Flagging of ‘high-risk’ FOI requests to Met Police creates “chilling affect”

Big Brother Watch Team / May 18, 2021

A Met Police system, which flags ‘high risk’ FOI requests has been condemned for creating a “chilling affect”.

The system was used to highlight sensitive issues including FOI requests relating to Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion protests.

Silkie Carlo, director of the campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: “This shocking discovery shows the Met Police is building lists of journalists and rights campaigners who ask difficult questions.

“This is a serious failure of the Met to meet its obligations to process FOI requests fairly, objectively and anonymously and is likely to have a chilling effect.

“We rely on FOI requests to shine a light on rights abuses and injustice, but if our requests are being treated as something between a PR issue and a surveillance opportunity, our work is made that much harder and transparency is obstructed.”

openDemocracy – Met Police accused of ‘serious failure’ over system flagging ‘high-risk’ FOI requests