Details of Operational UAV/Drone Use

Suzette Dawson made this Official Information request to New Zealand Police

The request was successful.

From: Suzette Dawson

Dear New Zealand Police,

Freedom of Information Act request:

It has recently been reported by TV3 that the NZ Police have confirmed the use of drones in 2 police operations. (Ref. http://www.3news.co.nz/Police-confirm-sp... "Police have already used drones twice during recent investigations"

Could you please confirm:

1. the nature of the operational use, specifically the type of suspected offences (e.g. drugs, or otherwise) involved in the investigations

2. the outcome of the use of the drones (e.g. whether it resulted in actionable intelligence/charges being laid/etc)

3. whether any sub-contracting or outsourced company or organisation was involved in controlling the drones or whether they were controlled directly by NZ Police staff

Yours faithfully,

Suzette Dawson

Please note: I am a natural NZ citizen, residing in Auckland, New Zealand.

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New Zealand Police

Dear Suzette,

Thank you for your email about Operational UAV/Drone Use, which we have
forwarded for follow-up.

Sincerely

Public Affairs Team

NB
-----Suzette Dawson <[OIA #714 email]> wrote:
-----

To: OIA requests at New Zealand Police <[New Zealand Police request email]>
From: Suzette Dawson <[OIA #714 email]>
Date: 24/12/2012 11:11AM
Subject: Official Information Act request - Details of Operational
UAV/Drone Use

     Dear New Zealand Police,
    
     Freedom of Information Act request:
    
     It has recently been reported by TV3 that the NZ Police have
     confirmed the use of drones in 2 police operations. (Ref.
    
[1]http://www.3news.co.nz/Police-confirm-sp...
     "Police have already used drones twice during recent
     investigations"
    
     Could you please confirm:
    
     1. the nature of the operational use, specifically the type of
     suspected offences (e.g. drugs, or otherwise) involved in the
     investigations
    
     2. the outcome of the use of the drones (e.g. whether it resulted
     in actionable intelligence/charges being laid/etc)
    
     3. whether any sub-contracting or outsourced company or
     organisation was involved in controlling the drones or whether they
     were controlled directly by NZ Police staff
    
     Yours faithfully,
    
     Suzette Dawson
    
     Please note: I am a natural NZ citizen, residing in Auckland, New
     Zealand.
    
     -------------------------------------------------------------------
    
     Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
     [OIA #714 email]
    
     Is [New Zealand Police request email] the wrong address for Official
     Information Act requests to New Zealand Police? If so, please
     contact us using this form:
     [2]http://fyi.org.nz/help/contact
    
     Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be
     published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
     [3]http://fyi.org.nz/help/officers
    
     If you find this service useful as an OIA officer, please ask your
     web manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.
    
    
    

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Kham left an annotation ()

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From: SMITH, Jason
New Zealand Police


Attachment Dawson Suzette 13 7 unmanned aerial vehicles sent reply.pdf
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Dear Ms Dawson

 

Please find attached the New Zealand Police response to your Official
Information Act request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jason Smith

Ministerial Services

New Zealand Police - Nga Pirihimana O Aotearoa

 

 

 

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Joshua Grainger left an annotation ()

The fact that a matter is before the courts is not a reason to withhold under the OIA. Rather it must be shown that the release of the information would:

1: likely "prejudice the maintenance of the law, including the prevention, investigation, and detection of offences, and the right to a fair trial"

2: constitute contempt of court

I imagine that (1) deals mainly with classes of information, where the release of information could allow offenders to avoid investigation, or alert offenders that they are being prevented. Given it is said the issue is that it is before the courts, rather than release of information would prejudice justice, I imagine this could not be used. That leaves 2; which only applies if there are certain orders in place, such as suppression orders.

The Police should ideally identify which section they are withholding under, and then justify why they felt that they should withhold under that section.

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Alex Harris left an annotation ()

Check the Ombudsman's guidelines - prejudice to the fair trial rights of the accused are prejudice to maintenance of the law, and so covered under s6(c). However, the police erred in not indicating that this was the legal withholding ground.

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Luke left an annotation ()

I agree with Alex.

Theoretically one could re-request the information after the judge has issued his decision, and after knowing that legal counsel would not intending on appealing the decision to a higher court.

A reason was provided for withholding the information in accordance with subpara. 19(a)(1), however it is customary to state the withholding provision that one is relying on.

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