Home Office–A Rule Unto Themselves? Surely Not

I won’t bore you for long today.

Basically, I made an FOI request to the Home Office asking for copies of Risk Assessments and Impact Assessments in relation to the previously announced 5% cut to Police Budgets.

They were due to answer today.

This is the response I have been given;

We are considering your request. Although the Act carries a presumption in favour of disclosure, it provides exemptions which may be used to withhold information in specified circumstances. Some of these exemptions, referred to as ‘qualified exemptions’, are subject to a public interest test. This test is used to balance the public interest in disclosure against the public interest in favour of withholding information. The Act allows us to exceed the 20 working day response target where we need to consider the public interest test fully.

The information you have requested is being considered under the exemption in section 35 (1)(a) of the Act, which provides that information can be withheld if it is likely to prejudice the policy making process and the delivery of effective government. This is a qualified exemption(s) and to consider the public interest fully we need to extend the 20 working day response period. We now aim to let you have a full response by 17 February 2015.

In the mean time you may find published reports about this subject matter useful. These include the Peel Assessment and the ‘Meeting the Challenge’ report, carried out by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). Both these reports show that forces are successfully managing to balance their books while protecting the frontline and delivering reductions in crime and are taken into account by Ministers before they make their final decision. To access these reports please visit the following websites:

https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/our-work/peel-assessments/the-first-peel-assessment/

https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/our-work/value-for-money-inspections/policing-in-austerity-meeting-the-challenge/

Additionally, you may like to see the Provisional Police Grant Report and Written Ministerial Statement (WMS). Both these documents explain how the policing budget is calculated and how this calculation is used by Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to plan their budgets. Please view these documents at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-finance

Is it just me?  Am I being mugged off?  What I’m asking for is some reassurance that they have actually considered the consequences of these cuts, not how they work the bloody budgets out in the first place. Surely that IS in the Public Interest.

So, are HMIC party to this illusion that all is well and books are being balanced? Why would Uncle Tom feed Cruella anything other than the truth?

Now I sit and wait for another month and dare I anticipate that the Home Office will invoke the exemption and ultimately refuse like they normally do? Or am I the only one who wants to be satisfied that the risks have been suitably assessed.

#cutshaveconsequences

#CutsHaveConsequences

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4 thoughts on “Home Office–A Rule Unto Themselves? Surely Not

  1. I interpret that response as: they won’t let on because the truth could adversely affect the gvt policy = we know it’s mad but if we put our heads up our arses we can say we weren’t able to see HOW mad.

  2. Risk Assessment? on something as massively important as this? Are you nuts?
    This was WAY too precious to deserve a poxy risk assessment.Now stop being a nuisance and run along there’s a good fellow.

  3. ‘Home Office a rule unto themselves’? It is far, FAR worse than that. Some of us have evidence of serious crime by those on The State payroll. We try to report it to the police, who SHOULD record it & investigate. Unfortunately, most of the police are as corrupt as those we are reporting, & are determined the crimes will never be investigated. At best they send the whistle-blower away with a flea in his/her ear.
    But it can be much worse than that: They are likely to arrest the whistle-blower on some trumped up charge & have him put away to silence him. Having suffered that, I speak from experience. To escape more of the same, at the age of 86 I was forced to flee the land of my birth – THE LAND FOR WHICH I FOUGHT IN WW2 – to seek safety in the Republic of Ireland.
    Norman Scarth, Veteran of the Arctic Convoys of WW2 (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-21845753 )
    PS: If you REALLY want to know more, email me at againstcorruption@hotmail.co.uk .

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