Norfolk police give indications that Climategate investigation is (effectively) closed

Bishop Hill Writes: A surprise from Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Constabulary have previously released details of their spend on the UEA emails investigation – Operation Cabin. This showed that no money had been spent on the investigation since February 2011, something that strongly suggested that the investigation was in fact closed. Despite this, the Constabulary insisted that the investigation was ongoing.

In order to probe this a little further, I requested details of man-hours spent on the investigation by month. If no man hours had been actually been clocked up over the same period then it would amount to pretty much incontrovertible evidence that everything had ground to a halt.

Today I had a response:

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38 Responses to Norfolk police give indications that Climategate investigation is (effectively) closed

  1. Alvin says:

    Maybe they are waiting for a grant application

  2. richard verney says:

    I guess that means that there is no evidence that the emails were hacked, and that the police are no longer looking for a hacker.

  3. Gary says:

    The trail has gone cold…

  4. Latimer Alder says:

    My best guess is that they know who did it and how it was done. But to save huge institutional embarrassment, UEA have decided not to press charges against their own staff/collaborators

    All we need now is for the conspiracy of silence to break down…as it surely must eventually, and we will know the answer.

    My next guess is that the names of the perps will be revealed by disgruntled coppers. I doubt that any member of Norfolk Constabulary finds their apparent continued incompetence to be satisfactory. It is their reputation that is suffering, not that of UEA. Which is the wrong way round.

  5. onlyme says:

    So, what does the response actually mean, that the Norfolk Police Department is no longer keeping records of investigative hours? I see nothing that says that the investigation is closed, just that the Department is now using shoddy accounting practices.

    Did I miss something?

  6. SPreserv says:

    “It’s a twap !”

  7. EternalOptimist says:

    hmm, it’s a 3 pipe puzzle Watson

  8. Steve Richards says:

    “we do not record the time spent by officers and police staff on a specific investigation.”

    So when we read in the press that ‘such and such enquiry’ cost the police 2 million pounds to investigate (perhaps the phone hacking enquiry, perhaps guarding some celb etc) some one some where is being economical with the truth……..

  9. polistra says:

    Doesn’t really matter. Horses are already out of the stable. (Well, except for the giant encrypted horse, who is apparently waiting for just the right carrot….)

    Best of all, governments in UK and Germany are actually responding to the horses, starting to pull back on Green nonsense. Their response isn’t going to increase or decrease if the identity of Mr FOIA is known. They know the game’s over in either case.

  10. ChE says:

    How can there be nothing spent since Feb 2011 when the Tallbloke raid happened in Dec 2011?

  11. tallbloke says:

    I wonder if any categorical statement saying whether or not a crime was committed will be forthcoming. Could get interesting if not.

  12. tallbloke says:

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Some news, not a lot, from the thin blue line…

  13. Vince Werber says:

    Makes me wonder if they found out it was an ‘inside’ job and bringing the perp to the public would be worse than the original data dump. I’ve seen this as an inside job from day one because of how the emails were selected (i.e.vetted). No hacker could have done it I firmly believe but that’s just me :-)

    later and keep up the good work!
    Vincent Werber

  14. ZT says:

    If the case were closed the email server would be returned to the UEA – which the UEA do not want. Hence the police are left hiding the evidence for the establishment or Rupert Murdoch – this often happens in the UK.

  15. GeoLurking says:

    ZT says:
    March 26, 2012 at 8:37 am

    “…which the UEA do not want. Hence the police are left hiding the evidence for the establishment or George Soros.

    There, fixed it for you!

  16. Luther Wu says:

    ZT says:
    March 26, 2012 at 8:37 am

    If the case were closed the email server would be returned to the UEA – which the UEA do not want. Hence the police are left hiding the evidence for the establishment or Rupert Murdoch – this often happens in the UK.
    ___________________________________
    Your “hiding the evidence on the servers” guess is probably closest to the truth. I’m not sure how Rupert Murdoch fits into the equation, though.
    ___________________________________
    polistra says:
    March 26, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Doesn’t really matter. Horses are already out of the stable. (Well, except for the giant encrypted horse, who is apparently waiting for just the right carrot….)

    Best of all, governments in UK and Germany are actually responding to the horses, starting to pull back on Green nonsense. Their response isn’t going to increase or decrease if the identity of Mr FOIA is known. They know the game’s over in either case.
    __________________________________
    I’m not so sure that the heavy hitters out there have been slowed down one iota.
    Witness:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/24/where-theres-a-need-for-immunity-theres-a-crime-green-climate-fund-looking-to-un-for-diplomatic-immunity-protection-from-lawsuits/

  17. The Police services/Forces in England all keep electronic case diaries. Each case is allocated a number and all actions and enquires made regarding a particular case by any officer or civilian investigator are logged on the relevant case diary. Notes made in an Officer’s PNB (Pocket Note Book) about any such activity are cross-referenced with the electronic case number. The case diary contains a log of how many hours have been spent and by which person on each activity. The times are taken from entries made by the officer in his PNB. It is an official requirement that all worked hours are accounted for by entries in the PNB.
    Either the Norfolk Police are being somewhat economical with the truth or their staff are not abiding by the many rules governing the accounting of man-hours (or is that now person-hours?) spent on each case.

