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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50078588
  • Date: 22 February 2006
  • Public Authority: Avon and Somerset Constabulary
  • Summary: The complainant requested copies of documents relating to the trial of Jeremy Thorpe, the former Liberal Party Leader who was acquitted in 1979 of conspiring with three others to hire a hitman to murder Norman Scott. The scope of the initial request was then narrowed to a copy of the Senior Investigating Officer's report and the police authority considered the information to be exempt from disclosure under section 30 (investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities), section 40 (personal information) and section 38 (health and safety). The Commissioner has considered the public interest arguments both for and against disclosure and agrees that Avon and Somerset Constabulary was entitled to rely on section 30 to withhold all the requested information. He is satisfied that some of the requested information constituted personal data relating to living individuals and that its disclosure would be unfair and involve contravention of the first Data Protection principle. However, he does not accept that section 38 was appropriately engaged. The Decision Notice does not require that any further steps be taken by the Police Authority. The Information Tribunal has ruled on this decision and has dismissed this appeal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]