Vehicle fleet list for Marked and Unmarked vehciles (1246.2018-19)
A current vehicle fleet list with the following information for *Marked* and *Unmarked* vehicles.
For marked vehicles please supply the following;
– Vehicle Registration
– Vehicle Make and Model
– Role of Vehicle
– Where the vehicle is stationed
For Unmarked vehicles please supply the following;
– Vehicle make and Model
– Role of Vehicle
Extent and Result of Searches to Locate Information
To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted within North Yorkshire Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by North Yorkshire Police.
I have today decided to disclose the located information to you.
Please see the enclosed table which lists all North Yorkshire Police marked vehicles by; registration, make and model, with a separate table for role. I have however exempted the location and any vehicles used in a specialist capacity.
There is also a list of unmarked vehicles, but I have exempted the role and any details of vehicles used in a specialist capacity.
The details exempt are exempt pursuant to section 31(1)(a) Law Enforcement.
Section 31 – Law Enforcement
Section 31 is a prejudice-based qualified exemption and there is a requirement to articulate the harm as well as carrying out a public interest test.
Evidence of Harm
As you may be aware, disclosure under FOIA is a release to the public at large. Whilst not questioning the motives of the applicant, releasing any information held regarding the number of specialist vehicles such as Armed Response Vehicles, it would allow criminals to note what capacity and tactical capabilities the force had, allowing them to target specific areas of the UK to conduct their criminal/terrorist activities. This would lead to an increase in harm of attacks and compromise Law Enforcement. This would be to the detriment of providing an efficient policing service and a failure in providing a duty of care to all members of the public.
Furthermore, the Police are there to support the public and deliver effective law enforcement. Releasing the role of ‘marked’ vehicles against their registration number and the roles of ‘unmarked’ vehicles would provide intelligence into what the vehicles were used for. The information could then be used by criminals and allow them to target specific vehicles or avoid vehicles to prevent them for being detected. They may also clone registration numbers using those of specific roles.
Although the public know vehicles are stored at given locations, identifying what those vehicles are used for would also allow those who are intent on criminal activity to identify vulnerable locations, based on the recourses in the area, and locations where specific vehicles kept.
The threat from terrorism cannot be ignored. It is generally recognised that the international security landscape is increasingly complex and unpredictable. Releasing information on vehicles and would hinder operational capabilities as criminals/terrorists would gain a greater understanding of the police’s resources, enabling them to take steps to counter them. It may also suggest the limitations of police capabilities in certain areas, which may further encourage criminal/terrorist activity by exposing potential vulnerabilities. This detrimental effect is increased if the request is made to several different law enforcement bodies.
Information that undermines the operational integrity of the police will adversely affect public safety and have a negative impact on both national security and law enforcement.
Factors favouring disclosure under Section 31
Releasing information held relating to specialist vehicles, unmarked vehicles, roles and locations would provide an insight into the police resources and enable the public to have a better understanding of the effectiveness of the police.
It would show how public funds are being spent in relation to protecting the public.
Information would ensure transparency and accountability and enable the public to see what tactics are deployed by the Police Service to tackle/assist in fighting crime.
Factors against disclosure under Section 31
It has been recorded that FOIA releases are monitored by criminals and terrorists and so releasing information held relating to specialist vehicles, unmarked vehicles, roles and locations would undermine and compromise law enforcement and it would also hinder any local, regional or national operations.
It can be argued that there are significant risks associated with providing information in relation to any aspects that can assist criminal planning and that any nation’s security arrangements, by releasing the information, may reveal the relative vulnerability of what we may be trying to protect.
The Police Service would not wish to reveal resource information that would undermine the law enforcement operations and would impact on police resources, as more crime would be committed because criminals/terrorists would know which forces had less/more capability. This in turn would place the public at a greater risk and a fear of crime would be realised, especially for more vulnerable areas.
The security of the public and the country is of paramount importance and the Police service will not divulge the resources, if to do so would place the safety of individuals at risk, due to providing freely available (single point) information under such requests and which in turn would undermine National Security or compromise law enforcement.
Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of policing resources and providing assurance that the police service is appropriately prepared and effectively engaging with the threat posed by various groups or individuals, there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding the integrity of police resources and operations in the highly sensitive areas such as extremism, crime prevention, public disorder and terrorism prevention.
As much as there is public interest in knowing that policing activity is appropriate and balanced this will only be overridden in exceptional circumstances. It is our opinion that for these issues the balancing test for exempting your request for planning information is not made out.
Pursuant to Section 17(1) of the Act this letter acts as a Refusal Notice in response to your request.
Please note that systems used for recording information are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data. It should be noted therefore that this force’s response to your questions should not be used for comparison purposes with any other responses you may receive.[application/pdf] Last modified: July 23, 2019