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Cold Cases (52A/20)

Request

Please send me:

1) A list of the force’s cold cases under investigation including details of the crime investigated

2) A list of cold cases solved since January 2019

Response

We can confirm that information is held by West Midlands Police. However, while the majority of the information for question 1) is attached to this email, I am not required to release all of the information requested. This letter serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) for details of the victims that are not already in the public domain.

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, this letter represents a Refusal Notice for the withheld information. The information is exempt by virtue of the following exemptions:

Section 30(1)(a)(b) – Investigations

Section 38(1)(a)(b) – Health and safety

Section 40(2) – Personal information

These exemptions and explanatory notes are shown here:

https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-content/information-management/freedom-of-information/#freedom-of-information-exemptions

In line with Section 30 and 38 above, I am required to complete a Prejudice Test/Public Interest Test (PIT) on disclosure. Please find this PIT attached (52A_PIT).

Should information relevant to this request exist it would pertain to the personal data of any individual involved in matters leading up to and surrounding the deceased’s death and/or any other individuals connected/related to the deceased. Therefore, it is exempt from disclosure and the exemption that applies to this type of information is Section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Section 40(2) is an absolute and class based exemption if to release the information exists would breach the third party’s data protection rights.  In this case to release this personal information would not constitute fair processing of the data. 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.

In relation to the final question:

2) A list of cold cases solved since January 2019

December 2019 – Murder of Lisa Bennett (9th May 2013 went missing / died)

Attachments

52A_Attachment

52A_PIT