Monday, April 24, 2006

Correspondence with the MPS Anti-Terrorist Branch

The MPS replied to the request forwarded from the BTP:

Dear Ms Bridget Dunne

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2006040004250

I write in connection with your request for information which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). I note you seek access to the following information:

* At what times were the areas surrounding the various sites of the bombings put up?.

DECISION

Having located and considered the relevant information, I am afraid that I am not required by statute to release the information requested. This letter serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).

REASONS FOR DECISION

Section 17 of the Act provides:

(1) A public authority which, in relation to any request for information, is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision in part II relating to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request or on a claim that information is exempt information must, within the time for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which-

(a) states the fact,
(b) specifies the exemption in question, and
(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the
exemption applies.

You have submitted a series of requests concerning the events of the 7th July. It has now been explained on several occasions that the investigation into those events continues and therefore the details of the investigation cannot normally be released under the FOIA as the exemption under Section 30 of the Act applies. This exemption, as previously stated, means that information concerning ongoing enquiries should not be made public under FOIA as the proper means of detailed disclosure is through a Court or Inquest once the investigation is concluded.

The only way in which this exemption might not be claimed would be if the information being considered was of such a significant public interest or importance so as to justify an exceptional decision regarding that specific data. We judge to there to be minimal public interest in the question 'What times were the cordons set up?'. Given that the data emanating from your question appears to carry only curiosity interest, we see no credible basis upon which to deflect from the established guidance in maintaining confidential detailed information concerning ongoing investigations.

Whilst we welcome your continued interest in the activities of the MPS, please except that we cannot provide details of specific times for the events of that morning. Much of this information for all meaningful purposes is already in the public arena. If you do continue to repeatedly ask the same (or extremely similar) questions, you may reach a point where your requests are no longer be valid under the Act.

In each reply I have invited you to contact me or the investigation team if you have meaningful evidence to contribute to the investigation into the 7th July attacks. That offer still remains. I must point out, it not helpful for you to submit numerous requests which inevitably will require the same response. Each of these requests distracts us from other work, whereas a meeting might just have a productive outcome.
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to make a complaint.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please contact me on 0207 230 2717 or at the address at the top of this letter, quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Neil Smith
Detective Inspector
Anti-Terrorist Branch
New Scotland Yard

The MPS had replied similarly to my previous request for information.

I then wrote to Detective Inspector Smith and asked him the following:
Dear Mr Smith

Thank you for your prompt reply to my FOI request 2006030009138.
I asked for the following information:

1. Why does the police website still show that the explosion on the Piccadilly Line train on 7th July 2005 happened by the first set of double doors on carriage one?

2. What was the number of the train and carriage of the Piccadilly Line train that the explosion happened on on 7th July 2005?

3. The police website states that two trains were involved in the incident on 7th July 2005 at Edgware Road, when the blast tore through a tunnel wall into a train on an adjoining platform. Was anyone injured or killed in this other train?

4. Have details of the type of explosives and detonators used in the 4 incidents on 7th July been officially released?

5. Was a second controlled explosion carried out on a device found on the Number 30 bus in Tavistock Square on 7th July 2005?

You replied that you cannot locate these comments (1 & 3) on the MPS website. Could I direct you to the following:

'One week anniversary' bombings appeal'

Piccadilly Line train travelling from Kings Cross to Russell Square, approx 600 metres into the tunnel. The device was in the first carriage, in the standing area near the first set of double doors.

Westbound Circle Line train coming into Edgware Road station, approx. 100 yards into the tunnel. The explosion blew a hole through a wall onto another train on an adjoining platform. The device was in the second carriage, in the standing area near the first set of double doors.

If the above information is incorrect one week after these events, I have not found any updates on the MPS website to correct it.

There is also mention of a CCTV image showing these 4 men at Kings Cross station at 8.30am that morning, this image has never been released into the public domain. Yet we have seen at least 6 images of the suspects from the events on 21/7/05, for whom there will be a court case, and images of 3 of the 4 young men from 28/6/05 when they are said to have rehearsed these events.

I understand that this is an ongoing investigation, yet there is a scarcity of facts from the 7/7/05, (only one CCTV image of the 4 accused together taken 30 miles away at Luton), or contradicting facts, such as where the device was placed on the Piccadilly Line train. Given the quantity of images and facts in the public domain for the events of the 21/7/05 I cannot understand how or why any trial or inquest into 7/7/05 would be prejudiced by this information being released.

http://www.met.police.uk/news/july_21_07_05/response4.htm

You state in your reply:

'The fact that the enquiry continues means that the Section 30 FOIA exemption must be applied to avoid early or inappropriate disclosure of material subject to court proceedings'.

How can the answers to the questions I have asked possibly prejudice any court proceedings, especially as the 4 accused will not stand trial? If the release of at least 6 CCTV images from the 21/7/05 and details of these men movements will not affect their forthcoming trial?

Yours Sincerely

Ms Bridget Dunne

13 comments:

Numeral said...

Is this a offer of a meeting?

