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IN THE FIRST-TIER TRIBUNAL APPEAL: EA/2017/0165

GENERAL REGULATORY CHAMBER


(INFORMATION RIGHTS)

BETWEEN:

 
Appellant
and

THE INFORMATION COMMISSIONER


Respondent

EXHIBIT A-1
Humberside police crime recording
Missing letters
Our reference number: 2017/088770
I
fit

Force reference number: IX/782/17/SAS independent

nt
annibynnol

PO Box 473
SaleM33 oBW

28 July 2017- BlwchPost473


SaleM33 oBW
Tel/Ff6n:
0300 020 0096
Dear Mr- Fax/Ffacs:
0207166 3306
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Testun:
18001 0207166 3000

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see:

• if the chief officer or appropriate authority failed to make a decision?


• if the chief officer or appropriate authority failed to notify the correct
appropriate authority?
• if the matter/s you raised should have been recorded as a complaint?

After looking at all the information available I have upheld your appeal.

My letter to you will consider each point.

1. Did the chief officer or appropriate authority fail to make a decision?

No, Humberside Police reviewed your complaint dated 25 February 2017 and
notified you of their decision not to record your complaint on 5 July 2017. The
reason for the delay in providing this decision is set out in their letter of 5 July
2017 and is referenced in full below.

Not upheld.

2. Did the chief officer or appropriate authority fail to notify the


appropriate authority?

No, Humberside Police is the appropriate authority.

Not upheld.

3. Should the matterls you raised have been recorded as a complaint?

When a complaint is made to a chief officer or appropriate authority, they


have a duty to record any complaint about the conduct (behaviour) of a
person serving with the police or a contractor. The law allows the chief officer

Mae'r IPCC yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn y Gymraeg


or appropriate authority not to record a complaint where certain statutory
exceptions are met.

It is important to highlight that in reaching my decision I have considered all of


the material and comments provided. Where a document or comment has not
been specifically referred to, it does not mean it has not be considered.

I have reviewed your complaint dated 25 February 2017 and I consider that
the matters you raise are required to be recorded.

In your complaint you note that you submitted an allegation to the force on 7
January 2017 claiming that Humber and South Yorkshire Magistrate's Court
was being run criminally. Specifically, you claim that you had recently become
aware of 11 items of correspondence that the Justice's Clerk claimed to have
sent you however you have stated that none of the correspondence was
delivered to you. You note that the Jetters in question date from December
2013 and you have only seen them as a result of investigations by the Judicial
Ombudsman on 23 February 2016 and HMCTS on 3 January 2017.

In your complaint you state that following the submission of the above
allegation on the force's website on 7 January 2017, a police officer contacted
you by telephone on 10 January 2017. You note that the police officer stated
that the matter was not for the police and the court should be contacted. You
state that you disagreed with the decision and asked for the reasons for the
decision to be put in writing so that you could formally appeal it. You claim
that the officer agreed to do that however you did not receive any such
correspondence.

It appears that the force recorded your complaint under reference number
CO/127/17 and wrote to you with the following summary of your complaint on
10 March 2017:

'The complainant alleged that he was told than an officer would put in writing
why an issue which he reported was not a police matter and he had not
received a response'.

The complaint was then subject to a local resolution; the outcome of which
was sent to you on 12 April 2017. The outcome of the local resolution noted
that the officer, PS Mellors, had mistakenly failed to write to you as agreed.
An apology was provided and PS Mellors received management advice.

You then appealed the outcome of the local resolution on 22 April 2017.
Within your appeal, you claimed that in your complaint of 25 February 2017
you were complaining that the force were not investigating Humber and South
Yorkshire Magistrates Court. You further stated that you were not complaining
about the conduct of the police officer.

The force wrote to you on 27 June 2017 explaining that they did not uphold
your appeal on the basis that a copy of the summary of your complaint was
sent you on 10 March 2017 and you did not contact the force at that point to
advise them that your complaint was not actually about the officer not writing
to you. Despite not upholding your appeal, the force agreed that the matter
should be referred back to the Professional Standards Department for them to
make a recording decision in relation to your complaint of 25 February 2017.

