Met Police on Epstein, Prince Andrew, Maxwell Sex Trafficking

I sent a Freedom of Information request to the Metropolitan Police on 17th August 2019, about the investigation into Prince Andrew and the Epstein Sex Trafficking Network by Met Police.

Their duty under the law is to reply within 28 working days. They failed to reply substantively even by 4th December, nearly 15 weeks, when I sent them another reminder that they, the Met Police, had failed to comply with the FOI Acts.

In my experience in FOI requests the Police are one of the worst offenders in failing to reply on time as well as in not providing information requested

The answer was incomplete. True to form the Met Police make pathetic excuses and do not even do internal reviews correctly. However so as to not get sidetracked on their incompetence, much of that failure is irrelevant to this post which is to analyse the information in the original reply, I will concentrate on that.

They eventually did provide this following information in their reply. WDTK Met Response attachment [3] .

“Commander Dean Haydon (Homicide, rape, sexual offences and child abuse Command, now Deputy Assistant Commissioner) was the officer who assessed the allegation into non-recent trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Earlier this year Commander Alex Murray reviewed the previous decision making and confirmed it remained entirely appropriate”

In the reasons the Police gave for not releasing more information they did give a little more information

The MPS did receive an allegation of non-recent trafficking for sexual exploitation. Information was collated and it was, after consideration and with consultation with legal advisors, decided that a full criminal investigation would not be launched.

The information that you have requested with regard to Mr. Epstein relates to work undertaken by the MPS in order to ascertain whether an investigation needed to be launched following an allegation of non-recent sexual trafficking.

Furthermore, it is vitally important to maintain the relationship between the MPS and the CPS. Disclosure would be likely to impact upon the ability of the MPS to have free and frank exchanges with the CPS in future, as there may be a concern that confidentiality would not be maintained. This would have an adverse impact on discussions around investigations in future, which would not be in the public interest. [CPS in Britain is the Crown Prosecution Service, MPS is the Metropolitan Police Service]

In this instance, the individual in question was an American national, convicted of related crimes in the USA, and therefore any allegations made here that concerned him were likely to result in some degree of international communication.

 So it is clear that there was an allegation of non recent trafficking for sexual exploitation [by Virginia Giuffre].  A scoping exercise, (an initial investigation to investigate whether further investigation is needed) was then carried out by Commander Dean Haydon who decided that a further investigation should not be carried out. The reasons remain unclear and the Met Police refused to supply the reasons.

For some reason a review of this decision was carried out by Commander Alex Murray in 2019 which came to the same conclusion.

The decision not to carry out any investigation is in direct opposition to what Virginia Giuffre has tweeted that the Met Police told her.

The Met Police told her that they were going to forensically examine Ghislaine Maxwell’s house from top to bottom.

 

Even after Virginia questioned that saying “it has been so long how would you be able find anything?”, the Met Police replied that they had the technology to test the fibres in the carpet and so on.

 

Virginia states “ask Scotland Yard & MET why they decided NOT to further any investigation after I had been told that they were going to forensically examine Maxwell’s townhouse from top to bottom. Who’s protecting who??”

So it is of huge “public interest” that more information is divulged by Met Police, as

  • It appears that the Police have lied to a victim of sex trafficking
  • Their behaviour perpetuates a widespread belief that there is a cover up of child sexual abuse by high profile figures
  • The Met Police behaviour perpetuates the belief that the Police are a body that covers up the child sexual abuse

To attempt to justify claiming some exemptions the police have to give reasons for and against in a “Public Interest Test”. The Police are always very keen to differentiate between being in the public interest and the interest of the public.  The following is given as part of their reply.

The MPS understands that there is a belief that this is very much a matter of public interest given the high profile, powerful nature of the individual in question. However, this man is deceased but his victims, associates and surviving family members are not. According to ICO guidance on the application of section 40, there is always a greater expectation that a public authority would not disclose such information when it relates to an individual’s private life. The living identifiable individuals are not high profile figures, and given the sensitive nature of the information, there is much less of an argument for disclosure.

It appears that the Police are saying that Ghislaine Maxwell is not a high profile figure, and that there is less reason why certain information should be disclosed.

The living identifiable individuals are not high profile figures, and given the sensitive nature of the information, there is much less of an argument for disclosure.

Ghislaine Maxwell is an extremely high profile figure. To even try to claim that this is not the case, raises suspicions that the Met Police are covering up. Who are they trying to kid? The pimp, Ghislaine Maxwell, for the most well known child sexual abuse and trafficking network in the world is somehow not “high profile”. This has no credibility.

Pull the other one Plod.

The Met also claims “Furthermore, we must consider the fact that there was no criminal investigation launched in response to this allegation. This, too, reduces the argument in favour of disclosure”.

So, because the Met Police decided not to carry out a further investigation ie a “criminal investigation” in their terms, this in their eyes reduces the weight of the argument for disclosure of information as to why they decided not to carry out a criminal investigation!

A beautiful circular argument. They won’t release the information about why they did not carry out the criminal investigation, as it is not important enough as they didn’t carry out a criminal investigation. Met Police logic!

Part of the trouble is of course, the default position of the Police always appears to be to release as little information as possible, contrary to the FOI Act. They then use the exemptions as broadly as possible, and as many as possible to attempt to convince people who do not understand FOI by sheer weight of exemptions that there are genuine reasons. In fact the justifications for the exemptions are often filled with gobbledegook as above.

Most people think it would be a no brainer, to investigate a proven and convicted pedophile’s sex trafficking network, and carry out a criminal investigation into Ghislaine. As the Met Police appear to think it is not, then it raises the question of what the Met Police are actually in existence for, if it is not to investigate pedophiles’ sex trafficking crimes.

Laughably if it was not so serious, under S30 exemption about Investigations, the Met Police claim

Disclosing the requested information would prejudice our ability to conduct criminal investigations of this nature in future, particularly if further victims / witnesses came forward. Disclosing this information may even deter other victims from coming forward, for fear that their information and / or statements may be made publicly available.

