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Officer Ethnicity (913/18)


I am writing to ask for some specific information regarding the diversity of West Midlands Police Officers.

I would be grateful if I could be notified how many serving police officers there are who identify as Bangladeshi and out of these officers, what is the highest rank held by a serving Bangladeshi officer.


We can confirm that some relevant information is held by West Midlands Police. However, while the majority of the information is attached to this email I am afraid that I am not required by statute 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 the information that has not been released.


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.


Given the small number involved West Midlands Police will not provide the precise rank of this officer by virtue of Section 40 (5) (Personal Data).

This exemption and explanatory notes is shown here:

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 provide the rank of this officer, give the low number of officers at these ranks would identify the ethnicity of an individual. This 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.