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Ellie May

Detained by police for unpaid PCN

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After ringing up the Information Commissioners Office and asking them about this they have said that the time scale for a review should be no longer than the 20 working days allowed for with the initial Freedom of Information Act request.

 

The review will be conducted in accordance to Greater Manchester Police review procedure and every effort will be made to have a response to you by 24 October 2008, however if it becomes clear that the review will not be completed by this date you will be contacted.

 

Am I misunderstanding the dates or won't 24th October be within the "20 working days" to reply? (counting a normal working week as 5 days?)

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CPR 75 is like Catholicism in that nobody knows what is really all about. (Father Ted 1996)

 

it is a bit of a read but not unfathomable (or should that be unFatherTed-able ?). the section I quoted is very simple though (provided a crow didn't steal your glasses :) ). 75.2 (1) Proceedings to which this Part applies must be started in the Centre. (2) For any purpose connected with the exercise of the Centre's functions – (a) the Centre is deemed to be part of the office of the court whose name appears on the documents to which the functions relate or in whose name the documents are issued; and (b) any officer of the Centre, in exercising its functions, is deemed to act as an officer of that court.

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I must point out that the reply from GMP printed above was sent to me on the 29/8/2008. So the 24 October will be much more than 20 working days it should take as a maximum.

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I must point out that the reply from GMP printed above was sent to me on the 29/8/2008. So the 24 October will be much more than 20 working days it should take as a maximum.

 

That makes more sense of the dates thanks :)

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Well I still have had no response from GMP to the Freedom of Information Act review request. I have however complained to the Information Commissioner about the undue delay in GMP's response.

 

My complaint to the Information Commissioners Office was in the first instance met with an Email which said they didn’t have page 3 of the complaints form even though I had made sure all the relevant information was provided in the first instance and because of that they were saying they could not deal with my complaint.

 

I rang the case worker who said I should wait until GMP had replied before making a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office. I insisted that he dealt with my complaint as the complaint was about significant undue delay. I followed this up with a further Email reiterating my complaint again so he had no excuses

 

I have received another Email about this today from the Information Commissioners Office caseworker which has given GMP ANOTHER 20 days from the date of his letter to respond even though he says the guidance from the commissioner says the reviews should take no longer than 20 working days and in no case longer than 40 working days. This in my view shows that the Information Commissioners Office is extremely reluctant to back up members of the public against organisations such as GMP when they are seeking to take advantage of privileges given to them by acts of parliament.

 

I can post the complete text of the Emails if necessary but they are quite long. If most people want me to do so and none would be offended by a long posting I have no objections myself of posting them. Let me know what you all think.

Edited by watchingyou

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Well I still have had no response from GMP to the Freedom of Information Act review request. I have however complained to the Information Commissioner about the undue delay in GMP's response.

 

My complaint to the Information Commissioners Office was in the first instance met with an Email which said they didn’t have page 3 of the complaints form even though I had made sure all the relevant information was provided in the first instance and because of that they were saying they could not deal with my complaint.

 

I rang the case worker who said I should wait until GMP had replied before making a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office. I insisted that he dealt with my complaint as the complaint was about significant undue delay. I followed this up with a further Email reiterating my complaint again so he had no excuses

 

I have received another Email about this today from the Information Commissioners Office caseworker which has given GMP ANOTHER 20 days from the date of his letter to respond even though he says the guidance from the commissioner says the reviews should take no longer than 20 working days and in no case longer than 40 working days. This in my view shows that the Information Commissioners Office is extremely reluctant to back up members of the public against organisations such as GMP when they are seeking to take advantage of privileges given to them by acts of parliament.

 

I can post the complete text of the Emails if necessary but they are quite long. If most people want me to do so and none would be offended by a long posting I have no objections myself of posting them. Let me know what you all think.

Why not try a complaint to the IPCC and your MP. Also might be worth contacting your local media. Anything that generates some negative publicity will have them concerned.

 

I would also put a letter to the Chief Constable of GMP indicating your displeasure in his force's refusal to co-operate. Why not copy the Home Secratary. There is an important freedom being compromised here.

 

Alternately might be time to drag their arse in to court.

 

One last point - it might be worth putting everything in writing to the various outfits and sending recorded delivery. They can hardly claim not to receive and make sure you make a copy for yourself.


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This does not constitute legal advice and is not represented as a substitute for legal advice from an appropriately qualified person or firm.

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recorded delivery very often isn't - recorded. Special Delivery is the kiddie.

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recorded delivery very often isn't - recorded. Special Delivery is the kiddie.

