If the Government had been open and transparent about the supposedly temporary, strictly time and location limited Terrorism Act 2000 section 44 stop and search without reasonable suspicion powers for Police Constables in Uniform, then they would not have got into the mess which was revealed by Baroness Neville-Jones on Thursday.
In the light of the even greater public interest in disclosure, Spy Blog has repeated the FOIA request of 14th November 2007.
There must be a suspicion that the previous FOIA request was refused, not on the grounds of national security, as claimed, but to cover up administrative incompetence.
Direct Communications Unit
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF
Friday 11th June 2010
FOIA request: Terrorism Act 2000 section 44 stop and search *without* reasonable cause Authorisations (time, date, geographical extent and Ministerial authorisation only)
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please disclose the following information:
Regarding the Terrorism Act 2000 stop and search *without* reasonable cause legal power for a Constable in Uniform:
Section 44 Authorisations
Section 46 Duration of authorisation
1) Authorisations which the Secretary of State has been informed of under Section 46 (3)
2) Authorisations which have not been confirmed by the Secretary of State and which have lapsed under Section 46 (4)
3) Authorisations modified by the Secretary of State under Section 46 (5)
4) Authorisations which have been cancelled by the Secretary of State under Section 46 (6)
5) Authorisations renewed in writing under Section 46 (7)
6) Given the numerous administrative failures and the thousands of illegal searches, mentioned in the Ministerial Statement of 10th June 2010 by Baroness Neville-Jones (HL Deb, 10 June 2010, c66WS), I also want to see exactly which Minister signed which Authorisation and when.
Please disclose all of the Authorisations since the Terrorism Act 2000 came into force until today Friday 11th June 2010.
If that is deemed to be too many Authorisations, then please advise how this FOIA request may best be modified, according to your duty under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 16 Duty to provide advice and assistance.
N.B. as per my previous Freedom of Information Act 2000 request for the same information, submitted back on the 14th November 2007 (see the ICO Decision Notice attached), I am *not* requesting any of the background intelligence material produced to support the granting of such an Authorisation.
I am *only* interested in the time, date, duration and geographical extent (either in words or on a map or plan etc.) of each Authorisation made under section 44 of the the Terrorism Act 2000.
ICO Decision Notice on my previous FOIA request.
For your information, I have attached a (.pdf) copy of the Decision Notice Reference: FS50198733 of the 8th February 2010.
There must not be a repeat of the delays which caused the Information Commissioner to issue an Information Notice, breach of which amounts to a Contempt of Court by the individuals responsible:
"63. The information request in this case was made on 14 November 2007. The public authority failed to comply with section 1(1) until 8 February 2008. In failing to provide a response compliant with section 1(1) within 20 working days of receipt of the request, the public authority breached section 10(1).
75. During the course of his investigation, the Commissioner has encountered considerable delay on account of the Home Office's reluctance to meet the timescales for response set out in his letters. The delays were such that the Commissioner found it necessary to issue an Information Notice in order to obtain details relevant to his investigation.
76. Accordingly, the Commissioner does not consider the Home Office's approach to this case to be particularly co-operative, or within the spirit of the Act. As such he will be monitoring the authority's future engagement with the ICO and would expect to see improvements in this regard."
Ministerial Statement to the House of Lords:
Terrorism: Stop and Search
10 June 2010
by Baroness Neville-Jones the Minister of State (Security) at the Home Office,
HL Deb, 10 June 2010, c66WS
Please provide the requested information, ideally by publishing it on your public world wide website, or alternatively by email.
Ideally this should *not* be in the form of a "copy and paste" locked Adobe .pdf file, or similar, attachment.
In the unlikely event that this information is not already available in a standard electronic format, then please explain the reasons why, when you provide the information in another format.
If you are proposing to make a charge for providing the information requested, please provide full details in advance, together with an explanation of any proposed charge.
If you decide to withhold any of the information requested, you should clearly explain why you have done so in your response, by reference to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 legislation.
If your decision to withhold is based upon an evaluation of the Public Interest, then you should clearly explain which public interests you have considered and why you have decided that the public interest in maintaining the exception(s) outweighs the public interest in releasing the information.
I look forward to receiving the information requested as soon as possible and in any event, within the statutory 20 working days from receipt of this email i.e. no later than Wednesday 7th July 2010