Friday, August 22, 2008

Hampshire Constabulary must disclose details of cars provided to chief officers

ICO press release
21 August 2008
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has ordered the Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary to disclose the make and model of vehicles provided to Chief Police Officers for their personal use. The public authority confirmed that two Assitant Chief Constables are provided with vehicles for their own use.

The Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary refused to release the requested information maintaining it was exempt from disclosure as the details could allow the vehicles to be identified and to make them less effective for policing purposes. Hampshire Constabulary also argued that disclosure may lead to criminals and members of the public being able to identify the vehicles which could increase the likelihood of the officers being attacked.

In reaching his decision, the Assistant Information Commissioner Steve Wood considered whether disclosing the relevant details would prejudice policing operations carried out by the police officers. He accepted that disclosure of the requested information could lead to the cars being identified as police vehicles. However there was no evidence to suggest that either car is used in covert surveillance operations that could be undermined if information assisting their identification were released.
Full press release.

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