It didn’t take Oldham Labour Council long to refuse our freedom of information request regarding thefts from Oldham parks in light of the recent £60,000 theft from Alexandra park which has gone largely unreported and only appeared in one limited readership local paper eight days after the incident. Oldham Councils response to our FOI request “This information would take officers longer than 18 hours to go back through all records to obtain this information. Therefore the information is refused under Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 12.” So it would take over 18 hours to retrieve the information states Oldham Council a body which bares an equal responsibility in law to reduce and tackle crime along with the police service. So we can take it they just right off the thefts, they keep no crime database and as a consequence the public will be footing the bill for increased insurance premiums. Be under no doubt Labour Oldham refusing the information on a technicality has nothing to do with currently trying to win a national award for Alexandra Park nor its intention to spend undisclosed six figure sums on a new park depot and secure funding for the multimillion Northern Roots project which will also be based at Alexandra Park. Here’s the freedom of information request.
Dear Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council,
On the 6/7 of August 2019 thousands of pounds worth of machinery was stolen from the Alexandra Park gardening and park depot in Oldham. I was told the value was £60,000 but have no way of confirming this as Oldham Council have made no statement and made no appeals to the public about the theft. Concerned individuals have informed me that this is one of many largely unreported thefts from Oldham Council’s parks departments and that the most recent theft equipment had trackers fitted and some equipment was traced to Farnworth and Worsley, one of which was a traveller site, on the 7/08/2019 yet no action was undertaken to recover the equipment.
Under freedom of information regulations I request the following information:
(1) List of thefts from each Oldham park or the location where thefts occurred from 1/01/2013 to 19/08/2019.
(2) List of items stolen including tools, machinery, vehicles and organic items.
(3) Value of items stolen.
(4) List of any recovered items.
(5) Does Oldham Council have a policy of not attempting to recover items stolen despite fitting GPS equipment?
Here’s a screenshot of our response to the refusal.