Requesting information about a red light running bus case file

Hugh Davenport made this Official Information request to New Zealand Police

The request was successful.

From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

I would like to request the case file and all additional information for an incident reported by myself at around 2pm on the 5th December at the Wellington Central Police Station. The incident reported was a bus running a red light while pedestrians were crossing, and a video was included. I'm unsure of any case number as no acknowledgement was ever sent.

The details of the bus was:

Time: 11am ish, 4th December 2018
Location: Willis St by Chews Lane, travelling north.
Bus number: unknown, route 52, rego unknown.

The video link provided was https://downloads.thebusfactor.party/hig...

Note as my personal details are likely within some files. Instead of withholding the entire file, can these please be redacted of personal information.

For the purposes of s12(1) of the Official Information Act, I reside in Wellington, New Zealand.

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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Hugh Davenport left an annotation ()

Called up, was told that this case was not in their system, and I'm to call back tomorrow when the person I handed it to is back on duty to determine where the file I handed to him went

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

I recieved a physical letter about this case. I'm unsure whether it was to do with this OIA, or just to do with the case as I reported it. If it is the former, I request that you use the @requests.fyi.org.nz email address in future.

If it is the latter, to save you looking up records, the case number is 181206/3018

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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New Zealand Police

Dear Hugh

 

Request for Information

 

I refer to your correspondence dated 10/12/2018 in which you requested
"Police report which relates to an incident (no file or event number
given) which occurred 4/12/2018 at approximately 1100hrs on Willis St, Te
Aro, Wellington in the northbound lane and involved a No. 52 Newlands Bus
that is believed ran a red light".
I have considered your request under the Official Information Act 1982. On
this occasion I refer to Section 18(e) - the information requested does
not exist or cannot be found.
 
I have searched police records for the day and records of reports
submitted by yourself, and no record can be found relating to this
incident.

If you are not satisfied with my response to your request you have the
right to complain to the Office of the Ombudsman and seek an investigation
and review of my decision. 

 

Kind Regards
 
Barry Billows
Snr. Const.
BBE574
 

 

                             

Official Information Requests

WELLINGTON DISTRICT

Level 5, 39 Victoria Street, Wellington

Mail to: c/- Level 5,

39 Victoria Street |PO Box 693         

Wellington 6011 |DX: SX11220              

DDI: 04 381 2000

[1][email address]         

             

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please Note: The ISU is currently based at Wellington and the hours of
operation are between 8am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.  If you need to speak
with Police about your case, please have your case file number ready.

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

Hi Barry, please see my update on 13th December. I was sent a physical letter noting the case file 181206/3018. Can you please clarify whether that case file exists or not?

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

Hi Barry, please see my update on 13th December. I was sent a physical letter noting the case file 181206/3018. Can you please clarify whether that case file exists or not?

Just noting as I believe the response is due tomorrow, and your response of "information not held" I don't believe is accurate.

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

Hi Barry, please see my update on 13th December. I was sent a physical letter noting the case file 181206/3018. Can you please clarify whether that case file exists or not?

Just noting as I believe the response is due tomorrow, and your response of "information not held" I don't believe is accurate.

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

Hi Barry,

This request is now legally overdue. Can you please confirm by COB today whether case file 181206/3018 does not exist as you say, or can you please provide the file as originally requested.

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

Can this be responded to please. Will be contacting the Ombudsman next week if no response.

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

Can I please get a response?

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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Hugh Davenport left an annotation ()

I called up, was told the case exists, and should send through the OIA request again.

https://fyi.org.nz/request/9522-requesti... is the new OIA request, noting the original time limit.

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Hugh Davenport left an annotation ()

Called again, was asked to confirm I made another request. Told them I have and it hasn't been acknowledged. I reminded them that this was now legally overdue. I was invited to come into the station to make a complaint about it being overdue.

Have been told that I will get a call tomorrow to organise sending the file. I've told them that they have had several chances to email or call me before now, and am also unsure why they need to call instead of just emailing as they have confirmed over the phone that the case file exists.

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

I've now called twice now (Tuesday, and today) to see the status on this request. I've been told that the file does exist, and the Police are not withholding it (though it seems like they are). I have repeatedly mentioned that this is legally overdue. I've been told that the resolution will be that I will get a call or email tomorrow to discuss how to send the file.

Given my other OIA requests for case files, I would imagine that this one should be no different, and that the case file can be sent as an attachment. Please do this tomorrow (as I understand you have all gone home). Note this is overdue, and I'm not impressed with the Police's lack of responses and lack of helpfulness when I call the "DDI" listed in Barry's email signature, which actually goes to a different team which then gets transferred.

Contacting the ombudsman.

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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Hugh Davenport left an annotation ()

Called again, got told that noone on the OIA team or the records team is available. Seems like they are dodging calls. Explained clearly that this is overdue legally, and they are breaking the law.

