At least seven areas of policing, including information about missing persons, are no longer subject to FOI.
The creation of the National Crime Agency (NCA) has forced several parts of policing that were previously open to public scrutiny to be hidden behind closed doors.
The National Policing Improvement Agency (NIPA) was abolished by the creation of the NCA and several parts of it were transfered to the NCA .
Previously NIPA was fully subject to FOI and now as part of the NCA they are fully exempt.
These were described by the Information Commissioner as “matters of significant public interest”.
The following areas, which were subject to FOI under NIPA, are no longer subject to the Act:
- Proceeds of Crime Centre
- Specialist Operations Centre
- Crime Operational Support
- Central Witness Bureau
- Serious Crime Analysis
- National Missing Persons Bureau
- National Injury Database
In his letter, sent at the beginning of August 2012, Chris Graham says that important functions which the ICO had issued decision notices on may be in danger of being exempt from the Act.
He expressed his concerns with the bill:
“Whilst I acknowledge that partial designation under FOIA may not be straightforward, this and other options should be fully considered to render the removal of significant areas of activity from FOIA coverage unnecessary.”
The full letter that was sent can be read below: