Suspended Officers (3313_15)

Request

Please could you disclose to me,

1) Confirmation that the officers Det Con Teresa Fraser, Insp Kristian Starinskyj, and Katherine Starynskyj remain suspended on full pay by WMP (pending the outcome of a prosecution)

2) The date they were first suspended (December 2010?)

3) The charges they currently face

4) The date when the trial is expected to conclude

5) The estimated cost to the force of suspending an officer (any officer) for 5 years on full pay

Response

DECISION UNDER THE TERMS OF THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

In relation to question 5, we do not hold an estimated cost. However, in order to assist, we provide some relevant information below.

In relation to questions 1-4, West Midlands Police have a serving officer by the name of Kristian Starynskyj. However we will neither confirm nor deny that we hold any other of the requested information. This letter serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

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 Information)

This exemption and explanatory notes is shown here:

http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/docs/advice-centre/foi/exemptions.pdf

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.

In relation to question 5, we do not hold an estimated cost of suspending an officer on 5 years full pay, however in order to assist we have done the below calculation.

The cost would vary depending on the level of the individual suspended.   From the beginning of the financial year 2010-11 to the end of financial year 2014-15, the estimated cost of pay and allowances (based on the budgeted averages during each year) could range between £225k for a Police Constable to £526k for a Chief Superintendent.

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