Airport Incidents (4738_17)
All incidents where the incident location marker is `Airport’ by Initial Incident Class and incident result. i.e. arrest
Please find attached our response and note that Birmingham Airport Location marker includes all the venues within and surrounding (as the airport may be the nearest landmark) i.e. Travelodge, All Bar One, Airport Way, Car Parks etc
In addition to the attached response West Midlands Police can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any other information relevant to this request as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply by virtue of the following exemptions
Section 23(5) – Information related to certain security bodies
Section 24(2) – National Security
Section 30(3) – Investigations
These exemptions and explanatory notes are shown here:
Section 23 is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement to articulate harm or conduct a public interest test.
In line with the above, I am required to complete a Prejudice Test/Public Interest Test (PIT) on disclosure for Section 24 and Section 30.
Overall Harm for the NCND
The threat of terrorism cannot be ignored. It should be recognised that the international security landscape is increasingly complex and unpredictable. The UK faces a sustained threat from violent terrorists and extremists. Since 2006 the UK Government have published the threat level based upon current intelligence. The actual threat level to the UK from international terrorism (as of the date of compiling this advice) is “severe” (see below link) – this means that a terrorist attack is highly likely. Policing operations and contingency planning remain under constant review and a wide range of overt and covert tactics will continue to be used across the UK.
To confirm or deny whether any other information is held would undermine individual force policing capabilities which consequently would be detrimental to their ability to deal with the ongoing terrorist threat we face.
Public Interest Test
Factors favouring confirmation or denial for S24
The public are entitled to know how public funds are spent and by confirming or denying that any other information is held would allow the public to see where money is being spent and know that forces are doing as much as they can to combat terrorism.
Factors favouring neither confirming or denying for S24
To confirm or deny that any further information is held would render security measures less effective which would compromise ongoing or future operations to protect the security and infrastructure of the UK. The risk of harm to the public would be elevated if areas of the UK which appear vulnerable were identified which would also provide the opportunity for terrorist planning. Ongoing or future operations to protect the security and infrastructure of the UK would be compromised as terrorists could map the level of counter-terrorist activity across the country, providing them with the knowledge of individual force capability as well as valuable knowledge concerning the vulnerability of individual force areas.
Factors favouring confirmation or denial for S30
There is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations and providing assurance that West Midlands Police force is appropriately and effectively dealing with crime. This is particularly pertinent in high profile situations where there is a high degree of media speculation. Confirming or denying whether any other information is held would allow the public to make informed decisions about these matters
Factors against confirmation or denial for S30
Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations and providing assurance that West Midlands Police force is appropriately and effectively dealing with crime, there is a strong public interest in safeguarding the integrity of police investigations and operations and in maintaining confidence in the Police Service. Confirmation or denial that any other information is held relevant to the request would undermine any investigative process and compromise the integrity of any operations
The Police Service is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime and protecting the communities we serve. The security of the country is of paramount importance and West Midlands Police force will not divulge whether any other information is or is not held if to do so would place the safety of an individual at risk, compromise law enforcement or undermine National Security.
Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations and providing assurance that West Midlands Police force is appropriately and effectively engaging with the threat from terrorists, there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding both national security and the integrity of police investigations and operations in this highly sensitive area.
There is also no requirement to satisfy any public concern over the legality of police operations and the tactics we may or may not use. The force is already held to account by independent bodies such as The Office of the Surveillance Commissioner and The Interception of Communications Commissioners Office. These inspections assess each constabulary’s compliance with the legislation and a full report is submitted to the Prime Minister and Scottish Ministers containing statistical information. Our accountability is therefore not enhanced by confirming or denying that any other information is held.
It is for these reasons that the Public Interest must favour neither confirming nor denying that the requested information is held. However, this should not be taken as necessarily indicating that any other information that would meet your request does or does not exist.