In April 2022, Chris Packham submitted two separate Freedom of Information requests to Dorset Police and to the Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) David Sidwick, asking for copies of all correspondence between Dorset Conservative MP Chris ‘Eagles are not welcome in Dorset‘ Loder and various named senior police officers and the Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner, relating to the poisoned eagle incident and wildlife crime in general (Chris’s two FoI requests can be read here).
Chris submitted his Freedom of Information requests on 18th April 2022, which were acknowledged by both Dorset Police and the Dorset PCC within a couple of days.
Dorset Police and the PCC, as public authorities, ‘must respond to requests promptly, and by the twentieth working day following date of receipt of the request‘, according to Section 10 of the FoI Act.
Taking in to account a number of public Bank Holidays in April and May, the latest date by which Dorset Police and the PCC needed to respond was 17th May 2022. If Dorset Police and/or the PCC needed more time to fulfil the request (they are permitted a further 20 working days in exceptional circumstances), they should have told Chris that within the first 20 working days.
Chris has written again to Dorset Police and to the PCC to ask them to comply with the FoI Act and respond by return. So far, they have remained silent. If this continues, Chris will escalate his complaint through the relevant authorities.
More on this shortly.
UPDATE 26th May 2022: Further breach of Freedom of Information Act by Dorset Police re: poisoned eagle (here)