Operation Snap (1484A/23)
Please provide a full breakdown of all data held for WMP Operation Snap in 2022 to include the following:
1. Total number of submissions received.
2. The total number of submissions that were actually reviewed.
3. The total number of submissions that led to no action.
4. The total number of submissions that led to positive action.
5. The total number of submissions that led to formal Warning Advisory letters.
6. The total number of submissions that led to a conditional offer of a diversionary course.
7. The total number of submissions that led to conditional fixed penalty notices (FPNs).
8. The total number of submissions that proceeded to court.
Please provide the data requested in each of A1 to A8 above but filtered specifically to those submissions made only by cyclists.
Please also provide the details requested in A for each of the following calendar years:
2023 – up to the latest month available
Please provide a sample illustration of an advisory-warning letter that a registered keeper receives in response to a complaint of a close pass of a cyclist.
Please detail how long this warning record is kept against the registered keeper. (Does the reviewer check for previous offences for the offending registration?
How are repeat offenders who receive advisory-warning letters tracked? ).
Please provide data that compares W.M. Police’s submission review performance with other UK police forces’ performance.
(I.e. a comparison of results of A1 to A8).
Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all of this information within the appropriate (cost) limit under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. Information for the years 2017 – 22 is not held in a centrally collated or electronically searchable format. This information and any additional details received via the third party reporting form (i.e. whether submissions were made by cyclists) would be contained within each individual submission and would therefore require a manual review of each individual submission in order to retrieve it. We estimate there would be roughly 25,000 submissions throughout these years. Therefore, at an approximation of 15 minutes to review each record we anticipate this taking thousands of hours of work, which would far exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).
This means that the cost of providing you with the information is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds the ‘appropriate level’ as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004.
In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice for this request.
Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here:
However, under Section 16 of the Act I have a duty to provide advice and assistance in relation to your request and can advise the following:
In relation to questions A – C, we can provide some relevant information concerning Operation Snap from January 2023 to May 2023 as this has been centrally collated. Please find this information attached (1484A_Attachment). Due to recording processes and staff changes, more recent information is not currently retrievable as offences after this date may not have been processed yet. In relation to question B (whether submissions were only made by cyclists) please be advised that we have only recently begun recording this detail, however, as mentioned above this is not currently retrievable.
In addition, we have previously disclosed some information concerning Operation Snap which can be found on our disclosure log at the link below, should you find this useful.
In relation to question D), close passes are seen as Education / Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) / Court, very rarely would we send a warning letter in relation to close pass of a cyclist. A national computer checks to see if a driver is eligible for education, however if not, the outcome is then moved to FPN or court. Repeat offenders do not receive multiple warning letters. However, please find attached a sample warning letter that WMP would issue to road users, with redactions where appropriate (1484A_Attachment_2).
The redacted information is exempt by virtue of Section 40(2) – (Personal information)
Section 40(2) is an absolute and class-based exemption, therefore there is no requirement to provide evidence of harm or consider the public interest test. To disclose all of the requested information would significantly increase the risk of individuals being identified which would breach principle 1 (lawfulness, fairness and transparency) of the Data Protection Act 2018.
In relation to question E), there is no recorded information held.
In addition to the above, please see a recent article published on our website by our News Desk team in relation to dashcam submissions: https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/news/action-taken-against-hundreds-careless-and-dangerous-drivers-thanks-your-footage
Please note that these data should be interpreted with caution. Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.
The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.
If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.