Posted by: John Brace | 12 January 2021

Merseyside Police redact dog names from invoices claiming the names are “personal information”

Merseyside Police redact dog names from invoices claiming the names are “personal information”

                                           

By John Brace (Editor) and Leonora Brace (Co-Editor)

First publication date: 12th January 2021, 15:57 (GMT)

In November 2012, when police and crime commissioners were introduced, a new requirement was placed on certain police forces in England to publish information on payments over £500 (including the recipients of such payments).

This information is published on the website of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside.

Taking September 2020 as an example out of 1,128 payments made that month over £500, the supplier name was redacted for 82 of the payments (roughly 1 in 14 payments).

During the public inspection periods for the 2019-20 and 2018-19 years, I requested copies of specific invoices where Merseyside Police had paid for the kennelling and care of dogs (it is not known whether these invoices are for police dogs or dogs seized by Merseyside Police) which can be viewed below this piece.

The supplier names and details have been redacted from each invoice and were also redacted in the published list of payments over £500.

As detailed in the covering letter from September 2020 (see below) from Merseyside Police’s Director of Resources Keith Dickinson there are only two reasons which are specified in the legislation for redacting information from such a request which are commercial confidentiality (subject to a public interest test) and personal information.

In the legislation “personal information” is defined as:

“(7) Information is personal information if it identifies a particular individual or enables a particular individual to be identified (but see subsection (8)) and

(8) Information is not personal information merely because it relates to a business carried on by an individual as a sole trader”

Clearly individual means a person!

Yet for all of the 22 invoices below Merseyside Police redacted the names of dogs from the invoices!

0 Merseyside Police covering letter 15th September 2020

0 Merseyside Police covering letter 15th September 2020

1 Merseyside Police invoice November 2019 kennelling

1 Merseyside Police invoice November 2019 kennelling

2 Merseyside Police invoice June 2019 kennelling

2 Merseyside Police invoice June 2019 kennelling

3 Merseyside Police invoice July 2019 kennelling

3 Merseyside Police invoice July 2019 kennelling

4 Merseyside Police invoice August 2019 kennelling

4 Merseyside Police invoice August 2019 kennelling

5 Merseyside Police invoice May 2019 kennelling

5 Merseyside Police invoice May 2019 kennelling

6 Merseyside Police invoice January 2020 kennelling

6 Merseyside Police invoice January 2020 kennelling

7 Merseyside Police invoice March 2019 kennelling

7 Merseyside Police invoice March 2019 kennelling

8 Merseyside Police invoice November 2019 kennelling

8 Merseyside Police invoice November 2019 kennelling

9 Merseyside Police invoice February 2020 kennelling

9 Merseyside Police invoice February 2020 kennelling

10 Merseyside Police invoice December 2019 kennelling

10 Merseyside Police invoice December 2019 kennelling

11 Merseyside Police invoice June 2018 kennelling

11 Merseyside Police invoice June 2018 kennelling

12 Merseyside Police invoice February 2019 kennelling

12 Merseyside Police invoice February 2019 kennelling

13 Merseyside Police invoice January 2019 kennelling

13 Merseyside Police invoice January 2019 kennelling

14 Merseyside Police invoice December 2018 kennelling

14 Merseyside Police invoice December 2018 kennelling

15 Merseyside Police invoice November 2018 kennelling

15 Merseyside Police invoice November 2018 kennelling

16 Merseyside Police invoice October 2018 kennelling

16 Merseyside Police invoice October 2018 kennelling

17 Merseyside Police invoice September 2018 kennelling

17 Merseyside Police invoice September 2018 kennelling

18 Merseyside Police invoice August 2018 kennelling

18 Merseyside Police invoice August 2018 kennelling

19 Merseyside Police invoice July 2018 kennelling

19 Merseyside Police invoice July 2018 kennelling

20 Merseyside Police invoice May 2018 kennelling

20 Merseyside Police invoice May 2018 kennelling

21 Merseyside Police invoice April 2018 kennelling

21 Merseyside Police invoice April 2018 kennelling

22 Merseyside Police invoice March 2018 kennelling

22 Merseyside Police invoice March 2018 kennelling

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Responses

  1. Merseyside Police are silly. It has made itself a laughing stock.

    • Thanks for your comment.

      I agree with you that the dog names shouldn’t have been blacked out.

  2. A company can be a person.
    A prime minister can be a poodle.
    And now a dog can sue us if its privacy is breached.

  3. Merseyside Police are in breach of the GDPR 2018 by redacting the dogs names. UK police cannot withhold Police Officers names under Magyar Helsinki Bizsotsags EU Court Precedent. Police dogs have a name and numbers similar to their handlers so this is public data.

    • Thanks for your comment.

      Although I don’t think these are the names of police dogs, I think the redacted names are the names of dogs seized by the police.


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