I thought that Policing was much about Right and Wrong, making sure people do things right and prosecuting (other methods of Disposal are also available) the ones who didn’t. Am I very wide of the mark there? Simplistic I know, but I find it’s best to keep things simple where the College is involved.
Then, if this is right, shouldn’t the College of Policing be teaching the Police the best ways to uphold the Law and make sure everybody knows their Rights from their Wrongs? Surely they should be a Law-Abiding Limited Company, shouldn’t they?
So, on the 15th March when I sent them a Freedom of Information request in relation to their National Undercover Policing Scrutiny Panel, they had BY LAW until 15th April to reply. I had a response from Steven, Ethics, Integrity and Public Interest Co-ordinator acknowledging my request, and the attached letter (which actually had Steven’s full name on it, unlike his casual response) said “Your request will be considered in accordance with the legislation and you will receive a
response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days, subject to the provisions of the Act. In the unlikely event that the College of Policing is unable to meet the 20 working day deadline, you will be informed as soon as possible and given a revised time-scale for response.”
Well, as they haven’t contacted me in any way since their original acknowledgement, even though I’m expecting a Refusal Notice, I can only assume that they are flouting the law by not replying within 20 working days, or offering me an explanation as to why they can’t comply.
Have they EVER replied to anybody about anything? I don’t see any evidence of a willingness to engage on Twitter, so why do they have an account? Just to self-publicise without the willingness to interact?
Having perused previous FOI requests made of them they do like to try and find an Exemption to claim, anything tricky and they play the Exemption Card. So we shall see.
I would have thought that an ethical organisation would comply with the spirit of the Act and supply the information when they could, but I have to say that some of the Exemptions they have applied seem spurious at best.
Of the 26 FOI Requests made via the website I use 4 have been REFUSED, 4 are OVERDUE, and a further 4 they claim not to hold the information that was requested. So requesters’ success rates are not very high with the College, although nowhere near as bad as the Home Office, the College could learn something there.
Law-Abiding? Not where the Freedom of Information Act is concerned, no.