The are claiming that if they disclose why they did not carry out a criminal investigation, then this will deter other victims from coming forward. In the inverted world of the Met Police, when the victim actually wants to know the reason why the investigation did not proceed, they pretend it is because the victims information will be released. No. This can be redacted under personal and sensitive data, Section 40 not Section 30. BS

s38 The allegation in this instance is one of non-recent sex trafficking. This is an emotive subject, and one that requires sensitivity around how it is handled in order to protect the privacy and mental well-being of potential victims. Should the MPS disclose the information that falls within this exemption, it would be likely to cause distress to the victim, as this information is undoubtedly extremely sensitive and personal in nature.

Furthermore, it could also potentially act as a ‘trigger’ to others that may have suffered similarly, and cause unnecessary anguish. This must be considered even more strongly given who the allegation concerns, as this would no doubt be quoted within the press and therefore openly commented on in public – bringing it to a wider audience.

Under s38 Health and Safety (The information deniers love this one) the Met Police, again pretend that it is personal data (section 40 would take care of this) and although they have not checked with the victim, they say it is likely to cause distress to her. They also love including every other victim of abuse under this as by saying might trigger them. They never have information to back up this statement which is why they love it so much.

In my experience and conversations with victims, almost the exact opposite is the case

  • they feel that the authorities hide information unnecessarily to deliberately conceal the child abuse, or conceal the cover up
  • they want as much information to be released as possible (except personal data) and it is then THEIR choice to be able to look at the information or not, a choice they have been denied their whole lives, whilst much secret (and incorrect) information has been used to make decisions about their lives.

Met Police further claim

Furthermore, it is vitally important to maintain the relationship between the MPS and the CPS. Disclosure would be likely to impact upon the ability of the MPS to have free and frank exchanges with the CPS in future, as there may be a concern that confidentiality would not be maintained. This would have an adverse impact on discussions around investigations in future, which would not be in the public interest.

The above paragraph in this case is either to pretend that they have had conversations with CPS and offload the responsibility for the Police decision not to investigate futher to the CPS or they actually had conversations with the CPS, which may be surprising at this early stage when the Police have decided not even to investigate further.  It would be interesting to find the truth on this.

Update 2019 Dec 29 23.34

To indicate just how unhelpful that the Met Police are, I have just found this from Commander Alex Murray, who was the person that reviewed the original decision not to investigate Virginia’s claim.

2019 Nov 28 Met Police Statement Regarding Allegation of No Recent Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation [13]

This statement which the Met Police have chosen not to refer to when replying to me,

  • States the allegation was made in July 2015
  • It was against an American Epstein, and a British woman [Ghislaine Maxwell]
  •  The allegation of trafficking to central London was in March 2001
  • Officers assessed the available evidence, interviewed the complainant and obtained early investigative advice from the Crown Prosecution Service
  • Following the legal advice, [It nods to the advice being from CPS] it was clear that any investigation into human trafficking would be largely focused on activities and relationships outside the UK. We therefore concluded that the MPS was not the appropriate authority to conduct enquiries in these circumstances and, in November 2016, a decision was made that this matter would not proceed to a full criminal investigation.
  • In August 2019, following the death of Jeffrey Epstein the MPS reviewed the decision making and our position remains unchanged
  • The MPS has liaised with other law enforcement organisations but has not received a formal request asking for assistance in connection with this allegation.

Thus despite the offence allegation being made about a British woman and the offence in Britain,  the British Met Police position is that any investigation would largely be focussed outside the UK and therefore they were not the appropriate authority to conduct enquiries. This despite admitting that US authorities have not asked for assistance.

The reason given for the Review of the original decision is the death of Epstein, [on 9/10th Aug] which to most people would mean increased urgency to investigate Maxwell, especially as there are valid suspicions that Epstein did not kill himself. The Met works to different ethical standards it seems.

Of interest are the dates,

  • 2001 March the offence
  • 2015 July allegation made (original or interview?)
  • 2016 Nov Decision taken to not proceed with criminal investigation
  • 2019 Nov Review of non investigation decision

Met Police are definitely saying that they contacted CPS for early investigative advice and are essentially saying the responsibility / blame rests with the Crown Prosecution Service.

The fact that the Met Police did not even tell me about the existence of this statement, despite the fact my FOI request preceeded it by many weeks, and the FOI answer was given a month after it, tells volumes about the Met Police and the FOI Unit.

Virginia  blamed high levels of government

2019 Nov 28 Insider British police won’t pursue criminal charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her alleged involvement in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking activities [14a]

This may well be true, but equally it may be high level police, high level Crown Prosecution Service or any combination.

The subtext to this is one of Met Police corruption, especially in matters of sexual abuse and child sexual abuse. Police Corruption at high senior level has never been got , ever since it was widely recognised, and efforts made to root it out by Sir Robert Mark in the 1970’s.

However Met Police corruption is worthy of a post by itself and more research. I just include here some posts that I have already made which detail some corruption in the Met. The Operation Tiberius report has to be read to be believed – the sheer extent of the corruption.

  • 2016 Feb 5 Cathy Fox Blog The Fall of Scotland Yard [5] 
  • 2016 Mar 5 cathy fox blog Operation Countryman [6] 
  • 2017 Feb 26 cathy fox blog Why is the latest met Police Corruption scandal dragging on? [7]
  • Goggzilla Operation Tiberius Unredacted [8]
  • 2017 Mar 14 cathy fox blog Fenwick, Chamberlain, O’Hanlon, Jones and Fisher 8 Mar 1978 Court of Appeal (Police) [9] 

Virginia did not traffick herself, but it appears that the Met Police is not interested in finding those who did traffick her.

If you want to get away with sex trafficking in the UK, it appears you just have to traffick more outside the UK and the Met will not investigate.

Due to the Met Police flawed and insupportable decision to not investigate Virginia Giuffre’s claims about of sex trafficking against Ghislaine Maxwell, even after the death of Epstein, and continued intransigence and lack of cooperation in the FOI, I will be posting on the Met Police corruption in much more detail in future post.

My request was 2019 Aug 17 WDTK FOI Request Prince Andrew [1]

“Please could you send me the recorded information as to why the investigation into Prince Andrew and the Epstein Sex Trafficking Network was terminated as reported by Channel 4 news https://www.invidio.us/watch?v=KKJdMMUg5JI and now the Mail http://archive.fo/3AirY . Please send the documents the reason was recorded on.

Please send me the recorded information as to who was the most senior officer who decided that a full investigation into the Epstein Child Sex Trafficking Network should not go ahead and the limited investigation terminated. Please send relevant documentation.

Please send me the recorded information as to the date this occurred and the documents it was recorded on.”

The request is on this link. [1] and/or see Appendix 1 for the first substantive reply.

The Met Police chose these exemptions

Section 27(1)(a)(b) International Relations

Section 30(1)(a)(i) Criminal Investigation

Section 38(1)(a) Health and Safety

Section 40(2)(3A)(a) Personal Information

Section 42(1) Legal Professional Privilege

Furthermore, the Metropolitan Police Service can neither confirm nor deny whether it holds any information in relation to Prince Andrew with regards to this matter, as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Act does not apply by virtue of the following exemptions:

Section 27(4) International Relations

Section 30(3) Criminal Investigations

Section 31(3) Law Enforcement

Section 40(5B)(a)(i) Personal Information

I would just like to clarify that you do not have to be British or British resident to apply under Freedom of Information Acts and the website this a good one to use FOI Request site – What Do They Know [12]

Incidentally, just for the record I am currently banned from twitter. I have been banned from twitter for some hours for “hateful conduct”, so please kindly tweet this post for me.

Laughably the tweet in entirety comprised the words “ho ho ho”

This was in reply to @NatSecLisa ie Lisa Page who tweeted and I approximate as I cannot access it

“#2019in5words There was no Insurance Policy”

This despite the Page-Strzok tweets mentioning the insurance policy and  being so far fetched and contrary to available information, I felt was worthy of a jocular holiday festive “ho ho ho”.

Apparently twitter took umbrage.

Despite the fact twitter claim to have temporarily limited only certain features, I cannot even view Twitter at present, despite having to put in a telephone number, and so they could send me a code (and of course access my geolocation).

  As it said I had one hour something left on the ban, and twitter said if I chose to contest the ban then I would continue to remain banned,  I chose to admit to the ho ho ho “crime”, and delete the offendig tweet,  so as to be able to access  twitter, whereupon the restriction promptly restarted at 12 hours.

At first I could access twitter but after an hour or so no access is now permitted and the above message just recycles after pressing continue to twitter ie it is a total ban, pretending not to be.

Below is a copy of a similar message to which I received. I chose to remove the tweet to get back on twitter quicker – I thought, wrongly, in an hour. Clicking on the button also got rid of this message and I foolishly did not screenshot.

Note it says you forgo option to appeal. My notice also said that I would still not have access to twitter whilst I appealed and I thought that twitter would not sort the appeal in an hour.

Twitter has outscummed itself in classifying a jocular Father Christmas saying “ho ho ho” as “hateful conduct”  but of course the deep state, which includes the corrupted, blackmailed, and mind controlled Mockingbird media are getting very worried.

Yesterday in particular saw many many tweets shadowbanned, long threads of tweets being reduced to only a couple not banned. I suspect this was to do with Trump retweeting #QAnon supporters tweets, driving the media loopy in their Catch 22 of trying to give no publicity to #QAnon whilst simultaneously wanting to ridicule it.

However ignoring it is no longer an option when Trump retweets, but attempting to ridicule it brings attention to #QAnon which means people investigate it for themselves and find not only are the corporate mainstream media lying (yet again) but also that QAnon is close to Trump.

So they are left with a bizarre position of saying the Trump is retweeting “conspiracy theories” when those very facts are derived from information from Q+ ie Trump and Military Intelligence /NSA.

The global criminals are revealing themselves to all by their actions to cover up their original criminal actions.

We shall overcome.

 

Links

[1] 2019 Aug 17 WDTK FOI Request Prince Andrew https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/investigation_into_prince_andrew#outgoing-931069

[2] ICO S27 https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1184/awareness_guidance_14_-_international_relations.pdf

[3] 2019 Dec 16 WDTK Response attachment https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/597828/response/1486099/attach/3/attachment.docx?cookie_passthrough=1

[4] 2019 Jul 8 Goggzilla John Donovan Murder Operation Tiberius unredacted https://goggzilla.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/john-donovan-murder-operation-tiberius-unredacted/

[13] 2019 Nov 28 Met Police Statement Regarding Allegation of No Recent Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation https://web.archive.org/web/20191229223735/http://news.met.police.uk/news/statement-regarding-allegation-of-non-recent-trafficking-for-sexual-exploitation-388522

[14] 2019 Nov 28 Insider British police won’t pursue criminal charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her alleged involvement in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking activities https://www.insider.com/jeffrey-epstein-uk-police-wont-pursue-case-prince-andrew-ghislaine-2019-11

[14a] archive https://archive.is/wip/psN8f

[15]

Police Corruption

[5] 2016 Feb 5 CathyFox Blog The Fall of Scotland Yard https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/the-fall-of-scotland-yard/

[6] 2016 Mar 5 cathy fox blog Operation Countryman https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/operation-countryman/

[7] 2017 Feb 26 cathy fox blog Why is the latest met Police Corruption scandal dragging on? https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/why-is-latest-met-police-corruption-and-sex-scandal-dragging-on/

[8] Goggzilla Operation Tiberius Unredacted https://goggzilla.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/tib.pdf

