Dorset Police and the PCC in breach of Freedom of Information Act by failing to respond to Chris Packham’s request for info on poisoned eagle

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)

13 thoughts on “Dorset Police and the PCC in breach of Freedom of Information Act by failing to respond to Chris Packham’s request for info on poisoned eagle”

  1. Sounds like that’s what they, Boris, Chris and the Driven Grouse Moor owners, so when they find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Prevaricate, contact every expert they can buy to delay the day of recking so it fades in the public eye ; and then find some more uncovincing words to finish it off.
    Keep at it, Chris, Ruth and other like minded folk who help and support them.

  2. No surprise. I’ve been in communication with Dorset police over a number of issues and when I pursued the questions that remained unanswered I was blocked on social media.

    I too await a response to an FOI, which is expected no later than 30 May.

  3. Linking the disregard for the law shown by the Dorset PCC, David Sidwick, with the example set by our Prime Minister is irresistible particularly since they belong to the same party. That the Dorset Police seem to have followed their example is deeply disturbing.

  4. I suspect that, having painted themselves into a corner, they are now looking for a face-saving way out of it.. Given that they deliberately avoided looking for evidence by a conscious decision to forestall a planned search – apparently in the knowledge that an earlier search on a different estate had produced some items of interest in a case which had strong similarities to this one – it would appear that they have landed themselves in an untenable situation. I hope that the involvement of WildJustice and the recent decision of Wildlife LINK to join in the enquiry will demonstrate that their questioners are not going to go away, at least not without receiving a satisfactory explanation of the decisions and motives involved in the case..

  5. I don’t know if the FOI law in England is as per Scotland, but many moons ago I had cause to seek information from my council who (as expected) failed to respond within the allotted timescale. I immediately contacted the Information Commissioner who informed the council that if they did not provide the requested information he would have them prosecuted. …………. that produced the desired effect.

  6. …..keep going guys…..this is such important stuff for the future justice of all raptor persecutions…..especially where cases are seemingly just ‘brushed under the carpet’ by the very authorities that are meant to be investigating and protecting them!

  7. It beggars belief, when the very people whose role it is in society to enforce and uphold the law seem incapable of abiding by the law.
    Whilst it could be argued that more time could be needed to gather the information to provide a proper response to the questions raised by Chris Packham’s in his FOI request.
    What excuse can there be for failing to comply with the law as regards the actual FOI requests?
    Have these people got something to hide?

    I was listening to a very interesting debate on the Downing St partygate debacle this evening, and how it was the persistence of certain investigative journalists from one of the daily papers who broke the story and persisted with it for a number of weeks until other mainstream media outlets also started to publish the events.
    Eventually there was so much public attention as to what might have occurred that both a police and internal civil service investigation were conducted. The sheer scale of the breaking of covid rules was then uncovered.

    Hopefully something similar will happen with the events surrounding the poisoned white tailed eagle, the involvement of an MP, and the seemingly failure of Dorset police to properly investigate a potential wildlife crime. What is potentially at issue here is far more than just the poisoning of a white tailed eagle, but whether there has been political interference in a police investigation, which has then led to senior management in that police force curtailing the investigation to ensure that those responsible for the original crimes evaded justice.
    These are very serious allegations. Questions have been asked which require proper answers.
    Hopefully an investigative journalist from one of the national news outlets will be as persistent with this story as other journalists were with partygate?
    It shouldn’t be too much to ask for the truth.
    The irony is that a police investigation should also be about discovering the truth!!!

  8. When I replied to Dorset Police pointing out that their stock response did not answer my original enquiry, I got the same stock response again!!!! Pure contempt for the public to whom they are accountable, and who pay their wages. Clearly no intention to explain their decision (not to pursue the enquiry) unless they are compelled to.

  9. It will be a battle with both of these concerns as neither of them comply with any legal requirements placed upon them. They consider themselves to be above the law. It is all decided in the Masonic Lodge.

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