In each reply I have invited you to contact me or the investigation team if you have meaningful evidence to contribute to the investigation into the 7th July attacks. That offer still remains. I must point out, it not helpful for you to submit numerous requests which inevitably will require the same response. Each of these requests distracts us from other work, whereas a meeting might just have a productive outcome.

Bridget Dunne said...

Hi Numeral

What do people reckon? Perhaps Detective Inspector Neil Smith would be interested in all the evidence that has been gathered so far that points to the impossibility of the 4 accused having been able to get to London in time to board the underground trains that exploded.

That strikes me as 'meaningful evidence' to contribute to the investigation into the 7th July attacks.

Numeral said...

Hi Bridget

I find it difficult to imagine what a productive outcome could possibly be for either side. The Met won't tell us anything and anything we have found out we post far and wide. I doubt there is anything we can tell them that they do not already know.

Ask for a hint as to the agenda of such a meeting?

Anonymous said...

Totally disgusted.

Smith: If you do continue to repeatedly ask the same (or extremely similar) questions, you may reach a point where your requests are no longer be valid under the Act.

What in the name of the Lord does that mean? Can anyone clarify? My interpretation is that if Bridget keeps asking questions then the slippery 'officials' will say she's simply being personally curious about everything and so ANY future request for information will be ignored. Tell me, Under what leglisation is this adjudication valid? I am apalled by this "response." by Smith.

As if trying to establish a clear picture of one of the most significant terrorist attacks in the UK is dismissable curiousity. Its obsene.

Also Smith peddles on: "Having located and considered the relevant information, I am afraid that I am not required by statute to release the information requested." So this person actually retrieved the information that Bridget enquired about only then to realise that the information shouldn't be given out.

A also believe that this person is inventing his own guidelines. The rather grotesque anti-campaign for clear English jargon does not say (at least, in as far as I can make out) that Bridget should NOT be given the information she requests. Let people like me decide if its in the public interest. Clearly I am more in touch with the public than Smith is.

They are deliberately trivialising what Bridget is enquiring about (and that is building the broad picture of that day).

Listen Smith now... "I must point out, it not helpful for you to submit numerous requests which inevitably will require the same response." Its only generates that 'same' response because it is Smith that decided to give that response.

senario:
Bridget request: Were the manfunctioning cameras that day tested afterwards and can I have a copy of the test report?
Smith response: We are not able to divulge that information at this time.
Bridget request: Why are their reports that police said "the bomb was under there" when the official story says the bomb was detonated from a backpack?
Smith response: We are not able to divulge that information at this time.
Smith: Ms. Dunne It is unhelpful that you keep asking us questions {Ed: which expose our lies complacency and culpability} which lend us to keep issuing the same response.

Neil Smith should be sacked immediately. Its perverse. Its criminal.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Detective Inspector Neil Smith would be interested in all the evidence that has been gathered so far that points to the impossibility of the 4 accused having been able to get to London in time to board the underground trains that exploded.

- Sadly Bridget I think it's aparent that Smith is not in fact interested. He doesn't give a hoot. I am highty suspicious that he has something to hide, either personally or on behalf of his friends or anyone that is leaning on him

Anonymous said...

I said prevously...

My interpretation is that if Bridget keeps asking questions then the slippery 'officials' will say she's simply being personally curious about everything and so ANY future request for information will be ignored.

But she is being ignored anyway. This negligent-deserves-to-be-sacked self-righteous fool doesn't even look up the information his own organisation pushes out.

Fire the guy. He's disgracefully incompetant.

Anonymous said...

If Bridget was ideed threatened by Smith (in whatever capacity - like having her requests not even responded to with an official refusal for information) then I would appeal to others to ask Bridget style questions and then send the response to her.

Dont let these thugs and cover-up goons win.

All we want is information.
All we want is the truth!

Anonymous said...

It's time for a few more people to submit freedom of information requests and start coordinating the results of those requests.

Well done for all your valuable work so far, Bridget.

Bridget Dunne said...

Thanks for that Anonymous, (would be great if you post with a name, just make one up).

I'm considering a call to DI Neil Smith to let him know that I will not be put off by his threats and refusals. This information is in the public interest not as he suggests to satisfy my own personal curiosity.

Time to take it to the next stage and submit a formal complaint mewonders?

Tony-broke-the-law said...

Anon takes on a name:
Tony-broke-the-law

Yes. You should complain. It is wholly justified, and sadly necessary.

Anonymous said...

"Smith: If you do continue to repeatedly ask the same (or extremely similar) questions, you may reach a point where your requests are no longer be valid under the Act.

What in the name of the Lord does that mean? Can anyone clarify?"

Vexatious or repeated requests

He would be correct in doing so - he has been very civil and helpful and this lady is wasting his time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Smith
June 27, 2006 6:54 PM

Bridget Dunne said...

@ At July 02, 2006 2:41 PM, Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Smith
June 27, 2006 6:54 PM

Given all the unanswered questions that the media have highlighted today, perhaps Mr Smith will recognise the public interest is being served and not 'personal curiosity' by answering these FOIA requests.

Independent 2/07/06