[9] 2017 Mar 14 cathy fox blog Fenwick, Chamberlain, O’Hanlon, Jones and Fisher 8 Mar 1978 Court of Appeal (Police) https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/fenwick-chamberlain-ohanlon-jones-and-fisher-8-mar-1978-court-of-appeal-police/

[10] 2017 Mar 15 cathy fox blog Richard Hook v The Clerk of Lancashire Police Committee 1980 Supreme Court https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2017/03/15/richard-hook-v-the-clerk-of-lancashire-police-committee-19-mar-1980-supreme-court-police/

[11] 2017 nov 26 cathy fox blog Judicial Review of IPCC and Hampshire Police re Arnewood School – Documents released https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/judicial-review-of-ipcc-and-hampshire-police-re-arnewood-school-documents-released/

 

[12] FOI Request site – What Do They Know https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/

 

Appendix 1

FOI Request

[1] 2019 Aug 17 WDTK FOI Request Prince Andrew

“Please could you send me the recorded information as to why the investigation into Prince Andrew and the Epstein Sex Trafficking Network was terminated as reported by Channel 4 news https://www.invidio.us/watch?v=KKJdMMUg5JI and now the Mail http://archive.fo/3AirY . Please send the documents the reason was recorded on.

Please send me the recorded information as to who was the most senior officer who decided that a full investigation into the Epstein Child Sex Trafficking Network should not go ahead and the limited investigation terminated. Please send relevant documentation.”

Please send me the recorded information as to the date this occurred and the documents it was recorded on. [1] 2019 Aug 17 WDTK FOI Request Prince Andrew

Appendix 2

Substantive Reply from Met Police

DECISION

I have today decided to disclose some of the requested information, and this can be found below. However, the rest of the information regarding Mr. Epstein has been withheld as it is exempt from disclosure. Therefore, this response serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).

The following exemptions have been applied to that information:

Section 27(1)(a)(b) International Relations

Section 30(1)(a)(i) Criminal Investigation

Section 38(1)(a) Health and Safety

Section 40(2)(3A)(a) Personal Information

Section 42(1) Legal Professional Privilege

Furthermore, the Metropolitan Police Service can neither confirm nor deny whether it holds any information in relation to Prince Andrew with regards to this matter, as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Act does not apply by virtue of the following exemptions:

Section 27(4) International Relations

Section 30(3) Criminal Investigations

Section 31(3) Law Enforcement

Section 40(5B)(a)(i) Personal Information

Please see the legal annex for further information on the exemptions applied in respect of this aspect of your request.

REASONS FOR DECISION

The information that you have requested with regard to Mr. Epstein relates to work undertaken by the MPS in order to ascertain whether an investigation needed to be launched following an allegation of non-recent sexual trafficking. Although the individual in question is now deceased, there are a number of other identifiable living individuals whose information is contained within the held information. The report into this individual also contains information that constitutes legal professional privilege.

For these reasons, the information requested cannot be disclosed. Please see the Legal Annex at the end of this response for some more detailed arguments regarding the application and maintenance of these cited exemptions.

In relation to whether or not we hold any information with regards to any named individual and this scoping exercise, the MPS can neither confirm nor deny. Confirming or denying whether criminal allegations have been made would be a significant breach of the rights afforded individuals under the Data Protection Act 2018. Furthermore, confirming or denying whether or not the MPS are investigating (or have investigated) a named individual, if not otherwise made public, would have a negative impact upon the police’s ability to conduct their law enforcement functions. We would be less able to investigate allegations made by the public as definitive responses about what information we held would reveal our intelligence and whether or not investigations are ongoing. This may compromise such investigations, and hinder our ability to ascertain whether an offence has been committed, and whether someone could be charged with such an offence.

Finally, the MPS work alongside other authorities and organisations in order to effectively and efficiently conduct our policing duties. This includes, but is not limited to, policing authorities abroad, and organisations within the UK. Should the MPS confirm or deny whether we hold any information pertinent to this individual, this could jeopardise our working relationships with other parties, which would erode trust and foster a less co-operative relationship.

Considering this, the MPS cannot confirm or deny whether information is held in relation to any named individual with regard to this scoping exercise, as to do so would be grossly unfair and would negatively impact upon our ability to conduct investigations into allegations and bring people to justice.

This stance should not be taken as an indication as to whether or not the information exists. This stance is taken consistently in cases where formal confirmation has not taken place in order to protect both individuals’ and policing interests now and in the future.

Further information on the use of these exemptions can be found in the Legal Annex below.

DISCLOSURE

The following information can be provided to you:

Commander Dean Haydon (Homicide, rape, sexual offences and child abuse Command, now Deputy Assistant Commissioner) was the officer who assessed the allegation into non-recent trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Earlier this year Commander Alex Murray reviewed the previous decision making and confirmed it remained entirely appropriate.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely,

Shannon Stroud

Information Rights Unit

LEGAL ANNEX

Section 17(1) of the Act provides:

(1) A public authority which, in relation to any request for information, is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision in part II relating to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request or on a claim that information is exempt information must, within the time for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which-

(a) states the fact,

(b) specifies the exemption in question, and

(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.

IN RELATION TO THE INFORMATION HELD SURROUNDING THE SCOPING OF

ALLEGATIONS OF NON-RECENT SEX TRAFFICKING

Section 27(1)(a)(b) of the Act provides:

(1) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice—

(a) relations between the United Kingdom and any other State,

(b) relations between the United Kingdom and any international organisation or international court

Many criminal allegations that involve incidents occurring in, or individuals from, different nations require co-operation in order to successfully investigate any claims made. These investigations may require information from international sources, or access to the evidence gathered by other agencies, for example. In this instance, the individual in question was an American national, convicted of related crimes in the USA, and therefore any allegations made here that concerned him were likely to result in some degree of international communication.

If the MPS were to disclose the information we held about this individual and our work that was conducted to ascertain whether any investigation should be launched into the allegations made, this would be likely to prejudice our relationship with criminal authorities in the US and for us to disclose our information could have a prejudicial impact upon any such investigations – either now or in the future.

Therefore, Section 27 is engaged.

As Section 27 is a qualified, prejudice based exemption, I am required to provide you with both a public interest and harm test. These can be found below.

Evidence of Harm

In considering whether or not this information should be disclosed, I have considered the potential harm that could be caused by disclosure.

For your information, we are relying upon the lower threshold of ‘would be likely to’ prejudice, as opposed to ‘would’.

As explained above, releasing information that we collated as part of our scoping exercise may have a prejudicial impact upon any investigation that may be ongoing, or may occur in the future, in the USA or elsewhere. If the MPS were to release our information on this matter into the public domain, it could disclose information which would impact upon another organisation’s ability to conduct their investigations, by disclosing information which may not otherwise be in the public domain for example.

If the MPS were to disclose information which later adversely affected one of these investigations, it may have a negative impact on the co-operative relationship between us and other agencies in the future.

Policing authorities rely on international co-operation when investigating crimes that are cross-border in scope (for example, trafficking by its very nature), and should an organisation believe that working with us may result in prejudicial disclosures, they may be less likely to work alongside us in future. This could hinder future investigations in many fields, which would have an obvious damaging effect on policing.

Public interest considerations favouring disclosure

Disclosing information about this matter would demonstrate our commitment to openness and transparency, particularly with regard to how we conduct such scoping exercises, and how these work when there is an international element.

Public interest considerations favouring non-disclosure

Disclosing this information may hinder current or future investigations, and consequently could impact upon our ability to work closely with overseas investigative agencies. Any breakdown in trust between authorities would have a negative impact upon policing in various fields, not limited to sex trafficking. This would therefore have a significant impact on law enforcement and public safety.

Section 30(1)(a)(i) of the Act provides:

(1) Information held by a public authority is exempt information if it has at any time been held by the authority for the purposes of—

(a) any investigation which the public authority has a duty to conduct with a view to it being ascertained—

(i) whether a person should be charged with an offence

Section 30 relates to information that has been held at any time for the purpose of ascertaining whether a person should be charged with an offence.

The MPS did receive an allegation of non-recent trafficking for sexual exploitation. Information was collated and it was, after consideration and with consultation with legal advisors, decided that a full criminal investigation would not be launched. Therefore the information that is held is held only because of this criminal allegation and thus, Section 30 is engaged.

As Section 30 is a qualified, class based exemption, I am required to provide you with a public interest test. This can be found below.

There is no requirement for me to articulate the harm that would be caused by disclosure in relation to this exemption, as the legislators recognised the inherent harm in disclosing information of this nature.

Public interest considerations favouring disclosure

This information, if disclosed, would be of great interest to the public. Disclosing the held information would therefore promote public confidence in the decision in the MPS decision to not launch a full criminal investigation into the allegation.

Public interest considerations favouring non-disclosure

Disclosing the requested information would prejudice our ability to conduct criminal investigations of this nature in future, particularly if further victims / witnesses came forward. Disclosing this information may even deter other victims from coming forward, for fear that their information and / or statements may be made publicly available. This would undoubtedly not be in the public interest, as it is always in the best interests of the public to thoroughly investigate allegations of criminal behaviour, and charge and prosecute where possible.

Furthermore, it is vitally important to maintain the relationship between the MPS and the CPS. Disclosure would be likely to impact upon the ability of the MPS to have free and frank exchanges with the CPS in future, as there may be a concern that confidentiality would not be maintained. This would have an adverse impact on discussions around investigations in future, which would not be in the public interest.

Section 38(1)(a) of the Act provides:

(1) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to—

(a) endanger the physical or mental health of any individual

Section 38 relates to information that, if disclosed, would or would be likely to endanger the physical or mental health of any individual. In this case, this exemption is engaged because if the requested information were disclosed, in particular the statements from the individual who made the claim, it would be likely to be distressing and upsetting to the victim, other potential victims and the surviving family members of the individual that is the subject of this request. This is because of the nature of the claims and the emotive nature of the alleged offence.

As Section 38 is a qualified, prejudice based exemption I am required to provide you with both a public interest and a harm test. These can be found below.

Evidence of Harm

In considering whether or not this information should be disclosed, I have considered the potential harm that could be caused by disclosure.

In this instance, we are relying on the lower threshold of ‘would be likely to’ prejudice, as opposed to ‘would’.

The allegation in this instance is one of non-recent sex trafficking. This is an emotive subject, and one that requires sensitivity around how it is handled in order to protect the privacy and mental well-being of potential victims. Should the MPS disclose the information that falls within this exemption, it would be likely to cause distress to the victim, as this information is undoubtedly extremely sensitive and personal in nature.

Furthermore, it could also potentially act as a ‘trigger’ to others that may have suffered similarly, and cause unnecessary anguish. This must be considered even more strongly given who the allegation concerns, as this would no doubt be quoted within the press and therefore openly commented on in public – bringing it to a wider audience.

Public interest considerations favouring disclosure

Disclosing this information would, again, demonstrate the MPS commitment to openness and transparency. It would highlight that we take all such allegations seriously, regardless of who may have been accused, and conduct thorough research before coming to any decision as to whether or not a formal investigation can commence.

Public interest considerations favouring non-disclosure

Disclosing this sensitive, emotive information would be likely to cause undue stress, anxiety and distress to victims and the named individual’s surviving family. Public safety – both physical and mental – must be considered when looking at the public interest in whether or not information should be released into the wider public domain. In this instance, it cannot be seen to be in the wider public interest to disclose information that will unquestionably cause distress to the public, due to its upsetting nature.

Section 40(2)(3A)(a) of the Act provides:

(2) Any information to which a request for information relates is also exempt information if—

(a) it constitutes personal data which does not fall within subsection (1), and

(b) the first, second or third condition below is satisfied.

(3A) The first condition is that the disclosure of the information to a member of the public otherwise than under this Act—

(a) would contravene any of the data protection principles

Section 3 of the Data Protection Act 2018 confirms that information which relates to an identified or identifiable living individual is Personal Data.

The Freedom of Information Act provides an exemption for Personal Data and this is known as the section 40 exemption.

Despite the subject of your request being deceased and therefore not covered by the DPA, the information sought under your request includes information that relates to identifiable living individuals, including, but not limited to, the victim.

Where a request is seeking access to third party personal data the Section 40(2) exemption may be engaged.

In order to apply the Section 40(2) exemption, the disclosure of the requested information must satisfy either the first, second or third conditions as defined by subsections 3(A), 3(B) and 4(A) of the Data Protection Act 2018.

The first condition ensures that the exemption would apply in circumstances where the disclosure of the information would breach any of the Data Protection Act 2018 principles.

There are six Data Protection principles specified within Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In this instance I have decided that the disclosure of the Personal Data would be incompatible with the first Data Protection principle which requires that personal data shall be:

processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject (‘lawfulness, fairness and transparency’);

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, the disclosure of personal data is considered to be lawful if:

a. There is a legitimate interest in the disclosure of that personal data.

b. The disclosure of the personal data is necessary to meet that legitimate interest.

c. The disclosure would not cause unwarranted harm to the data subject.

Here, we need to balance the rights and freedoms of the individuals involved with any legitimate public interest in disclosure.

The MPS understands that there is a belief that this is very much a matter of public interest given the high profile, powerful nature of the individual in question. However, this man is deceased but his victims, associates and surviving family members are not. According to ICO guidance on the application of section 40, there is always a greater expectation that a public authority would not disclose such information when it relates to an individual’s private life. The living identifiable individuals are not high profile figures, and given the sensitive nature of the information, there is much less of an argument for disclosure.

Furthermore, we must consider the fact that there was no criminal investigation launched in response to this allegation. This, too, reduces the argument in favour of disclosure.

Finally, it is for the MPS to consider whether disclosure of the requested information would cause unwarranted harm to the data subjects. Given the nature of the allegations, it would be grossly unfair to the victim to disclose information concerning this individual and his role. Given the intense media interest in the named individual, it is obvious that such information, if disclosed, would be commented on and referred to publicly by the media worldwide – which would be distressing for the involved parties and would have a lasting impact. Furthermore, MPS privacy notices indicate that personal data is collected and used for policing purposes and will not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes.

https://www.met.police.uk/privacy-notice/

https://www.met.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/foi-media/metropolitan-police/policies/special-category-and-criminal-convictions-personal-data-policy.pdf

With this in mind, the data subjects in the circumstances of your request would have a legitimate expectation that personal data would not be used for non-policing purposes.

Disclosure in the circumstances of your request would be unlawful and would therefore contravene the first data protection principle.

I have therefore applied the exemption provided under Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act to this information as the first condition, defined in subsection 3(A)(a) of Section 40 has been satisfied. This therefore becomes an absolute exemption, and I am not required to provide you with a public interest test.

Section 42(1) of the Act provides:

(1) Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege or, in Scotland, to confidentiality of communications could be maintained in legal proceedings is exempt information.

This exemption applies to information that is protected by legal professional privilege – in particular, in this instance, it relates to legal advice and comes under the term ‘advice privilege’. Information held by the MPS and pertinent to your request constitutes legal advice as it comes from a legal advisor. As this information has not been shared, the privilege has not been waived. Therefore, Section 42 is engaged.

As Section 42 is a qualified, class based exemption, I am required to provide you with a public interest test. This can be found below.

Public interest considerations favouring disclosure

Disclosure of the legal advice that the MPS have in relation to this individual would reveal the factors surrounding why the MPS took the decision to not launch a criminal investigation following this allegation.

Public interest considerations favouring non-disclosure

There was an inherent understanding by the legislators when they introduced the Act that harm would be caused by the disclosure of information that falls within this exemption – this is why there is no requirement to articulate the prejudice when arguing that it is engaged. However, they did make this exemption qualified – and so there are some instances where this type of information is in the public interest to disclose.

However, they are not made out in this instance. The allegation this relates to, and the fact that this could be linked to other criminal investigations (here or abroad, now or in the future), is recent – which makes it less in the public interest to disclose at this time.

Furthermore, this relates to individuals rather than ‘civic’ issues such as building, and therefore their rights are afforded more protection. Disclosure would rarely be in the public interest if it would impact upon individuals and their personal lives, as in this case.

Balancing Test

After weighing up the competing interests in all of the public interest tests outlined above, I have determined that the disclosure of the above information would not be in the public interest at this time. I consider that the benefit that would result from the information being disclosed does not outweigh the considerations favouring non-disclosure.

Although the public are very interested in this subject, that does not equate to the public interest in the legal sense. Disclosing this information would have a negative impact upon numerous individuals, in particular the victim, other potential victims, and the individual’s surviving family members. Not only would it be unfair to disclose the personal information contained within, it would also cause unwarranted and undue distress to those affected. In addition, the impact it would have on our ability to conduct criminal investigations, now and in the future, cannot be underestimated. Disclosing this information would be likely to impact upon free and frank discussions between us and the CPS, other international criminal authorities, and may even deter victims coming forward in the future.

The MPS is committed to listening to all victims who come forward, and doing our utmost to serve them and the wider public by fulfilling our core law enforcement duties. This means we must do all we can to prevent and detect crime, and apprehend and prosecute those responsible, whilst also ensuring wider public safety. Disclosing the requested information would strongly be at odds with those duties, and would hinder our ability to effectively and efficiently police these crimes. Therefore, disclosure of this information cannot be seen to be in the public interest at this time.

IN RELATION TO ANY INFORMATION THAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE HELD IN RELATION TO PRINCE ANDREW AND THIS MATTER

Section 27(4) of the Act provides:

(4) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that, compliance with section 1(1)(a)—

(a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1), or

(b) would involve the disclosure of any information (whether or not already recorded) which is confidential information obtained from a State other than the United Kingdom or from an international organisation or international court.

As explained above, the allegation of non-recent sex trafficking involved a confirmed US national. Many criminal allegations that involve incidents occurring in, or individuals from, different nations require co-operation in order to successfully investigate any claims made. These investigations may require information from international sources, or access to the evidence gathered by other agencies, for example.

If the MPS were to confirm or deny whether this allegation involved any particular individual, this would be likely to prejudice our relationship with criminal authorities in the US and for us to confirm or deny whether any individual was involved in any way could have a prejudicial impact upon any such investigations – either now or in the future.

Therefore, Section 27 is engaged.

As Section 27 is a qualified, prejudice based exemption, I am required to provide you with both a public interest and harm test. These can be found below.

Evidence of Harm

For your information, we are relying upon the lower threshold of ‘would be likely to’ prejudice, as opposed to ‘would’.

As explained above, confirming or denying which individuals may have been part of our scoping exercise may have a prejudicial impact upon any investigation that may be ongoing, or may occur in the future, in the USA or elsewhere. If the MPS were to confirm or deny whether named individuals were the subject of any investigation or scoping exercise, it could inadvertently disclose information which would impact upon that organisation’s ability to conduct their investigations, by disclosing information which may not otherwise be in the public domain for example.

If the MPS were to confirm or deny that we held information on specific individuals which later adversely affected an investigation, it may have a negative impact on the co-operative relationship between us and overseas law enforcement in the future.

Policing authorities rely on international co-operation when investigating crimes that are cross-border in scope (for example, trafficking by its very nature), and should an overseas law enforcement agency believe that working with us may result in prejudicial disclosures (even inadvertent, for example by the issuing of a confirmation or denial), they may be less inclined to work alongside us in future. This could hinder future investigations in many fields, which would have an obvious damaging effect on policing.

Public interest considerations favouring confirming or denying whether the information is held

Confirming or denying whether information is held relevant to this individual would allow the public to be better informed and would be in the interests of open government and public accountability.

A confirmation or denial could also increase understanding on international matters and participation in the public debate of the issues raised.

Disclosure of information, if held, which promotes good relations between the United Kingdom and any other State can assist in raising public awareness around partnership working between overseas police forces or foreign agencies and the MPS.

Public interest considerations favouring neither confirming nor denying whether the information is held

The effective conduct of international relations depends upon maintaining trust and confidence between Governments. To confirm or deny whether the MPS scoped an investigation into any named individual would undermine relations between the UK and the United States and any disclosure of information, if held, could lead to a lack of trust. If the United Kingdom does not maintain this trust and confidence, its ability to protect and promote UK interests through international relations will be hampered.

Section 30(3) of the Act provides:

(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to information which is (or if it were held by the public authority would be) exempt information by virtue of subsection (1) or (2).

Section 31(3) of the Act provides:

(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that, compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1).

As explained already, Section 30 is a ‘class-based’ exemption and would apply to any ‘class’ of information that would, if held, have been held by the MPS for the purpose of an investigation that we have a duty to conduct. The harm in disclosing information relating to an investigation is inherent in the exemption.

The ICO guidance titled ‘Investigations and proceedings (Section 30)’ states:

‘In broad terms, the section 30 exemptions exist to ensure the effective investigation and prosecution of offences and the protection of confidential sources. They recognise the need to prevent disclosures that would prejudice either a particular investigation or set of proceedings, or the investigatory and prosecution processes generally, including any prejudice to future investigations and proceedings.’

The ICO’s guidance titled ‘Law Enforcement (Section 31)’ also states:

‘83…Typically, where a request identifies an individual or an organisation as the possible subject of an investigation or a particular line of enquiry a public authority could be pursuing, the more chance there is that confirming the information’s existence would, or would be likely to, prejudice that investigation.

84. Clearly confirming there was, or had been, an investigation would not be prejudicial if there had already been official acknowledgement of its existence.

85. The example above demonstrates the need, in some circumstances, to apply the NCND provision consistently. Where confirmation or denial would reveal whether a particular person was under investigation and where this would, or would be likely to, prejudice such investigations, public authorities should be alert to the need to apply the NCND provision. If it is only applied where the requested information is held, this will become apparent over time and defeat the purpose behind the exemption.’

The MPS has a duty to conduct investigations with a view to ascertaining whether an offence has been committed, and if so, whether a person should be charged with that offence, and whether a person charged with an offence is guilty of it. Consequently the MPS as a public authority is entitled to rely upon Section 30(3) to the extent that the requested information, if held, would have been held for the purpose of such investigations. If this information were held, it would be held in order to determine whether an offence of non-recent sex trafficking had occurred, and whether the named individual may have been involved.

As outlined at the start of this response, it is necessary to use NCND exemptions consistently, regardless of whether the requested information is held or not. Consequently, citing this exemption in no way confirms or denies the existence of the information you seek, as this is the response that would be issued with regard to any request for whether information was held on a specific individual unless we had previously publicly commented for any reason.

Public interest considerations favouring confirming or denying whether the information is held (Section 30)

Confirming or denying that information exists relevant to this request would lead to a better informed public, improving their knowledge and understanding of how the Police service respond and deal with such allegations. Public confidence would be maintained and the public may be encouraged to assist more readily with such investigations.

Public interest considerations favouring neither confirming nor denying whether the information is held (Section 30)

Any information generated by an investigation, particularly in these circumstances, needs to be treated with sensitivity. In some cases, it is the confirmation, or otherwise, about who may be the subject of such investigations which would disclose facts that would prejudice the evidence gathering within an investigation.

In addition, it would not be in the public interest to disclose information (even inadvertently, through a confirmation or denial) which could identify our investigative activity, and subsequently undermine those processes.  To do so would hinder the prevention or detection of crime, and apprehension and prosecution of offenders.

A confirmation or denial would also undermine the partnership approach to investigations, as referred to above.

Evidence of Harm

Section 30 and Section 31 are often used in conjunction when applying the neither confirm nor deny stance in order to protect whether or not an investigation may have been conducted.

To confirm or deny whether information is held in relation to any other named individuals would be likely to prejudice our law enforcement functions of preventing and detecting crime, and apprehending and prosecuting offenders. Issuing confirmation or denial responses in relation to named individuals would enable the public to build up a picture of who may have been subject of any allegations. This would be prejudicial to our policing functions, as individuals may be less willing to come forward or assist with our enquiries if they were to believe that this information may become public. Even victims, who believed they might be identified if the alleged perpetrator was made public, may not be as inclined to come forward.

Public interest considerations favouring confirming or denying whether the information is held (Section 31)

Confirming or denying whether any further information is held about other named individuals would allow the public to see where public funds have been spent and allow the Police Service to appear more open and transparent in regards to its activities. This is understandably a matter of interest to the public, given the standing of the individual in question.

Public interest considerations favouring neither confirming nor denying whether the information is held (Section 31)

To confirm or deny that law enforcement holds information on this individual in relation to this matter has the potential to damage relationships between the MPS and the United States, and potentially other bodies, which could then prejudice the UK’s future ability to prevent and detect crime or apprehend or prosecute offenders in cases where the United States is involved.

Section 40(5B)(a)(i) of the Act provides:

(5B) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to other information if or to the extent that any of the following applies—

(a) giving a member of the public the confirmation or denial that would have to be given to comply with section 1(1)(a)—

(i) would (apart from this Act) contravene any of the data protection principles,

The release of information under Freedom of Information (FOI) is a release into the public domain and not just to the individual requesting the information. Once information is disclosed by FOI there is no control or limits as to who or how the information is shared with other individuals. Therefore a release under FOI is considered a disclosure to the world in general.

To confirm or deny that the MPS hold or do not hold information about any named individual in relation to this matter would in fact disclose information about a living, identifiable individual. This would amount to a release into the public domain of personal information about an individual – namely whether or not this person was in any way linked to the allegation that we received. The individual in question would have no expectation that this information would be released into the public domain, and therefore their rights under the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) would be breached by release.

To clarify, the Freedom of Information Act only allows the processing of personal data if that processing would be compliant with the Data Protection principles. These principles are outlined under section 34 of the DPA 2018 and under Article 5 of the GDPR.

In this instance, processing this information (by issuing a confirmation or denial) would breach the first principle, that of ‘lawful, fair and transparent’ processing. When balancing the legitimate interests of the public against the interests of the individual and the harm and distress that would be caused by a confirmation or denial, the processing of information in this way becomes unlawful and Section 40(5A)(a)(i) is made out.

Balancing Test

After weighing up the competing interests I have determined that the Public Interest favours the application of the neither confirm nor deny stance in respect of your request concerning whether or not we hold information relating to Prince Andrew and this matter.

I consider that the benefit that would result from issuing a confirmation or denial does not outweigh the considerations favouring the neither confirm nor deny response. This is namely because of the impact it would have on individuals and the impact it would have on the ability of both the MPS and our overseas counterparts to fulfil our law enforcement functions and conduct any potential investigations, either now or in the future.

To confirm or deny whether we hold this information would do little to further the public interest arguments, and in fact would have a negative impact upon our ability to protect public safety and the promise of confidentiality inherent in our communications with those assisting with our enquiries. It is because of this that I feel the balance falls in favour of the maintenance of this stance, and why these exemptions are engaged and made out in this case.

  • The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
  • One in Four [C]
  • Havoca [D].
  • Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
  • Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.
  • Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma  [J]
  • Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
  • Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area
  • A Prescription for me blog Various emotional support links [M]
  • Fresh Start Foundation Scottish not for profit group, helping child sexual abuse victims & survivors  [N]

[A] Sanctuary for the Abused http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/for-survivors-coping-with-triggers-if.html

Let justice be done though the heavens fall – Fiat justitia ruat cælum

About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
This entry was posted in cathy fox blog, Child Abuse, Child sexual abuse, Child trafficking, Criminal Cabal of People in Power, London, pedophile, Police, Qanon, Trafficking, US of America Child Abuse, VIP CSA, VIPs MPs Lords etc and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Met Police on Epstein, Prince Andrew, Maxwell Sex Trafficking

  1. Pingback: cathy fox Met Police on Epstein, Prince Andrew Sex Trafficking | HOLLIE GREIG JUSTICE

  2. flyingcuttlefish says:

    Reblogged this on flying cuttlefish picayune.

  3. Pingback: What happened when Cathy Fox sent a FOIA request about the investigation into Prince Andrew and the Epstein Sex Trafficking Network by Met Police – 971blog

  4. Pingback: FEATURED: Virginia Giuffres Andrew FOI // cathy fox blog on child abuse | Ace Worldwide News Group

  5. I commend you are on your research, unfortunately I think anything that implicates a member of the Windsor family could be seen as an attempt to undermine the Establishment of this country. The Security Services do not have any morals or any sense of right or wrong or justice or fear play, their role is to protect the Established order which gives security to this nation. One as to accept that the elite will make sure their back is covered and media in this country is no better than the media in the old German Democratic Republic and the government is preparing new laws to curtail Freedom of Expression on the Internet. In conclusion Justice will never be done either here or in the States as both States are corrupt.

  6. flyingcuttlefish says:

    of interest:

  7. flyingcuttlefish says:

    10 min. into this video relates to your post [note: House of Cards is a subscriber paid tv show about Washington DC]

  8. Pingback: Truth and Lies – Jeffrey Epstein – ABC | cathy fox blog on child abuse

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