Please provide copies of all email and text conversations/exchanges between PCC Barry Coppinger and media advisor Ian Cross which have taken place over the PCC’s work email account and work mobile.
Please provide these for the period February 1st 2020 to April 1st 2020.
I can confirm that the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland does hold this information.
I have attached a PDF bundle containing email and text conversations/exchanges between PCC Barry Coppinger and Mr Ian Cross for the period February 1st 2020 to April 1st 2020. The documents have been retrieved from the PCC’s work email and mobile phone using search mechanisms.
Text correspondence has been transcribed to a word document, although original screenshots can be provided on request. Email correspondence has been broken down into specific dates during the time period specified, to improve ease of access.
I have interpreted your request to cover direct correspondence between the PCC and Mr Cross. As such, the emails provided are correspondence between the two parties in which they feature on the ‘to:’ or ‘from:’ line of the message. Emails in which either party are included in the ‘CC:’ line of the email have not been disclosed.
If you consider that I have interpreted your request incorrectly, I am more than happy to revisit it without the need for you to make a fresh request.
You will notice that the documents you have received have been subject to redactions. In most cases the redactions are personal data either of OPCC staff or staff from external organisations and therefore are exempt under Section 40(2) and 40(3a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Section 40(2) provides protections for third party data and 40(3a) prevents disclosure where it would lead to a breach of the principles of the Data Protection Act 2018.
Email chains containing conversations conducted prior to the correspondence between the PCC and Mr Cross have also been redacted, as this correspondence occurred between other individuals and therefore cannot be disclosed under this request.
The requester asked the OPCC to widen the scope of their request to include emails in which the PCC and Mr Cross were CC or BCC recipients of email correspondance.
I have attached an additional batch of documents to my email correspondence.
Some information contained in these documents is subject to redaction, reasons for which I will explain below:
In February 2017, PCC Barry Coppinger and then Chief Constable Iain Spittal commissioned a review into Cleveland Police’s use of powers under the Regulations of Investigatory Powers Act, after an Independent Powers Tribunal found officers had unlawfully used such powers. The agreement specified that a report, suitable for publication subject to certain conditions, be prepared as part of this work. Mr Coppinger remains committed to the publication of this report once the conditions set out in his Decision Record Form are satisfied.
In relation to an email dated 27 February 2020, Mr Cross, who operates on a call-off consultancy basis for the OPCC, had a number of follow-up questions following an initial briefing on the aforementioned report. Mr Cross copied and pasted content directly from the report into his email. As the report is intended for future publication, this information has been redacted under S21 of the Freedom of Information Act.
Mr Cross also provided initial consultancy for an early draft of the report which was circulated and considered for publication at the time. Further work is ongoing in relation to the report, which is still in the process of being finalised. In email two of 2 March 2020, Mr Cross circulated some preparatory media statements relating to the report and as they too are intended for future publication, have been redacted under S21 of the Freedom of Information Act.
All other redactions are personal data either of OPCC staff or staff from external organisations and therefore are exempt under Section 40(2) and 40(3a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Date responded: 12 June 2020