For the avoidance of doubt, based on the above information, I believe that
your complaint dated 25 February 2017 concerns the force's decision not to
investigate your allegation against the Magistrate's Court which you submitted
on 7 January 2017 as a criminal matter.

The force wrote to you on 5 July 2017 to notify you that they would not be
recording your complaint on the basis that they considered it to be both
repetitious and an abuse of the police complaints process. I will now consider
each ground in turn.

With regards to the repetitious ground, the force referred specifically to two
previous complaints which you had submitted under references CO/567/11
and CO/19/14 (the force have since confirmed that the correct reference is in
fact 1X/19/14). They stated that the previous complaints have a historical
connection with the matters you are currently complaining about. They note
that these matters arise from a longstanding dispute with North East
Lincolnshire Council over alleged unpaid council tax and their attempt to
recover the same through the Magistrate's Court and debt recovery agents.
They state that debts were paid by instalments and the Council, Court and
their agents did not acknowledge this but continued the legal process.

The force note that two different Inspectors considered these matters of
alleged criminal extortion and fraud and both concluded that there were no
good grounds to support that criminal offences had been committed. The
force state that your complaint of 25 February 2017 is substantially the same
as those alleged previously and missing letters or letters not sent are part of
that process and subject.

A complaint is considered to be repetitious if it is substantially the same as the


previous complaint, contains no fresh allegations and no fresh evidence is
provided in support.

I have reviewed your previous complaints under reference CO/567/11 and


IX/19/14. Your complaint CO/567/11 was dated 4 December 2011 and
appears to relate to the council and their enforcement practices in relation to
the recovery of council tax, rather than a complaint against the police. It
appears that because the complaint did not specifically relate to the police,
the force did not take any further action.

Your complaint IX/19/14 was dated 24 November 2013. It appears that in your
complaint you claim that the force did not properly investigate fraudulent
activity between Rossendale Bailiffs and the North East Lincolnshire Council. I
understand that the force sent you a proportionate investigation letter in
relation to this complaint which you appealed however the appeal was not
upheld. I note that the matter was finalised in 2015.
I do not agree with the force that your complaint dated 25 February 2017 is
repetitious of your previous complaints. Firstly, it appears that your complaint
of 25 February 2017 concerns the force's decision not to criminally investigate
an allegation which you made on 7 January 2017 in relation to letters which
the Justice's Clerk claimed to have sent you in and after December 2013. You
claim that the first time you had sight of the letters in question was on 23
February 2016 and 3 January 2017. Therefore both the letters in question and
the allegation which you submitted to the force postdate your previous
complaints so I do not consider that the complaints are substantially the
same.

Secondly, your complaint of 25 February 2017 appears to relate to the force's


decision not to criminally investigate the Magistrate's Court whereas your
previous complaints appear to relate to the council and bailiffs. Whilst the
complaints may involve historically connected issues, I do not consider them
to be fundamentally the same.

With regards to the abuse of the police complaints process ground, in their
letter dated 5 July 2017 the force note that you have submitted complaints
and appeals through the Judicial Ombudsman and HMCTS which they
consider to be the correct forum for this matter. They state that the police
complaints process is not designed or intended to cater for matters such as
this.

A complaint is considered to be an abuse of the police complaints procedures


where there is or has been manipulation or misuse of the complaints system
to initiate or progress a complaint which, in all the circumstances of the
particular case, should not have been made or should not be allowed to
continue.

I do not consider that your complaint dated 25 February 2017 is an abuse of


the police complaints procedures. I note the force have referred to the Judicial
Ombudsman and HMCTS being the correct forum for this matter. However, I
believe that the crux of your complaint is that the police have decided not to
criminally investigate the Magistrate's Court for conduct which you consider to
be criminal. I therefore consider that your complaint does specifically relate to
the force and a decision that they have made. I believe the police complaints
system is designed to cater for members of the public to be able to complain
about decisions that the police have made if they are dissatisfied with those
decisions.

