Neil Wilby FoI and DPA

Our own investigative reporter’s torturous involvement with West Yorkshire Police’s Head of Information, Steve Harding will feature here. Remarkably they were at Grammar School together, but that did not stop Mr Harding indulging in wholesale deceit, over a sustained period, aided and abetted by Data Protection Manager, David Mason.

It was Neil Wilby who also exposed the fact that, for almost 3 years, WYP FoI Department had been deceiving the public concerning the time within which reviews of unsatisfactory FoI responses should be dealt with (20 days not 3 months). This in defiance of a specific Direction from the ICO in August 2009.

Remarkably, 6 months later Neil caught West Yorkshire Police Authority propagating exactly the same deceit  Another clear sign of a police force and it’s police authority hugely enamoured with the concept of its own invincibility. The same WYPA who were set loaded public questions in February by Neil and who then published palpably false answers that still rest on their archived website to this day (Question 2).

The major running battle for Neil with West Yorkshire Police has been concerning Subject Access Requests made under Section 7 of DPA. There has been an outrageous and sustained tissue of lies surrounding this issue in which Neil has been forced to make FIVE SAR’s. BY definition – and by law – you should make just the one. Even after those five SAR’s Neil still has less than 50% of what he knows to exist and that isn’t the material he is interested in, for obvious reasons. The ICO found in Neil’s favour, after a six month wait, but that is rather like tickling the police with a feather as the ICO are even more toothless than the IPCC: The police and police authority just laugh at them.

Neil is currently seeking information, via FoI, concerning three matters which form part of wider investigations. The first two are subject to delay and obfuscation which is absolutely routine in every enquiry either he, or his colleagues,  make of either West Yorkshire Police or their Police Authority. The third has already been scrubbed around to a degree, via the Public Question process, but following the referral of the former Lancashire Police Authority Chairman to the IPCC over duplicate expense claims and the massive concerns regarding the Chairs of North Yorkshire PA and Cleveland PA we have asked WYPA’s Dr Judith Heeley to clear the air. She refused to provide the information voluntarily for scrutiny by our own forensic accountant and instead opted for the FoI route. A sustained battle for disclosure is anticipated, which tells uPSD’s trained eye that we must keep searching for the truth.

Another long overdue uPSD FoI is the famous Special Committee Minutes request which recorded the departure of the disgraced Chief Constable Bettison on 24th October, 2012. Our new, and already exposed as dishonest, Police Commissioner is expecting the public to believe they are ‘not yet finalised’. Pull the other one.