 

I agree, although the last time I was saying that at the PO counter the lady thought I was joking when I said many "signed for" deliveries (as they are now called) are NOT signed for at the other end! Seems strange to call them that, then allow the recipient not to have to sign for it though doesn't it. :confused:

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Having taken an active part in this matter, I would be very obliged if Watching you would send copies of the relevant emails to protectme@fair-parking.co.uk.

 

Thanks

 

With regard to recorded delivery, I once had an office in a builiding where the cleaner thought she was doing her duty by igning for recorded delivery items

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Well I have finally got a reply to my Freedom of Information Act. Unfortunately GMP don’t seem to appreciate that section 163 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 does not allow them to stop and DETAIN someone except to ask for those things that are allowed in the Act eg Name address Driver details etc. They seem to have completely ignored the question which was about detaining someone for unpaid Parking Penalty Charge Notices or matters of alleged decriminalised contraventions?

 

 

I'm also absolutely amazed at the answer to question 7. Now it appears we self select to be a criminal type if for example we jump the bus or supermarket queue or park on double yellow lines and/or avoids paying the fine. This begs the question; who in the Local Authorities across the land are going to be classed as criminal types when they impose unlawful fines and penalty charges on members of the unsuspecting public? This is most definitely the Orwellian state predicted in George Orwells 1984

 

Please find below the first email received yesterday which says they won’t be able to give me the information they promised for 24th October 2008 until 14th November 2008. As you all know I have made a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office regarding the outlandish time scale we were already putting up with. The complaint must have had an effect because it seems the reply was soon forthcoming and the speed since the complaint was made of the GMP’s response must be as a result of GMP receiving a warning from the Information Commissioners Office. The letter below clearly being the intended action prior to them receiving the warning from the Information Commissioners Office.

 

 

NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

 

Dear Mr. XXXXX,

 

I refer to previous correspondence in connection with your request that

Greater Manchester Police review the response to your recent request for

information in which an anticipated response date of 24 October 2008 was

cited.

 

Unfortunately, due to significant staffing shortages, it will not be

possible to respond by this date and I write to advise you that a revised

response date of 14th November 2008 has been allocated. I sincerely

apologise for any inconvenience this delay may cause.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Adrienne Walker

Information Governance Manager

Information Management Branch

Direct dial: 0161-856-2510

Mobile: 07768 924058

Fax: 0161-856-2535

email: adrienne.walker@gmp.pnn.police.uk

 

 

 

Here is the actual response from GMP over the Freedom of Information Act received on the same day as the Email above, staggering as it is:-

 

 

 

Chris Woolley

Information Governance Unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. XXXXX

Via e-mail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our ref: GSA 1329 / 2008

 

23rd October 2008

 

 

 

 

When telephoning please

ask for Chris Woolley

 

 

 

 

Dear Mr. XXXXX

 

RE : Freedom of Information request review - GSA Ref: 1329 / 08

 

I refer to your e-mail dated the 29th July 2008, in which you requested information under the Freedom of Information Act, and your request that the subsequent information disclosed be reviewed. I can confirm that I have now concluded this review and am writing to update you. The following information was requested:

 

1. How many vehicles have been stopped in the last 3 years as a result of an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) operation in Greater Manchester for unpaid Parking Penalty Charge Notices or matters of alleged decriminalised contraventions?

 

This information is not held by Greater Manchester Police.

 

2. Which Law or Act of Parliament permits GMP to stop vehicles and detain drivers for unpaid Parking Penalty Charge Notices or matters of alleged decriminalised contraventions?

 

A person driving a motor vehicle on a road must stop the vehicle on being required to do so by a constable in uniform under Section 163 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, this is a general requirement and is not specific.

 

3. How many instances on the ANPR system has a Parking Penalty Charge Notice or matters of alleged decriminalised contraventions been recorded?

 

This information is not held by Greater Manchester Police.

 

4. From where do GMP obtain their information regarding outstanding PCNs?

 

As of the 19th August 2008 vehicles associated to unpaid court orders are no longer included in Greater Manchester Police ANPR systems and such data is no longer obtained. Data was previously received from the Marston Group to assist with our policing obligations as per research into offender “self selection”, not specifically so unpaid court orders could be enforced by Marston Group representatives.

 

5. What is the name and job title of the person supplying GMP with the information about unpaid PCNs?

 

As above, data was previously received from the Marston Group National Enforcement Manager.

 

6. What is the name and rank of the Officer who sanctioned the stopping of vehicles in conjunction with the firm of Drakes and Marstons Bailiffs?

