Ted Heath Investigations (3040_15)

Request

My request concerns allegations surrounding the late Sir Edward Richard George Heath who was born on 9 July 1916 and who died on 17 June 2005.

Sir Edward (also known as Ted Heath) was the former Prime Minister of the UK between 1970 and 1974.

In the light of Sir Edward’s death in 2005 I do not anticipate any data protection implications.

Please do redact the names of any police officers and or victims of abuse and or complainants and or members of the public from the documents.

1. Is the force currently investigating historic allegations of child sex abuse which involve Sir Edward?

2. If the answer is yes can you please state how many potential victims have come forward to the force?  Can you please state the period when the alleged offences are supposed to have taken place?

3. Irrespective of whether the force is currently carrying an investigation into allegations of historic child abuse has the force ever received a complaint about Sir Edward Heath.  I am interested in receiving details of all complaints irrespective of whether they relate to allegations of historic child abuse or not.   Please note that I am only interested in complaints made to the force and or acted upon by the force between 1 January 1950 and 1 January 1969.

4. If the answer is yes can you please provide details of the complaints and explain what action if any was taken by the force.  Can you please supply copies of all relevant paperwork held by the force.

5. Has the force ever felt the need to question and or arrest and or interview and or investigate Sir Edward Heath in relation to any complaint and or offence. Please note that I am only interested in events between 1 January 1950 and 1 January 1969.   I am interested in receiving details of all police enquiries irrespective of whether they relate to allegations of historic child abuse or not.

6. If the answer is you can you please provide details of the complaints and explain what action if any was taken by the force?   Can you please supply copies of all relevant paperwork held by the force.

Response

Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information, to check if any paperwork exists from the period requested would require a full search of every building in West Midlands Police.  Furthermore, prior to 1974 West Midlands Police did not exist in its current form, it is entirely possible that offences reported within the boundary of what is now West Midlands Police are held in Warwickshire and Staffordshire.

Please note that researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12 (1)).

Therefore, the cost of compliance with your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond, i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information and / or the cost of confirming or denying that the information is held would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12 of the Freedom of information Act 2000. For West Midlands Police, the appropriate limit is set at £450, as prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, S.I. 3244.

A public authority which, in relation to any request for information, is relying on a claim that section 12 or section 14 applies must, within the time for complying with Section 1(1), give the applicant a notice stating that fact. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a refusal notice.

I am unable to suggest any practical way in which your request may be modified in order to satisfy your query or bring it within the 18 hours stipulated by the Regulations. However, you may wish to read the following FOI response which contains some relevant information:

http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/sex-abuse-309215/

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