I believe that you made it clear to the force from the outset that you wished to
challenge the decision as you stated that you wanted the force to provide you
with the reasons for their decision in writing so that you could appeal it. As
you have stated, despite not receiving those reasons, you submitted your
complaint as you wished to challenge the decision. I believe you have
attempted to utilise the police complaints system in an appropriate manner
and [ therefore do not consider this to be an attempt to misuse or manipulate
the police complaints procedures.
In light of the above, I do not consider that your complaint dated 25 February
2017 is either repetitious or an abuse of the police complaints process and I
will therefore be upholding your appeal.

Upheld.

Humberside Police will be directed to record your complaint dated 25


February 2017. The force will contact you about your complaint in due course.
Please contact the force directly if you do not hear from them within 28 days.

If you have any questions or need any more information about my decision
please contact me using the details at the end of this letter.

Yours sincerely

AlexSimms
Assessment Analyst
Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

Tel: 0121 6733767


Emaii:
www.ipcc.gov.uk

Find the IPCC's guidance on handling complaints here:


http://www.ipcc.gov.uklpage/statutory-guidance

cc: Humberside Police


NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED Humberside Police
Professional Standards Branch
Police Headquarters
Priory Road
Hull HU5 5SF

Tel No: 01482 578133


Fax No: 01482 305004
Switchboard: 101

This matter is being dealt with by:


Caseworker - Mr T Walmsley

psb@humberside.pnn.police.uk
www.humberside.police.uk

CO/00535/17 09 August 2017

Mr

Grimsby
North East Lincolnshire
DN

Dear Mr

May I refer to the complaint which you made about the conduCt of an officer from
this Force.

This matter has been formally recorded under the Police Reform Act 2002 as
amended by the Police Reform & Social Responsibility Act 2011. I enclose a copy
of the complaint as it has been recorded for your information.

The file has been passed to a caseworker who will do some initial evidence
gathering in relation to your complaint before it is forwarded to an investigating
officer. You will be informed in due course as to who the investigating officer will be.
This process would normally be completed within 28 days however if there is any
further delay you will be updated accordingly.

Should you change your address before the completion of the enquiry, I would ask
you to notify this office at the above address as soon as possible, to enable us to
keep you updated with the progress of the enquiry.

Yours sincerely

NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED


Professional Standards Branch

Complainant Report

Case Reference CO/00535/17 Case Recorded 09/08/17

COMPLAINANT
Title Mr Address
Surname Grimsby
Forenames North East Lincolnshire
DN

ALLEGATION(S)
No 1
Recorded 09/08/17
Type Operational policing policies
Location Grimsby
Allegation The complainant states the police have failed to investigate criminal allegations of
Allegation Result malfeasance and fraud involving a false claim made by Justices' clerk for Humber
and South Yorkshire that 10 items of post had been sent to him between the
19/12/2013 to 22/07/2016 which the complainant claims never to have received,
and believes they were dishonestly constructed later to satisfy enquiries made by
the judicial ombudsman. The complainant considers these matters should be
investigated by Humberside Police as a Crime

NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED


NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED Humberside Police
Professional Standards Branch
Police Headquarters
Priory Road
Hull HU5 5SF

Tel No: 01482 578343


Fax No: 01482 305004
Switchboard: 101

This matter is being dealt with by:


Sally Banks

psb@humberside.pnn.police.uk
www.humberside.police.uk

CO/00535/17 1 September 2017

Mr

Grimsby
North East Lincolnshire
DN

Dear Mr

You were contacted a short time ago in relation to your complaint that was formally
recorded with Professional Standards.

I am writing to inform you that the matter is still being progressed with the
caseworker.

You will be informed within 28 days as to who the investigating officer will be or if
there is to be a further delay.

Should you change your address before the completion of the enquiry, I would ask
you to notify this office at the above address as soon as possible, to enable us to
keep you updated with the progress of the enquiry.

I apologise for the delay

Yours sincerely

NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED