FOI request (FOI-70688433)
Requested Mon 19 March 2018
Responded Wed 06 June 2018
I am contacting the Hastings Borough Council because I would like to request some information under the Freedom of Information Act. Any help you can provide with this would be much appreciated.
I would like the following questions answered from data available for the last year: March 2017 - March 2018. My questions are the following:
- How many CCTV cameras are operated by Hastings Borough Council
- I'd like a list of their locations.
- How many staff members are involved in monitoring the feed?
- How much is spent on staff operation costs?
- How much is spent on CCTV Camera maintenance?
Q1 - 96
NOTICE OF REFUSAL
Please note that I consider the information you have requested regarding the location of CCTV cameras to be exempt information under S31(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act in that disclosure of that information would be likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime.
The exemption afforded by S31(1)(a) is subject to what is known as the 'public interest test'. When applying the test in a particular case a public authority is deciding whether the public interest is better served by non-disclosure than by disclosure.
Although the Freedom of Information Act does not define 'in the public interest', there is a presumption under Freedom of Information that openness is in the public interest. In applying the public interest test a public authority will take into account the distinction that has been often made by courts between things that are in the public interest, and things that merely interest the public. Where applicants have not identified public interest considerations succinctly or accurately, the public authority has a responsibility under the Act to make their own assessment of the public interest considerations in the particular case.
We have identified the following public interest factors that may be seen as encouraging the disclosure of information:
a) furtherance of understanding and participation in the public debate of issues of the day
b) promotion of accountability and transparency by public authorities in the decision they make and the spending of public money
c) allowing individuals and companies to better understand decisions made by public authorities which affect their lives
We consider these factors to be generally of limited or no relevance in relation to the information in question.
Public interest factors seen as encouraging non-disclosure are, generally, the exemptions themselves. In consideration of this matter we came to the following conclusions:
a) that there is no evidence of a wider public (rather than individual) interest in disclosure
b) that the disclosure of the information would be likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime
c) that crime has a substantial detrimental effect upon other individuals in the neighbourhood and wider community
d) that the motives behind the request (albeit not provided to us) have no relevance since disclosure would mean the information would be in the public domain
In weighing the factors for and against disclosure we have concluded that the likely benefit to the applicant and the wider public of disclosure is outweighed by the likely prejudice caused by such disclosure and that therefore the public interest is better served by non-disclosure.
Q3 - 5
NOTICE OF REFUSAL
The information requested relating to staff operation costs is exempt under Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 'personal data' this is an absolute exemption and will not be provided.
Q5 - approx. £61,000
Freedom of Information