Further breach of Freedom of Information Act by Dorset Police re: poisoned eagle

Yesterday I blogged about how Dorset Police and the Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick, were both in breach of the Freedom of Information Act by failing to respond to Chris Packham’s FoI requests about the poisoned eagle incident within the statutory period of 20 working days (see here).

Today I can report a further breach of the Freedom of Information Act by Dorset Police in relation to my FoI requests, also relating to the poisoned eagle incident.

[The poisoned white-tailed eagle found dead on an unnamed shooting estate in North Dorset in January 2022. Photo by Dorset Police]

Regular blog readers may recall I submitted an FoI request to Dorset Police on 4th March 2022, asking for copies of all correspondence between Dorset Police and local Conservative MP Chris ‘eagles aren’t welcome in Dorset‘ Loder on the subjects of wildlife crime, police wildlife crime officers, and eagle reintroductions, from 1 January 2022 to date.

On 17th March 2022 Dorset Police tried to fob me off with a refusal notice with what is perhaps the most ludicrous excuse I’ve ever seen (see here to read it in full).

I appealed that decision and requested a review of it on 14th April 2022. According to the FoI Act, the public authority has another 20 working days in which to respond to that review request. Taking into account all the public bank holidays in April and May, Dorset Police should have responded no later than 17th May 2022.

It’s now 26th May 2022 and Dorset Police hasn’t responded. I have written to them, again, to remind them of their legal obligations. If their silence continues I will escalate my complaint.

Meanwhile, you may also recall that I’d sent a similar FoI request to the Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) (David Sidwick) in early March. After a series of reminders to the PCC’s office (see here), I did finally get a response in late April 2022.

However, under scrutiny it became apparent that some of the correspondence I’d requested to see between Chris Loder MP and the PCC, David Sidwick, was missing from the bundle of information I received (see here).

So I wrote back to the PCC and asked them to forward ALL the correspondence, not just the bits they were happy for me to see.

That response was due back next Monday (30th May 2022) but I’m pleased to say it has arrived early and is now sitting in my inbox.

I’ve had a quick skim-read and it’s immediately obvious why ‘someone’ might not have wanted me to see it. I don’t have time to blog about that right now but will come back to it shortly…

UPDATE 16.00hrs: There’s quite a lot going on behind the scenes. For strategic reasons, I won’t be blogging further on this FoI response from the PCC until later next week. I’m sorry I can’t explain why right now but it will hopefully become apparent (and in a good way) next week. Thanks for your patience.

13 thoughts on “Further breach of Freedom of Information Act by Dorset Police re: poisoned eagle”

  1. I look forward to reading about what further information you have got Ruth. It sounds or rather reads more and more like a corrupt decision with an attempt to cover that up but we shall see i’m sure in due course. I suspect that Loder though represents a constituency they could put a blue rosette on a donkey in and it would be elected. Or perhaps they did!

  2. ….wow…excellent work…I’m really looking forward to reading your next blog about the info you received!!

  3. Marcellus, was wrong, it’s not just in the state of Denmark that something is rotten. The smell of corruption is also emanating from the stinking state of Dorset.

  4. Ruth

    No pressure, but (!) …

    Have you had an update on the potential breach of CL25 by Natural England staff last year when a nesting hen harrier was disturbed by two individuals who appeared to be attempting to undertake diversionary feeding of an adult involved in the hen harrier brood meddling scheme? You are aware, I assume, that NE claim they became aware of and reported a potential breach of CL25 to North Yorkshire Police on the very day you blogged about it! Superb work! I have forwarded correspondence I have received about this case on to you but North Yorkshire Police have been finding reasons not to comply with my FOI requests.

    Also, is there an update that on the alleged incident in which a hen harrier may have had its wings ripped off, possibly when it was alive. North Yorkshire Police tell me they cannot comment on an active investigation.

  5. Can’t wait. And although i know you have to check all the messages so i don’t say this as often as you deserve.
    Which is to say fantastic work!!!!!!

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