Police Information Notices

Meeting: 
MQT on 2015-03-25
Session date: 
March 25, 2015
Reference: 
2015/1178
Question By: 
Tony Arbour
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

The Home Affairs Select Committee has recently raised concerns about the inappropriate use of Police Information Notices. In the last three years, how many Police Information Notices have been issued by the Metropolitan Police Service and how is their use monitored?

Answer

Answer for Police Information Notices

Answer for Police Information Notices

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The MPS do not use Police Information Notices - their equivalent within the MPS is the Prevention of Harassment warning letter - Form 9993. Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidance says that these warnings can be useful in various circumstances.

For example:

       when the suspect doesn't realise that their alleged actions may be a criminal offence ;

       when only one instance of harassment has occurred (so it isn't a "course of conduct" under the Act); and

       when there is evidence of a "course of conduct" but the victim is unwilling to support a prosecution.

CPS guidance states 'there are a number of benefits, including making sure people understand the law; preventing incidents from escalating and helping possible future prosecutions.'

In September 2014 the MPS created policy checklists for officers to use when investigating offences of harassment. Officers are also provided with an accompanying Q and A's document and this clearly outlines the process for the issuing of such warnings.

The table below shows the number of offences classified as Harassment over the past three calendar years. It also shows the number of times the MPS recorded a First Instance Harassment as a final disposal.

 

2012

2013

2014

Offences of Harassment

44,002

42,434

55,853

First Instance Harassment Warning

5370

5399

6423

As % of overall offences

12.2

12.7

11.4

The MPS only use these in approximately 12% of cases and there is clear policy and guidance in relation to the issuing of these warnings.