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Hugh Davenport left an annotation ()

Have now sent through this request noting it is overdue to their twitter account (tweet and DM), email from 2 separate emails, and also the other FYI request linked above.

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Hugh Davenport left an annotation ()

Found Barry's number, called him. Got answer phone, left message explaining situation and asked for file to be sent at earliest convenience. Reminded him that it was legally overdue.

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Hugh Davenport left an annotation ()

Called Barry again today, answer phone again. Got a response from Twitter saying that they've already responded and that I can follow up with Ombudsman. Explained clearly why they haven't responded correctly (contradicts what their staff say, the information clearly does exist). Yet to have a response from that follow up.

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

Can I please get a follow up on this.

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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Hugh Davenport left an annotation ()

Went into station in person as suggested by one person on the phone. Barry is not here today, but I will try tomorrow.

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Hugh Davenport left an annotation ()

from twitter DM
Hi Hugh, all of your messages have been received have been passed on to the appropriate teams. I am not able to help you ^ JB

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

Spoke with Barry Billows on the phone this morning. As discussed, Barry will get the file sent out today, and was unsure why he said it didn't exist originally. In addition, Barry had no realisation that I had been trying to contact him for the last fortnight. I've suggested that he check into the processes to ensure that his team gets requests via email, the form at https://forms.police.govt.nz/oiarequest, twitter, and FYI. He said he would.

Looking forward to the file I requested getting sent today.

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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Oliver Lineham left an annotation ()

Hi Hugh,

I've checked our mail logs and can confirm that all your outgoing emails on this request were delivered to Police. The lack of response must be an issue on their side.

Oliver

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Hugh Davenport left an annotation ()

Received a response with the file via email:

have looked into why your report was not evident at the time I originally researched your request of the 11th December 2018.

As you will see in the Report Summary which I have attached relating to police file number 181206/3018, your name does not appear in the part of the report under the heading "Persons" and thus when a search was carried out, the fact that you were not linked to that report meant that at the time of my search it was not able to be identified, which then resulted in the "no information available" response being sent.

The report will be updated so that you will be linked to it.

The OIA Act requires that any request must be responded to within 20 working days, therefore as your original request dated the 11th December 2018 was responded to on the 18th December, means that it is not in fact overdue. At that stage it was refused under Section 18 (e) that the document alleged to contain the information requested does not exist or , despite reasonable efforts to locate it, cannot be found:

Your subsequent requests are then subject to a further 20 working day response time, which has been complied with.

If you are not satisfied with my response to your request you have the right to complain to the Office of the Ombudsman and seek an investigation and review of my decision.

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Hugh Davenport left an annotation ()

I responded:

Hi Barry,

Thanks for that. I'm still a bit confused why it couldn't be found, as you mentioned you searched records for the day, as well as for my name. I can understand that you couldn't match my name due to an incorrect filing method, however this report has always had the same date which should be searchable?

As for the overdue-ness. I clarified my request on Dec 13 (https://fyi.org.nz/request/9226-requesti...) to include the file number, responded to your email on Dec 18 reiterating that clarification, again emailed on Jan 28, again on Jan 31, again on Feb 1, again on Feb 4, called your DDI from your email signature and spoke with people that "passed it on" on Feb 5, and again on Feb 7, and again on Feb 8. On Feb 5 it was suggested I make another request using the same method as I had originally explaining the situation, which I did via FYI at https://fyi.org.nz/request/9522-requesti.... I also sent emails to this email address, and via the online police form at https://forms.police.govt.nz/oiarequest, and via twitter (both a tweet, and a direct message) on Feb 8. I left a message on your answer phone on Feb 8, and on Feb 11. On Feb 11 I was told via twitter that "my request had been passed onto the appropriate teams". Then I called you again today Feb 12 and spoke to you in person.

I also received an email from a "T Smith" on Feb 7 which I replied to explaining the situation and never got a response.

I've got confirmation that all the emails from my original FYI request went to the Police (https://fyi.org.nz/request/9226-requesti...), and I have confirmation emails from sending to this email, and also via the online form.

So, either you never check emails, or you never clear your mobile phone messages, or your social media teams never pass on the details to you, or your online form doesn't work, or your staff who talked on the phone don't pass on the details to you, or ... all of the above? I highly doubt that the Police were unaware that I had been trying to contact you about this file, so I will stand by the original request date of Dec 10 (if you could search files properly), or Dec 13 when I clarified the request with the case file number. These would have had the responses due by Jan 29 and Feb 1 respectively. The Police's original response was just admitted to be wrong due to yourself being unable to search for what I requested appropriately, and then your team's inability to receive communications. Both of these issues are not my fault, and completely in the Police's court to fix the issues. Your reaction to just dismiss this as not your issue is terrible, and I will be escalating to the Independent Police Complaints Authority for your negligence. I have already communicated with the Ombudsman on this issue and will update them from this.

Cheers,

Hugh

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