How many vehicles do you currently own or lease broken down by;
a) Fuel type
b) European Emissions Standard E.g. Euro 6 diesel?
I can confirm that this information is held by West Midlands Police. However, while information relating to OVERT vehicles is attached (19368_19_attachment.pdf) I am withholding information with regard to COVERT vehicles, since it is exempt by virtue of the following:
Section 31 (1)(a)(b) (Law enforcement)
This exemption and explanatory notes is shown here:
In line with the above, I am required to complete a Prejudice Test/Public Interest Test (PIT) on disclosure. Please find this PIT as follows.
Covert vehicles used in certain specialised roles, by definition, need to remain anonymous. Disclosing any detail in relation to these vehicles would mean that they might then be identified. This would compromise the effectiveness of covert operations by alerting individuals involved in criminal activity that there is a police presence, allowing them to take steps to avoid detection.
Factors Favouring Disclosure
Where public funds are being used by West Midlands Police, the public have an interest in knowing what it is being used for. Disclosure of this information would inform the public of what type of vehicles their money is being spent on, so that they can be satisfied that it is being used efficiently.
Factors Favouring Non-Disclosure
Disclosing details of covert vehicles would allow for the identification of those vehicles by individuals involved in criminal activities. This would be invaluable information to them, as they could change their behaviour to evade detection or destroy evidence if they suspect that they are being observed. This would compromise the tactical effectiveness of using covert vehicles and hinder the prevention or detection of crime.
For a public interest test, issues that favour disclosure need to be measured against issues that favour non-disclosure. The public interest is not what interests the public, or a particular individual, but what will be the greater good, if released, to the community as a whole.
In considering the public interest in relation to this request, I must balance the factors for release (transparency and accountability), against the public interest in ensuring that West Midlands Police are able to appropriately enforce the law.
Releasing details of covert vehicles, could allow criminals to be able to identify these vehicles, thus undermining covert operations and compromising law enforcement tactics, meaning that the police service is less effective. West Midlands Police has a duty to deliver effective law enforcement, ensuring the prevention and detection of crime, and the apprehension of offenders.
It is therefore my opinion that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in releasing the information. West Midlands Police will not disclose information that could compromise the current and future law enforcement role of the force.
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.