1) Does West Midlands or West Mercia police have records to authenticate the claims made in this post and associated comments?
2) Is there such an entity such as an `extreme missing list’?
3) Would an elderly person whose whereabouts have not been known since 11am of a given day, find themselves on such a list, by the evening?
DECISION UNDER THE TERMS OF THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
In relation to question 1, West Midlands Police will neither confirm nor deny that we hold any information regarding a specific incident. This letter serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for question 1.
Please see the attached and the following link for the answers to questions 2 and 3.
REASONS FOR DECISION
The Freedom of Information Act places two responsibilities on public authorities, the first of which is to confirm what information it holds and secondly to then disclose that information, unless exemptions apply.
In this case West Midlands Police will neither confirm nor deny the existence of any relevant data by virtue of the Section 40 (5) (Personal data)
This exemption and explanatory notes is shown here:
Section 40 (5) is an absolute and class based exemption if to confirm or deny that the information exists would breach the third party’s data protection rights. In this case to confirm or deny the existence of personal information would not constitute fair processing of the data and therefore would breach the first of the principles within the Data Protection Act 1998. As this exemption is class based I am not required to identify the harm in disclosure and in this instance I believe that the right to privacy outweighs any public interest in release.
No inference can be taken from this refusal that the information you have requested does or does not exist.