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The Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II – Mutual Aid (671A/23)


a) The total value of mutual aid the force reclaimed/recovered from other police forces for services and support provided during the Queen’s funeral and associated mourning period. 

b) Please provide a total for each relevant police force that requested mutual aid (e.g. London Met, Thames Valley, Police Scotland etc).


I can confirm that this information is held by West Midlands Police. However, while information for part (a) of your request can be found below, I am withholding information for part (b) of your request by virtue of the following exemptions:

Section 24(1) National security
Section 31(1) Law enforcement

Details of these exemptions can be found here:

a) The total value of mutual aid the force reclaimed/recovered from other police forces for services and support provided during the Queen’s funeral and associated mourning period.

 The total amount we recovered from other forces for Mutual Aid is £928,000 (rounded to the nearest £’000).

Every effort is made to ensure that the figure presented is accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that this datum has 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 figure provided therefore is 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.

In line with the exemptions above, I am required to complete a Prejudice Test/Public Interest Test on disclosure. Please find this as follows:

Harm (Prejudice)

Any release under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a disclosure to the world, not just to the individual making the request. As a result, once the information is published the authority has no control over what use is made of that information.

Providing a breakdown for the cost for each relevant police force that requested mutual aid in respect of the State Funeral for Her Majesty the Queen would, through the mosaic effect of piecing together information within the public domain, allow those with hostile intent to form assessment of security measures for such events and provide such individuals the opportunity to undermine them.

Guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) states “safeguarding national security also includes protecting potential targets even if there is no evidence that an attack is imminent…We also recognise that terrorists can be highly motivated and may go to great lengths to gather intelligence. This means there may be grounds for withholding seemingly harmless information on the basis that it may assist terrorists when pieced together with other information they may obtain.”

Public Interest Test

Section 24 – Factors favouring disclosure:

The public are entitled to know how public funds are spent and to disclose the requested information would allow the public to see where money is being spent and know that forces are doing as much as possible to combat terrorism.

Section 24 – Factors against disclosure:

Personal protection is provided to a number of people where it is in the national interest or where intelligence (information) suggests protection is necessary. Specific protection arrangements are applied in order to safeguard national security by ensuring that appropriate safety and security is provided to key figures such as the King and the Prime Minister. The disclosure of information that undermines security operations would ultimately increase the risk of harm to those afforded personal protection and to the general public within that vicinity.

By providing a breakdown of costs of different specific events, this allows individuals to possible identify with other information in the public domain, the numbers of officers assigned to the event, it also shows the possible importance of the protection provided for this part of the activity due to the amount of money that was spent.

Section 31 – Factors favouring disclosure:

Providing information in relation to events and the protection of individuals would allow the public to see where public funds are being spent. Better public awareness may assist to reduce crime or lead to more information from the public.

Section 31 – Factors against disclosure:

Providing information that could be used to identify resources used at events could be harmful to the security of individuals that would lead to law enforcement tactics being compromised which would ultimately hinder the prevention and detection of crime. Security arrangements and tactics are re-used and have been monitored by criminal groups, fixated individuals, and terrorists.

Protection is provided in a number of forms after careful evaluation of the threat and risks posed to those individuals by operational experts in this field of policing. It therefore follows that anything that would negate the benefits of that protection would place individuals at risk. This would be the individuals receiving protection, the police officers providing the protection and any member of the public in the vicinity of the individual(s).

Balance Test

Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations regarding public monies spent, and providing assurance that the police service is appropriately and effectively engaging with the threat posed by a terrorist attack, there is also an incredibly strong public interest in safeguarding both national security and the integrity of police investigations and operations in the highly sensitive area of terrorism prevention.

The security of the country is of paramount importance and the police service will not divulge information if it is considered harmful, if to do so would place the safety of any individual in receipt of protection at risk or undermine National Security.

Therefore, after weighing the factors for and against disclosure of information for the second part of your request, it is my opinion that release of the requested information would not be in the public interest and the exemptions are necessary and appropriate.


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