Monday, September 05, 2005

The Metropolitan Police reply

After checking their website regularly the Met do not think it necessary to appeal for witnesses by publishing the times of the trains either.

I contacted them to ask why and whether they could give me this information, by this time I'm wondering if this is some kind of state secret.
Dear Mr/Ms Bridget Dunne

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2005080000735

I write in connection with your request for information dated 30/08/2005 which was received by this unit of the Metropolitan Police Service on 30/08/2005. I note you seek access to the following information:

Re: Events in London 7/7/2005. Police Web site does not give times that trains involved with Bombings left Kings Cross Station.

Following receipt of your request searches were conducted within the MPS to locate information relevant to your request.

DECISION

The information requested falls under a MPS 'normal business process' and is therefore unavailable under the Act.

REASON FOR DECISION

Section 21 of the Act provides:

(1) Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant otherwise than under section 1 is exempt information…

The information you have requested is 'reasonably accessible' elsewhere on Transport for London Site

Now if I were asking the Metropolitan police for information on how to get from A to B I would expect to be directed to TFL's journey planner. But this is a major murder investigation into how 56 people have lost their lives.

Surely the victims, their families and friends would expect that an investigation into what happened on that fateful morning might have this information and that it would be readily available, surely it is not insignificant.

I understand that police work and investigations depend increasingly on forensics and psychological profiling and perhaps the name of this blog indicates a more old fashioned type of investigation in the mode of Sherlock Holmes where the facts are gathered and then examined.

By contrast we are told on the Metropolitan Police website that:
The bus started its journey at Marble Arch at 9 o'clock. By five past nine it was in Gloucester Place, and at ten past nine in the Marylebone Road. By 9.30am it was in the Euston Road near the junction with Gower Street, heading East. The closure of Kings Cross Station, because of the attack on the Underground, meant that the bus had to be diverted from its normal route , to travel south into Woburn Place and Tavistock Square. [Metropolitan Police]

So the Met see fit to tell us at what time the number 30 bus had left Marble Arch but not what times the trains left Kings Cross. Surely the time that the bus exploded at 9.47 am was the only significant fact if I follow the logic of the London Underground reply?

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