what circumstances would members of the public be involved in such an operation.

    I look forward to your response 
    Yours faithfully,

    Paul Ponting

  • Dear Information assurance unit,

    It has been 20 working days and I have not had a response.

    The Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw has confirmed Operation Malaya does exist and was setup 13th June 2017. This may help.

    Please can you respond as soon as possible.

    Yours sincerely,

    Paul Ponting

  • Dear Mr Ponting,

    Our response to your Freedom of Information Request regarding ‘Operation Malaya’ is due on the 8^th May 2019.

    Please be advised that the deadline date has been extended by two days due to Good Friday and Easter Monday falling within April.

    Should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to get back in touch.

    Regards,
    Compliance Team – Data Protection Office
    HQ – Legal Services
    Information Compliance and Disclosure Section
    Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters
    Tel: 01772 413203

  • Dear FOI,

    Thank you for the clarification. I would like to point out that the deadline is the absolute latest date a response should take and should not be seen as a ‘target’ date for releasing the information or be used as any means to delay the release of the information. If you have the information now, as I suspect you do, then the information should be released now and not delayed intentionally until the deadline is reached.

    Yours sincerely,

    Paul Ponting

Deadline 8th May 2019

  • Dear FOI,

    Please can you provide me with the information requested. Yesterday was the DEADLINE.

    Your response on the 29th April 2019 made it clear that you believed the information was DUE on the 8th May 2019 (yesterday) when in fact, it was due NO LATER than the 8th May 2019. This was a deadline, not a target!

    By law, you should normally have responded promptly and by 8 May 2019 at the latest

    Please can you provide me with the information I requested as soon as possible.

    Yours sincerely,

    Paul Ponting

  • Dear FOI,

    Please can you provide me with the information requested. The deadline was the 8th May.

    Your response on the 29th April 2019 made it clear that you believed the information was DUE on the 8th May 2019 when in fact, it was due NO LATER than the 8th May 2019. This was a deadline, not a target!

    By law, you should normally have responded promptly and by 8 May 2019 at the latest. Please can you provide me with the information I requested.

    I have already sent you a reminder of this delay on the 9th May to which you have not responded.

    Yours sincerely,

    Paul Ponting

  • Dear FOI,

    Please can you provide me with the information requested. The deadline was the 8th May.

    Your response on the 29th April 2019 made it clear that you believed the information was DUE on the 8th May 2019 when in fact, it was due NO LATER than the 8th May 2019. This was a deadline, not a target!

    By law, you should normally have responded promptly and by 8 May 2019 at the latest. Please can you provide me with the information I requested.

    I have already sent you reminders on the following dates which you seem to be ignoring: 
    9th May 
    10th May

    Yours sincerely,

    Paul Ponting

  • Dear Mr Ponting,

    Please accept our sincere apologies for the delay in responding to your Freedom of Information request.

    I am sorry if this has caused you any inconvenience.

    Please be assured that we are aware of your request and shall ensure that we provide you with a response as soon as possible.

    If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Regards,

    Compliance Team – Data Protection Office

    HQ – Legal Services

    Information Compliance and Disclosure Section

    Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters

    Tel: 01772 413203

    Personal Data Matters – Let’s Get it Right!

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  • Dear FOI,

    Thank you for your email.

    As you are aware, the law states that Freedom of Information requests should be replied to promptly and in any case, the law states that you must respond within 20 working days. This is 4 days late so far.

    You replied to me on the 29th April after I promoted you for a reply. You told me that the deadline was ‘extended’ due to bank holidays and that my FOI request was ‘due’ on the 8th May 2019.

    I have made you aware that the deadline is that (a deadline, not a target). You made no reference to any known delay of this FOI request on the 29th of April when you clearly stated the due date was the 8th May 2019, therefore, I am asking for the information I requested immediately.

    If you do not have it, why not? 
    Please tell me what is causing the delay as the information should be readily available. 
    The task force has been confirmed to exist already by the Crime Commissioner.

    I understand the FOI poses a difficult situation for the constabulary to answer, but legally, you must respond and provide the information even though it may assist me with a complaint or claim against the constabulary.

    Yours sincerely, 
    Paul Ponting

  • Dear FOI,

    Please can you provide me with the information requested. The deadline was the 8th May.

    Your response on the 29th April 2019 made it clear that you believed the information was DUE on the 8th May 2019 when in fact, it was due NO LATER than the 8th May 2019. This was a deadline, not a target!

    By law, you should normally have responded promptly and by 8 May 2019 at the latest. Please can you provide me with the information I requested.

    I have already sent you reminders on the following dates which you seem to be ignoring: 
    9th May 
    10th May 
    13th May 
    14th May

    You did take the time to send me a message on the 14th telling me there was a delay, but my response back on the same day has been ignored. I have asked for the reason for the delay which you have simply ignored and still failed to provide the requested information.

    Yours sincerely,

    Paul Ponting

  • Dear FOI,

    Please can you provide me with the information requested. The deadline was the 8th May.

    Your response on the 29th April 2019 made it clear that you believed the information was DUE on the 8th May 2019 when in fact, it was due NO LATER than the 8th May 2019. This was a deadline, not a target!

    By law, you should normally have responded promptly and by 8 May 2019 at the latest. Please can you provide me with the information I requested.

    I have already sent you reminders on the following dates which you seem to be ignoring:

    9th May
    10th May
    13th May
    14th May
    15th May

    You did take the time to send me a message on the 14th telling me there was a delay, but my response back on the same day has been ignored. I have asked for the reason for the delay which you have simply ignored and still failed to provide the requested information.

