I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 relating to unmanned aerial vehicle (or drone) operations conducted by your Force.
Please send me details about:
The number of qualified drone operators (both full and part time) you currently have working for the Force in any capacity.
- The number of drones currently used by the Force.
- The type (by manufacturer and model) of drones currently used by the Force.
- The cumulative number of our hours flown by each drone type in the last 12 months.
- The number of drone crashes, losses or failures experienced in the last 12 months by the Force by drone type.
If the drone in question is not 12 months old please provide the total number of flying hours and accrual period.
Please find attached our response with regard to the OVERT use of Drones / Unmanned Aerial Surveillance (UAS).
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 supplied by, or concerning, certain Security Bodies
Section 24(2) – National Security
Section 31(3) – Law enforcement
Section 23 is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement to consider the public interest in this case.
Confirming or denying the existence of whether any other information is held would contravene the constrictions laid out within Section 23 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in that this stipulates a generic bar on disclosure of any information applied by, or concerning, certain Security Bodies.
Sections 24 and 31 are prejudice based, qualified exemptions and there is a requirement to articulate the harm that would be caused in confirming or denying that any other information is held as well as carrying out a public interest test. Please find this PIT attached (1748A_PIT).
These exemptions and explanatory notes are shown here:
No inference can be taken from this refusal that any further information relevant to your request does or does not exist.