At a recent Birmingham Datablog meetup we hosted probation data analyst Jason Davies, who very generously spent time highlighting the mistakes that journalists should avoid in reporting the justice system, and useful resources for finding both data and context on crime and justice.
Jason began by making an important distinction between crime data and justice data. Crime data is typically handled by individual police forces and the Home Office.
Once someone is charged, however, they enter the justice system. Information about what happens next – in the courts, the prisons, community service and on probation – is handled by the Ministry of Justice and other related bodies. Continue reading →
Blog Nowreports on an Information Commissioner ruling which stipulates that the names of staff refusing a request should be included in the response, despite one department’s attempts to withhold those.
Alistair Sloan writes:
“It described the DWP’s practice of not providing telephone numbers or contact details within its responses and how this makes it very difficult for the appropriate contact to be located within the organisation. The public authority advised the Commissioner that it did not include these details so as not to breach the privacy of the non-senior staff involved; it described the staff in question as not being in public-facing roles.
“In Paragraph 36 of the decision notice the Commissioner states quite clearly that he does not agree with this approach. The decision notice states that “if such staff are responding to requests made under the FOIA then he considers this to be a public-facing role which is unlikely to attract an expectation of privacy” (Paragraph 36).”