Author Topic: Croydon - FoI request - bailiff/police anpr special operations  (Read 1915 times)

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Freedom of Information Request

I write further to your email of 18 January 2012 in which you have requested, amongst other things, information concerning bailiff contracts.  I apologise for the delay in responding to your request. Your request has been considered under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and, for ease of reference, I will address each of your questions in turn.

1) Please provide a copy of all signed bailiff contracts/service level agreements for recovery of council debts that cover 1st April 2012 to 31st December 2013

The council lets a single contract with six suppliers (Equita, Newlyn, Ross and Roberts, Confero, JBW & Whytes). It started on 24 November 2011 and is due to end on 24 November 2014 (with a possibility to extend for a further two years (up to 24 November 2016).

The bailiff code of conduct that outlines the basis of expected approach and behaviour is attached to this response.

Please note that the council considers the cost and income requested to be commercially sensitive information and covered by the exemption provided in Section 43 of FOIA.  This exemption applies to information which if disclosed would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person, including the Council.

In deciding whether to apply this exemption the council is expected to balance the public interest test in withholding the information against the public interest in disclosing the information.  The information is considered, by the council, to be commercially sensitive as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of the of council, as it is considered that if the information is disclosed to you it could potentially weaken the council ability to obtain value for money in respect of any future purchases of this type.
 

2) Please provide the dates and locations of all Bailiff ANPR 'Special Operations' with the Police from 1st April 2012 31st December 2013 this should also disclose which bailiff contractor was in attendance.

Under Section 31 of the FOIA, the council can refuse to provide this information on the grounds that these operations are used for the prevention and detection of crime.

Section 31 (1) (a) (1) of the FOIA provides an exemption to information if its disclosure under the Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice (a) the prevention or detection of crime.  Since section 31 is a qualified exemption, it is subject to a Public Interest Test, as per Section (2) (2) (b) of the FOIA.  This favours disclosure unless, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure of the information’.

We have considered whether the public interest in disclosure this information outweighs the public interest in withholding the information and we are of the view that the public interest test is in favour of withholding the information. This is based on the fact that public authorities need to protect its contractors (both individual and corporate)


3) Please provide the total income recovered by bailiffs of parking debts for the 1st April 2012 to 31st December 2013

The total income collected during that period was £954,137.44.

4) Please supply all bailiff contract monitoring reports for 1st April 2012 to 31st December 2013

The information requested in this question, if disclosed, may lead to the identification of individuals as this would be disclosing personal data to you,  withholding of personal data as defined by the Data Protection Act 1998, falls within the exemption in Section 40 (2) (a) (i) (Personal Information) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  This aspect of your request is therefore exempt from disclosure by virtue of Section 40 (2) (a) (i) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

If you are dissatisfied with the way the Council has handled your request under the Freedom of Information Act you may ask for an internal review.  This should be submitted to us within 40 working days of this response.  You can do this by outlining the details of your complaint by:

Email:      information@croydon.gov.uk

Writing:   Information Team
LondonBorough of Croydon
Bernard Weatherill House
7thFloor - Zone C
      8 Mint Walk
Croydon CR0 1EA

Any requests received after the 40 working day time limit will be considered only at the discretion of the council.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
CheshireSK9 5AF