 

Use of the data to assist with policing obligations as per research into offender self selection was previously sanctioned by Chief Inspector Haydn Roberts.

 

7. A PCN is a civil matter please say which part of the Data protection Act allows the passing of this kind of information.

 

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 Greater Manchester Police may hold and use data which assists in fulfilling our policing obligations, there is considerable research that indicates that those individuals who self select by way of committing civil / minor offences are also the individuals who are more likely to be of immediate interest to the police in relation to criminal matters.

 

A simplistic way of describing the idea on which this research is based is that people who are the most committed criminals are also the most versatile, and will not willingly to be bound by law or convention of any kind; thus the most versatile criminal is also the person who jumps queues, dodges fares on public transport, parks on double yellow lines and illegally in disabled bays etc and avoids paying subsequent fines.

 

Obviously, many individuals who self select are not versatile criminals, but research does conclude that a higher proportion will be, therefore in the interests of being efficient and intelligence led information previously obtained from Marston Group was believed to be of benefit to Greater Manchester Police in fulfilling our policing obligations. It is estimated that during the period that the Marston Group data was utilised that immediate police action for criminal matters was taken in 60% of cases where vehicles were stopped.

 

Should you have any further queries concerning this matter, please feel free to contact me using any of the details contained at the foot of this letter quoting the reference number above.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Woolley

Audit & Compliance Officer

 

 

Information Governance Unit

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Well I have finally got a reply to my Freedom of Information Act. Unfortunately GMP don’t seem to appreciate that section 163 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 does not allow them to stop and DETAIN someone except to ask for those things that are allowed in the Act eg Name address Driver details etc. They seem to have completely ignored the question which was about detaining someone for unpaid Parking Penalty Charge Notices or matters of alleged decriminalised contraventions?

 

 

I'm also absolutely amazed at the answer to question 7. Now it appears we self select to be a criminal type if for example we jump the bus or supermarket queue or park on double yellow lines and/or avoids paying the fine. This begs the question; who in the Local Authorities across the land are going to be classed as criminal types when they impose unlawful fines and penalty charges on members of the unsuspecting public? This is most definitely the Orwellian state predicted in George Orwells 1984

 

Please find below the first email received yesterday which says they won’t be able to give me the information they promised for 24th October 2008 until 14th November 2008. As you all know I have made a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office regarding the outlandish time scale we were already putting up with. The complaint must have had an effect because it seems the reply was soon forthcoming and the speed since the complaint was made of the GMP’s response must be as a result of GMP receiving a warning from the Information Commissioners Office. The letter below clearly being the intended action prior to them receiving the warning from the Information Commissioners Office.

 

 

NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

 

Dear Mr. XXXXX,

 

I refer to previous correspondence in connection with your request that

Greater Manchester Police review the response to your recent request for

information in which an anticipated response date of 24 October 2008 was

cited.

 

Unfortunately, due to significant staffing shortages, it will not be

possible to respond by this date and I write to advise you that a revised

response date of 14th November 2008 has been allocated. I sincerely

apologise for any inconvenience this delay may cause.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Adrienne Walker

Information Governance Manager

Information Management Branch

Direct dial: 0161-856-2510

Mobile: 07768 924058

Fax: 0161-856-2535

email: adrienne.walker@gmp.pnn.police.uk

 

 

 

Here is the actual response from GMP over the Freedom of Information Act received on the same day as the Email above, staggering as it is:-

 

 

 

Chris Woolley

Information Governance Unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. XXXXX

Via e-mail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our ref: GSA 1329 / 2008

 

23rd October 2008

 

 

 

 

When telephoning please

ask for Chris Woolley

 

 

 

 

Dear Mr. XXXXX

 

RE : Freedom of Information request review - GSA Ref: 1329 / 08

 

I refer to your e-mail dated the 29th July 2008, in which you requested information under the Freedom of Information Act, and your request that the subsequent information disclosed be reviewed. I can confirm that I have now concluded this review and am writing to update you. The following information was requested:

 

1. How many vehicles have been stopped in the last 3 years as a result of an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) operation in Greater Manchester for unpaid Parking Penalty Charge Notices or matters of alleged decriminalised contraventions?

 

This information is not held by Greater Manchester Police.

 

2. Which Law or Act of Parliament permits GMP to stop vehicles and detain drivers for unpaid Parking Penalty Charge Notices or matters of alleged decriminalised contraventions?

 

A person driving a motor vehicle on a road must stop the vehicle on being required to do so by a constable in uniform under Section 163 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, this is a general requirement and is not specific.