    Yours sincerely,

    Paul Ponting

  • Data Protection Office
    Police Headquarters, Saunders Lane, Hutton, Preston PR4 5SB
    Tel: 01772 41332 / 412144
    Email: FOI@lancashire.pnn.police.uk

    Mr Paul Ponting
    Sent via email to:foirequests@foi-request.com

    Date: 20 May 2019

    Dear Mr Ponting
    FREEDOM OF INFORMATION APPLICATION REFERENCE NO: DPO/FOI/001305/19
    Thank you for your request for information received by Lancashire Constabulary on 05/04/2019.

    Your request has now been considered and the Constabulary’s response is provided below.

    Lancashire Constabulary can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any information in relation to your request by virtue of the listed exemptions:

    • Section 30(3) Investigations
    • Section 40(5) Personal Data

    Section 30 is a class based qualified exemption and consideration of the public interest must be given as to whether neither confirming nor denying the information exists is the appropriate response.

    Section 40 is an absolute class based exemption therefore neither the public interest test nor evidence of harm in disclosure needs to be outlined.

    This exemption is engaged as it satisfies the following two conditions: –

    1. To confirm whether or not the information is held would reveal the personal data of a data subject as defined by Article 4 (1) of GDPR and Part 1 Section (3)(2) of the Data Protection Act 2018.

    2. That to confirm whether or not the information is held would contravene one of the data protection principles, namely the first one, which states that personal data shall be processed lawfully and fairly (and in a transparent manner).

    Section 40 is an absolute class based exemption therefore neither the public interest test nor evidence of harm in disclosure needs to be outlined.

    I can advise however that to confirm or deny whether we hold any of the requested information would in itself reveal the personal data of the subject. It is important to note that disclosures under the FOIA are considered as disclosures “to the world” and as such, to confirm or deny whether or not any information is held would be unfair to the data subject and therefore breach the first data protection principle, namely that ‘Personal data shall be processed lawfully and fairly’.

    Public Interest Considerations

    Factors favouring confirmation or denial for Section 30

    Confirming or denying whether information exists relevant to this request would lead to a better informed general public by identifying that Lancashire Constabulary robustly investigate all allegations. This fact alone may encourage individuals to provide intelligence in order to assist with investigations and promote public trust in providing transparency and demonstrating openness and accountability into where the police focus their investigations.

    Factors against confirmation or denial for Section 30

    Modern-day Policing is intelligence led and by confirming or denying that any information relevant to this request exists could suggest Lancashire Constabulary take their responsibility to appropriately handle and manage intelligence supplied to them flippantly. It must be remembered that any information disclosed under the Freedom of information Act is considered as a disclosure ‘to the world’.

    To confirm or deny that information is held in relation to investigations which may or may not have taken place or be taking place would undermine the investigative process and therefore is not in the public interest.

    Balancing Test

    The points above highlight the merits of confirming, or denying, whether any information pertinent to this request exists. The Police Service is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime and protecting the communities we serve. As part of that policing purpose, various operations may or may not be on-going. The Police Service will never divulge whether or not information pertinent to this request does or does not exist, if to do so would place the safety of an individual(s) at risk, compromise an investigation or undermine the policing purpose in the effective delivery of operational law enforcement.

    Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations and investigations, providing reassurance that the Police Service is appropriately and effectively acting on the information provided by the public for investigations, there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding the health and safety of individuals. As much as there is a public interest in knowing that policing activity is appropriate and balanced it will only be overridden in exceptional circumstances.

    Therefore, at this moment in time, it is our opinion that for these issues the balance test for neither confirming, nor denying that information is held is appropriate.

    No inference can be taken from this refusal that information does or does not exist.

    Therefore, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice under section 17 (1) of the legislation.

    As per our obligation to provide advice and assistance we can advise that Operation Malaya is an operational name created for logistical reasons to accurately reflect duties being undertaken by certain staff. Due to the number and complexity of the allegations made, in order to provide continuity and a more efficient, streamlined service, a small team of dedicated officers were removed from their normal duties and assigned to work on these linked reports. For operational resourcing reasons they were required to be shown as allocated to a particular investigation, hence the creation of the operation name. The operation started in June 2017 and the officers concerned returned to their normal duties in September 2017.

    We sincerely apologise for the delay in providing you with a response to this request.
    If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request an internal review of our decision, you should write to the Information Assurance Manager, Information Compliance and Disclosure Section, Police Headquarters, Saunders Lane, Hutton, Preston PR4 5SB or alternatively send an email to FOI@lancashire.pnn.police.uk. Details of the Constabulary’s Freedom of Information Complaint Procedures can be found attached to this email.
    If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the Information Commissioner’s Office cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by Lancashire Constabulary. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
    Yours sincerely

    Compliance Team

    Data Protection Office

  • Dear FOI

    I am asking for this to be sent for internal review on the basis that Operation Malaya has been identified in the public domain and discussed in a public court. 

    Therefore is already public knowledge and in the public interest.  No personal identifiable information is required.

    Please can you tell me who authorised the operation.  – Officers name is ok to disclose.
    Please can you tell me the number of officers involved in the operation. – Does not disclose personal data.
    Please can you tell me how long the operation has been running?  – Does not disclose personal data.
    When did the operation start?    – Does not disclose personal data.
    Is it now finished?    – Does not disclose personal data.
    What was or is the investigation purpose?   – Does not disclose personal data, any names can be redacted.
    Under what circumstances would members of the public be involved in such an operation.   – Does not disclose personal data.

    I reiterate, this is in the public interest.  It has been openly discussed in public and in a public court room.

    Please can you respond with the requested information as soon as possible.

    Paul

  • Dear Mr Ponting,

    Your request for an Internal Review has been booked on under the reference number 1844/19. You should receive a response from us in due course.

    Regards,

    Data Protection Office

    Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters

    Tel: 01772 413203

    Email: FOI@lancashire.pnn.police.uk