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Keele University Prof Hope _DOC_ 77 Kb_ - BIS

VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 7

									                                                                     Professor Tim Hope
                                                             Research Institute for Law,
                                                                      Politics and Justice
                                                                          Keele University
                                                                   Staffordshire ST5 5BG
                                                                                       UK
                                                                       Tel. 01782-584166
                                                              t.j.hope@crim.keele.ac.uk

26 January 2007

Dr Andrew Kruszewski
OSI Science Review Team
Bay 314
1 Victoria Street
LONDON SW1H 0ET

Dear Mr Kruszewski

REVIEW OF SCIENCE IN THE HOME OFFICE

I am responding to the invitation contained in the letter of 20 December 2006.

The main part of my response is contained in the oral and written evidence I have
submitted, in conjunction with the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (Kings College,
London), to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry
into Scientific Advice, Risk and Evidence Based Policy Making, published in the
Seventh Report of the Session 2005-06, Volume II, HC 900-11, 8 November 2006;
oral evidence (Ev. 38) and written evidence (Ev. 145). A further elaboration of the
scientific and political issues involved in the case is published in:
T. Hope (2004). ‘Pretend it works: evidence and governance in the evaluation of the
Reducing Burglary Initiative’. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 4 (3), 287-308. (I
am appending a pdf copy for information). I would be grateful if the Review would
accept these materials as evidence of my views.

The experiences recounted in the above materials refer to a commissioned research
project to evaluate part of the Reducing Burglary Initiative – Phase 1 (Crime
Reduction Programme), see: Hope, T., J. Bryan, E. Crawley, P. Crawley, N. Russell
and A. Trickett (2004). Strategic Development Projects in the Yorkshire and the
Humber, East Midlands and Eastern Regions. Home Office Online Report 41/04.
London: Home Office http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/onlinepubs1.html

My experience as co-ordinator of the research consortium contracted to carry out this
research raise serious doubts about the probity of the Home Office Research,
Development and Statistics Directorate’s (RDSD) procedures and conduct in
commissioning research projects from external researchers. In order to pursue these
concerns in my case, I submitted a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection
Act 1998, Sections 7(2) and 7(3) on 22 September 2006 (copy of request attached).
As of yesterday, I have not received a response, despite the Home Office “fully
accept[ing] that we have failed to meet our obligations in terms of providing you with
a timely response” (see message from Mr Oliver Lendrum of 8 January below). I shall
be raising this with the Data Protection Registrar in due course.

However, in view of the matters raised in the evidence, cited above, an untimely delay
of over four months in supplying information to which I am legally entitled only
raises further suspicion in my own mind. In the absence of disclosure I am, of course,
unable to substantiate or document these suspicions and thus unable to draw them to
the attention of your Review. Nevertheless, I am willing to waive my rights to privacy
in this instance and to urge your Review to inquire into this matter yourselves
including gaining access to the documentation that has been assembled in connection
with my request. I am presuming that your enquiry is an internal civil service
procedure and that you are able to request access to internal Home Office documents.

In connection with my own experience, and more generally, I am also very concerned
about the probity of the relationships that the RDSD has with certain external
academics and research groupings. In particular, I would urge your Review to enquire
into the connections, influence and financial relationships that have pertained between
RDSD and a group of individuals associated with the Jill Dando Institute of Crime
Science (JDI), University College, London (http://www.jdi.ucl.ac.uk). My own
scientific views of the worth of their enterprise – so-called crime science – are
contained in: T. Hope (2006) Review of Crime Science (Smith and Tilley), Theoretical
Criminology, 10 (2), 245-50 (a copy of which is attached). Nevertheless, the JDI appears
to be a research institute that contracts to RDSD.

Persons connected with the JDI comprised a significant part of the ‘network of
governance’ around the evaluation of the Crime Reduction Programme, that I allude to
in Hope (2004), attached. In particular, I would urge you to enquire into the activities of
Mr Barry Webb and Professor Gloria Laycock, who as serving civil servants in RDS,
played major roles in managing the evaluation programme of the CRP (including the
procurement of external research), and in directly managing my consortium’s contract,
and who, while seconded from the Home Office to the JDI, have been in receipt of
Home Office research funds. I gather Mr Webb is now once again a Home Office civil
servant, though he appears to retain an associate status with the JDI. It is also noteworthy
that the Home Office Chief Scientific Advisor (Professor Paul Wiles) is a member of the
Board of the JDI. Their activities and relationships with RDSD would appear, prima
facie, to fall foul of the spirit, if not the letter, of the conduct of civil servants in public
life. I have been surprised at the sanguinity of the Home Office concerning these
individuals, and wonder whether the same attitude would have been maintained were
these issues concerned with apparently more sensitive matters, such as defence
procurement, or had involved larger sums of money changing hands.