 

3. How many instances on the ANPR system has a Parking Penalty Charge Notice or matters of alleged decriminalised contraventions been recorded?

 

This information is not held by Greater Manchester Police.

 

4. From where do GMP obtain their information regarding outstanding PCNs?

 

As of the 19th August 2008 vehicles associated to unpaid court orders are no longer included in Greater Manchester Police ANPR systems and such data is no longer obtained. Data was previously received from the Marston Group to assist with our policing obligations as per research into offender “self selection”, not specifically so unpaid court orders could be enforced by Marston Group representatives.

 

5. What is the name and job title of the person supplying GMP with the information about unpaid PCNs?

 

As above, data was previously received from the Marston Group National Enforcement Manager.

 

6. What is the name and rank of the Officer who sanctioned the stopping of vehicles in conjunction with the firm of Drakes and Marstons Bailiffs?

 

Use of the data to assist with policing obligations as per research into offender self selection was previously sanctioned by Chief Inspector Haydn Roberts.

 

7. A PCN is a civil matter please say which part of the Data protection Act allows the passing of this kind of information.

 

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 Greater Manchester Police may hold and use data which assists in fulfilling our policing obligations, there is considerable research that indicates that those individuals who self select by way of committing civil / minor offences are also the individuals who are more likely to be of immediate interest to the police in relation to criminal matters.

 

A simplistic way of describing the idea on which this research is based is that people who are the most committed criminals are also the most versatile, and will not willingly to be bound by law or convention of any kind; thus the most versatile criminal is also the person who jumps queues, dodges fares on public transport, parks on double yellow lines and illegally in disabled bays etc and avoids paying subsequent fines.

 

Obviously, many individuals who self select are not versatile criminals, but research does conclude that a higher proportion will be, therefore in the interests of being efficient and intelligence led information previously obtained from Marston Group was believed to be of benefit to Greater Manchester Police in fulfilling our policing obligations. It is estimated that during the period that the Marston Group data was utilised that immediate police action for criminal matters was taken in 60% of cases where vehicles were stopped.

 

Should you have any further queries concerning this matter, please feel free to contact me using any of the details contained at the foot of this letter quoting the reference number above.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Woolley

Audit & Compliance Officer

 

 

Information Governance Unit

 

 

received 24 October

Edited by Fair-Parking

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Unbelievable. So anyone & everyone is, as we have suspected for years, a criminal in the eyes of the jobsworths.

 

Little wonder then that they often 'help' bailiffs to act illegally. It's because they don't understand the law:eek:

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research does conclude
That looks like another FOIA request then.

 

It is estimated that during the period that the Marston Group data was utilised that immediate police action for criminal matters was taken in 60% of cases where vehicles were stopped.
hang about - I thought that research had concluded this already?

 

It might be worth making an FOIA request to Marston for the data that they hold. They may not be specifically covered by the Act, but in this instance, it is possible that they are operating vicariously as a government agency.

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MRN You could be right in that Marston's have inadvertently brought themselves within the scope of Freedom of Information Act

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Little wonder then that they often 'help' bailiffs to act illegally. It's because they don't understand the law:eek:

 

That's very true, but it's because the rank and file officers receive no training about civil laws, bailiffs and their powers and are told to do nothing more than to prevent a breach of the peace and advise people to take legal advice from a solicitor, CAB etc in such matters. So bailiffs can give them plenty of flannel about what they can do safe in the knowledge that the majority of front line officers have not had any training to be able to challenge them on their "info".

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I wonder if Watching You could update us as the whether the police did actually comply with their responsibilities under the Freedom Of Information Act and answered the questions he put to them.

 

Or whether the police continued to break the law by upholding the tradition of delays or supplying stock answers to questions that were never put to them - because they have still failed to realise that the FOIA is one of the very few laws that demands that the recipients of questions should abide by the SPIRIT of the law.

 

Merry Christmas to everybody

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I have made other complaints to GMP Professional Standards Branch over other matters. Recently one of my complaints was rejected by GMP Professional Standards Branch as being unsubstantiated. I appealed this to the IPCC and they also rejected my appeal. I contacted my solicitor to complain that the IPCC had acted outside the Law when they rejected my appeal and had refused to consider the evidence I had.

 

The IPCC has subsequently reviewed their initial rejection of my appeal and decided to look again at the original complaint I made against GMP. They have now upheld my original appeal and reversed their previous stance on the matter by now instructing GMP to look again at my complaint which I believe now shows amongst other things that a senior officer of Superintendent rank has written lies to me when he rejected my complaint.

