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?.


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).


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.

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.

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

Casualties Brought to BTP HQ on 7th July

Mr Coleman replied to my FOI request with the following information:
In answer to your question:

Were the casualties that were brought to the BTP HQ at approx 9.09 am from the train between Russell Square and Kings Cross?

BTP can supply the following information.

The first casualty brought to BTP’s HQ was from the Piccadilly Line train.

In respect of your request asking when the area was cordoned off, this request was transferred to the Metropolitan Police Service on 11th April 2006.

Brian Coleman
Freedom of Information manager.

I then sent the following to Mr Coleman:
Your Ref: FOI/0041/06/BC

Dear Mr Coleman

Thank you for your continued time and effort in promptly replying to my inquiries re: BTP HQ's on 7th July 2005.

I have three further FOI requests::

1. Could you please provide the number of the Piccadilly Line train from which casualties were brought to the BTP HQ?

2. At what time were the BTP alerted to the incident at Russell Square?

3. How many casualties were brought to the BTP HQ's from the bus explosion?


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Reply to FOI Request from the BTP

Here's the reply to my FOI request:
Our Ref: FOI/0041/06/BC

Dear Ms Dunne

With reference to your request dated 27th March 2006 asking:

1. What was the information received at 9 am?

2. What time did the injured arrive at BTP HQ?

3. At what time was the whole area cordoned off?

4. Were any of the injured brought to the BTP HQ from the bus?

I can supply the following information in respect of your questions:

1. At exactly 0900hrs BTP have a logged call about the explosion that occurred on the underground train near Aldgate.

2. The casualties started to arrive at BTP HQ about 20 minutes after the first reports, at approximately 0909hrs.

3. I am afraid that BTP are unable to supply this information as it is not held as prescribed by Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Whilst three of the explosions happened on the underground network, the explosions occurred within the policed Metropolitan Police district and accordingly MPS put the cordons in place. For an exact time would you have to make a request to them. You can make your request to them by using their Freedom of Information application form at or if you wish BTP can forward your request onto them

4. Yes.

If you have any queries regarding the above information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours Sincerely
Brian Coleman BA, MSc
Freedom of Information Manager

On 9th April I asked Mr Coleman the following:
Dear Mr Coleman

Thank you for the reply to my FOI request ref: FOI/0041/06/BC.

Could you tell me :

Were the casualties that were brought to the BTP HQ at approx 9.09 am from the train between Russell Square and Kings Cross?

Yes, I would like you to request from the MPS at what time the area was cordoned off.


Bridget Dunne