 Also implicated in this network, and associates of the JDI, both as consultants to the
RDSD (who may very well have had access to and influence over my own research
contract) and now as ‘competitive’ academics are Professor Nick Tilley and Professor
Ken Pease. Other recent former RDSD officials, now associated with the JDI, include
Mr Rick Brown (who once managed our research contract and who now, I gather, is an
advisor to the GOE RDSD research team) and Dr Rosie Errol, a researcher at JDI who
has competed against me for research contracts in the West Midlands.

To my mind, that the JDI is associated with UCL, or that it gains support from
prominent public persons, does not, in itself, abrogate it or UCL from abiding by proper
standards of research contracting, nor the Home Office from ensuring the utmost probity
in its research governance, which the evidence I have provided would seem to place in
serious doubt.

In sum, I would urge your Review to give priority in your deliberations to investigating
the matters I have raised here in the interests of probity, both of governmental and
scientific conduct.

Yours sincerely




Professor Tim Hope
                                                                        Professor Tim Hope
                                                                Research Institute for Law,
                                                                         Politics and Justice
                                                                             Keele University
                                                                      Staffordshire ST5 5BG
                                                                                          UK
                                                                          Tel. 01782-584166
                                                                 t.j.hope@crim.keele.ac.uk

22 September 2006

Information Policy Team
Home Office
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF

Dear Sir/Madam

SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST:
COPIES OF CORRESPONDENCE AND CONTENT OF FILES
CONCERNING PROFESSOR T. J. (TIM) HOPE, 1 JANUARY 1999 –
31AUGUST 2006

Further to V. White’s letter of 26 September, I am writing to request access to
information held by the Home Office about me to which I believe I am entitled under
the Data Protection Act 1998, Sections 7(2) and 7(3).

As requested, I enclose evidence of my personal and professional identity, and a
cheque for the sum of £10 (as fee).

The subject access request concerns information which I believe is held about me by
the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate (RDSD). The
period to be covered is from 1 January 1999 and 31 August 2006, inclusive. To assist
the enquiry, I can state that this request is to include, though should not be restricted
to, information about me in connection with research contracts between the Home
Office and Keele University (for which I was the responsible person) concerning (a)
the ‘Evaluation of the Reducing Burglary Initiative – Phase 1 in the Yorkshire and
Humber, East Midlands and East Regions’ and (b) ‘The Relationship between Calls
and Crimes: an areal analysis’. Innovative Research Challenge Fund Grant, Home
Office. 2000-2001.
Nevertheless, I believe I am entitled to request any information held about me and
that the onus is upon the Home Office to produce such information. I am prepared in
this instance to restrict the request to that information held by RDSD for the period
specified.

V White’s letter of 26 September says:

“In particular it would be useful to know the name of the criminology/research/project the
RDSD (Research Development Statistics Directorate) information you are referring to, will be
used for?”

However, the Information Commissioner’s Office states that there is nothing in
Section 7 of the DPA 1998 nor Directive 95/46/EC to provide for “a data controller to
require the data subject to state the purposes for which he intends to use information
obtained as a result of his subject access request” (Data Protection Technical
Guidance: subject access requests and legal proceedings, October 2005). It is
therefore inappropriate for the Home Office to make this request and I decline to give
this or any other information regarding my request.

Specification of request for information

Wherever there is a specific reference to me by name (as identified), copies of:

Correspondence, documents and content of files (including letters, memoranda, notes,
minutes, and email communications)

Between:

Third parties external to the Home Office (but including officials in other Government
Departments and agencies) and officials (including any other persons contracted to
the Home Office with permitted access to such correspondence ) within the Research,
Development and Statistics Directorate (up to and including the Director of RDSD
and the Home Office Chief Scientific Adviser).


Officials (including any persons contracted to the Home Office with permitted access
to such correspondence ) within the Research, Development and Statistics Directorate
(up to and including the Director of RDSD and the Home Office Chief Scientific
Adviser).

Officials (including any persons contracted to the Home Office with permitted access
to such correspondence) within the Research, Development and Statistics Directorate
(up to and including the Director and the Home Office Chief Scientific Adviser) and
other Home Office officials, including Ministerial Private Offices.


I trust this clarification is sufficient for you to administer my request.
Yours sincerely




Professor Tim Hope
From:      "Lendrum Oliver" <Oliver.Lendrum@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk>
Subject:   RE: Subject Access Request
Date:      Mon, January 8, 2007 6:32 pm
To:        "'Tim Hope'" <t.j.hope@crim.keele.ac.uk>


Dear Professor Hope

I am very sorry that we have not yet responded to your subject access
request, and can understand your frustration in relation to this
issue. I
fully accept that we have failed to meet our obligations in terms of
providing you with a timely response.

Unfortunately this matter is taking longer than I had anticipated to
resolve, but you will be provided with a substantive response very
shortly.

Regards,

Oliver


Oliver Lendrum
Information Policy Team

Information & Record Management Service | Home Office IT Directorate
4th Floor | Seacole Building | 2 Marsham Street | SW1P 4DF

Tel: 020 7035 1037

								
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