ANPR FOI RSVP

Big Brother Watch tells a story of Devon and Cornwall police.
Devon and Cornwall police are fighting to keep the locations of their fleet of Automatic Number Plate Recognition a closely guarded secret, despite a landmark ruling demanding they release the information within 35 days

Some cheeky bugger has asked, by and FOI request, for the locations of all their ANPR cameras. Predictably I suppose, they have refused, stating the following weasel reasons:

The police consider revealing this level of detail to be “frankly ridiculous” and may put the public at risk

Frankly, I find the notion that knowledge of the location of spy cameras tracking my journeys will put me at risk, to be ridiculous.
"The force believes that revealing the exact location of ANPR sites will seriously reduce their impact as a crime fighting tool in identifying suspects and offenders. There is no doubt that since the advent of ANPR the police's ability to proactively target criminals on the road network has increased dramatically.”

The locations of speed cameras were made public, but since a lot of funding has been cut for these particular revenue generators, proliferation of the ANPR network has increased.

I fail to see the crime fighting advantage in tracking the journeys of millions of innocent motorists.

The refusal to supply information has gone to a tribunal that ruled in favor of the information being made public. They have given the police 35 days to comply.

Devon and Cornwall police "are looking to challenge the ruling in the court of appeal".

BBW seems to think that if forces across the country are forced to reveal the locations of these cameras, public opinion may force a re-think in their use.

I've done my bit by popping my own FOI request off to Lancashire Police.

Click to biggenate

Click for Link

It's only a basic one to start off and I'll keep you informed of any developments, although I'll have to say, if they refuse, I am in no position to fight them in the courts :-)

*UPDATE*

Appologies to those whose comments have disappeared following the great Blogger collapse of 2011.

Lancashire Police Authority have responded to this request by saying they don't hold the information. It is apparently, held by the operational arm, Lancashire Constabulary.

No matter that they are in the same bloody building and they could have just passed it on, I've had to re-submit the request to the 'correct' people. They have also responded with the standard reply that they are looking into it.

PJH pointed out in an email, the response from Lancashire Police Authority included a list of awards they have won (It's online at the above link if you want to see it). Awards such as:

Winner- Community Engagement Award
British Association of Communicators in Business Awards

Well get them. You can win awards for owt these days. What on earth is community engagement? Does it mean catching criminals?

6 Comments:

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