September 26th 2020

Getting It Right First Time?

Councillor Phil Bateman said today " I am a firm supporter of the Police and have almost daily contact with them. I believe that we all have a duty in reducing crime and disorder, and I try to display that duty when ever and where ever I can as an elected member. But just some times .....
There are times when you get exasperated with the Police Authorities and this is one of those times! Late last year I wrote to West Midlands Police asking for some information relating to policing here in Wolverhampton. Nothing very different from what I had asked for before. In fact it was a continuation of an issue that I have been following for more than a year.

I then had a formal notice arrive stating that 'the Freedom of Information' question I had asked was being progressed?

I wrote back stating that it was not a 'Freedom of Information' question. It was a common question that elected members like me ask all the while.

It refers to statistics but nothing complicated at why invoke 'Freedom of Information' rules, which I may add you can get lumbered with a bill for!

Now all this started to play out in December 2006. I am still writing and still getting no response.

This is all very different to the 'Serving You ' document that West Midlands Police recently sent me.

The Chief Constable wrote in that document " By getting it right first time, whether we are communicating by phone, letter, over the counter in our police stations or while out on patrol, we have a unique opportunity to make a positive and lasting impression."

Not 'arf you haven't Chief !' .

Note for readers the evidence!>
Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2006 9:43 AM
Subject: Freedom of Information (WMPA - 1013)

Dear Mr Bateman,


Thank you for your request for information, received 14 December 2006
concerning the number of murders within the West Midlands.

Your request is being considered and you will receive a response within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days, as defined by the Act, subject to
the application of any statutory exemptions. Where consideration is being
given to the application of any exemptions the 20 working day timescale may
be extended under the terms of the Act to a period considered reasonable
depending on the nature and circumstances of your request. In such cases you
will be notified and, where possible, a revised time-scale will be
indicated. In all cases we shall attempt to deal with your request at the
earliest opportunity.

There may be a fee payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of the
information requested, where the request exceeds the statutory limit. In
such cases you will be informed in writing and the 20 working day timescale
will be suspended until we receive payment from you or your request is
modified and /or reduced. If you chose not to make full payment or modify
your request then the request will remain unanswered.

Your request may require either full or partial transfer to another public
authority. You will be informed if your request is transferred.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Unit, Administrative Assistant
Corporate Services Department

Author: Phil Bateman

Article Date: 15th February 2007