 

The same Superintendent from the Professional Standards Branch has in the meantime written to me to inform me that GMP will not in future allow me to make anymore complaints about GMP at any police station or over the phone. Instead they have restricted me to only one way to make a complaint which must now be in writing to the commander of the GMP Professional Standards Branch who will then decide whether or not the complaint will be investigated which is clearly a puerile way of attempting to stop me making genuine complaints against them. Apparently an Email and letters have been sent to all police stations and call takers in GMP to inform them not to take any further complaints from me.

 

So for the time being that is the current state of play. This is now how the country is policed under the Labour Party led by Gordon Brown and co so don’t worry folks they are just protecting us!

Edited by watchingyou
  • Haha 1

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It looks like they are treating you as a vexatious complainer or an unreasonably persistent complainer, but without actually going as far as to state that to you.

 

Perhaps you should ask them for a copy of their policy on how they deal with complaints which they feel are vexatious or made by people they regard as unreasonably persistent complainers. I have been going through this process with the NHS and when I requested a copy of their policy it revealed they had not followed it properly. Perhaps this is the same with GMP.

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Wow watchingyou, I would think your card is well marked by GMP now! I hope you don't drive any vehicles that show you as the RK coz I bet you would be on the top of their "cars to stop for any reason" list. :p

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The same Superintendent from the Professional Standards Branch has in the meantime written to me to inform me that GMP will not in future allow me to make anymore complaints about GMP at any police station or over the phone. Instead they have restricted me to only one way to make a complaint which must now be in writing to the commander of the GMP Professional Standards Branch who will then decide whether or not the complaint will be investigated

 

I would love to see the legal basis for this cause of action by the police. I can find no legal precedent for restricting the ability of a member of the public in making a compliant against the police.

I suppose it is one way to reduce complaints against the police, set hurdles for the public to jump through before making a complaint, sounds like it is based upon the cashback scheme of mobile phones.

regards


Please remember our troops, fighting and dying in our name. God protect them.

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I would love to see the legal basis for this cause of action by the police. I can find no legal precedent for restricting the ability of a member of the public in making a compliant against the police.

I suppose it is one way to reduce complaints against the police, set hurdles for the public to jump through before making a complaint, sounds like it is based upon the cashback scheme of mobile phones.

regards

 

 

It is most likely the vexatious complainant policy that Watchingyou has most likely fallen foul of. All police services will have such a policy, as do other public bodies like local authorities and the NHS. It would be a good idea for him/her to write to the PSD and ask them to supply a copy of their policy.

 

I had experience of this recently when NHS Suffolk tried to apply it to me. I have been fighting the NHS to pay for my fathers nursing home costs, and they tried to label me as an unreasonably persistent complainer and then threatened me with legal action if I "persisted with writing aggressive and derogatory" letters to them. I replied by advising them they had not followed their own policies and that to threaten someone without intending to carry out the threat was harassment under the POH act. I gave them 14 days to either take action against me, or to write to advise me they were not going to take action.

 

They backed down as they had no basis whatsoever to label me in the way they had.

 

If GMP have not followed their own policy correctly then it would be the basis for another complaint. If their policy is similar to the NHS one then there should be efforts made to advise that they are considering the use of the policy and to try and reach agreement to allow a complainer to modify their behaviour, before they take the step of labelling them as vexatious.

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I think their behaviour justifies another compliant to the IPPC

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The police reaction to what was an unimpeachable but miscreant belief that they the right to stop and detain law abiding citizens for the benefit of a private bailiff company appears to have degenerated into a cover up with threats to those who challenge that status.

 

Bit like the wounded animal lashing out when cornered and with no real hope of escape.

 

However if one thing has come out of this, it is the implied inability of the police to offer a rational, logical and acceptable explanation for their unlawful behaviour. The truth is, they were finally rumbled and as such they have no answer to their unacceptable behaviour. If they had -we would have heard it by now.

 

I'm quite happy to take this complaint further and given that I have the email from Manchester City Council admitting to giving instructions to the police to stop and detain the innocent, GMP will have to address this having illegally and unashamedly carried out the wishes of the council.

 

So if Watching You would like to co-operate on this, then that will make at least two 'vexatious' complainants. That is more difficult to explain away.

 

Further there is no reason why everybody else shouldn't voice their complaints, through me if they wish. If anybody has anything to say then please feel free (edit)

Edited by freakyleaky
Email address removed. Read the site rules please.

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I agree with this. They even televised these 'goings on' with GMP.

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