  18. Russ R says:

    As much as I appreciate Mr. Montford’s efforts in many other matters, I feel that this particular pursuit is somewhat misguided, for the followng reasons.

    1. Whether the Climategate documents were accessed by an unknown insider or an external hacker is ultimately irrelevant to the content of the documents. (The same is true for the legitimate Heartland documents, and for whatever was recently released from SkS.)

    2. While those implicated in the Climategate documents are quick to characterize them as “stolen”, “hacked” or “illegally obtained”, this is nothing more than a distraction from the documents’ content.

    3. By pursuing law enforcement for acknowledgment that there is no evidence of an illegal hack, Mr. Montford is allowing himself to be distracted.

    4. I would respectfully argue that Mr. Montford is too intelligent and talented to be wasting valuable time and energy on such distractions.

  19. Wade says:

    I’m not sure how it is in the UK, but I would think there would be some law protecting whistleblowers. If “climategate” was an inside job, in my mind it would be a whistleblower releasing the information and thus granted some protection.

    In any event, the evidence of an illegal hack seems to be about as true as the evidence that the weather today has never occurred in all of earth’s history.

  20. Brian H says:

    Neurons are popping and fizzing trying to come up with a suitable misrepresentation of the discovery that a whistleblower leaked the emails legitimately. Failing that, the stonewall playing-stupid defense forevah!

  21. Politicians double-down in Scotland…

    ‘The leaders of Scotland’s political parties have unite to reaffirm their commitment to tackling climate change and cutting emissions’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-17498776

    Not a single party to vote for to rid us of this blight. I weep for my once-great nation.

  22. Mydogsgotnonose says:

    Police hanging onto the U£EA server?
    ‘Hide the DECC line?’

  23. TomB says:

    Latimer Alder says:
    March 26, 2012 at 8:05 am

    My best guess is that they know who did it and how it was done. But to save huge institutional embarrassment, UEA have decided not to press charges against their own staff/collaborators

    Add to that the fact the “FOIA” holds a Sword of Damocles. Make him mad and the password for all the remaining emails will suddenly emerge.

  24. Andrew30 says:

    They can not officially close the case. If they did then the situation would not longer be:

    “Part of an ongoing police investigation” or “Before the courts”.

    This would mean that (elected, appointed and employed) people would have no longer have an excuse that allowed them to avoid answering questions about the content of the released material or the situation.

    It will never be officially closed.

  25. RockyRoad says:

    This case can’t be “closed” if FOIA keeps releasing bundled sets of emails. That would like having an unknown bank robber drop bags of big bills on the market on occasion–the authorities would want to know who was doing it, to say the least.

  26. Kaboom says:

    Global warming is slowing police investigations. And it is worse than we thought.

  27. Steven Kopits says:

    That was a very foolish response from the Constabulary, because it makes them look rather poorly managed.

    Better to have said:

    “We conducted an investigation into the matter from [date 1] to [date 2], which materially established all facts known to date. As no additional information has come to light and the results of our investigation did not lead to the identity of the perpetrator, we have since [date 2] invested only a nominal numbers of police hours in the matter, but hold the investigation open should additional information become availabe.”

  28. Kitefreak says:

    Look, in Norfolk the correct vernacular is taking the piss, rather than being economical with the truth.

    So may I be so bold at to “fix” a couple of previous comments:

    Steve Richards says:
    March 26, 2012 at 8:17 am

    “we do not record the time spent by officers and police staff on a specific investigation.”

    So when we read in the press that ‘such and such enquiry’ cost the police 2 million pounds to investigate (perhaps the phone hacking enquiry, perhaps guarding some celb etc) some one some where is taking the piss……..

    and…

    Stephen Brown says:
    March 26, 2012 at 9:06 am

    The Police services/Forces in England all keep electronic case diaries…. Either the Norfolk Police are taking the piss or their staff are not abiding by the many rules governing the accounting of man-hours (or is that now person-hours?) spent on each case.

    There, that makes more sense, doesn’t it?

  29. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Interesting information hunt.

    At the response are links to the Norfolk Constabulary’s response letter, which contains this:

    This response will be published on the Norfolk Constabulary’s web-site http://www.norfolk.police.uk
    under the Freedom of Information pages at Publication Scheme – Disclosure Logs.

    The second link is 404 Not Found. After searching the site, and having to use the Site Map, I finally found the FOI disclosure logs:
    http://www.norfolk.police.uk/aboutus/yourrighttoinformation/freedomofinformation/disclosurelog.aspx
    The reply to Montford has yet to published there. Maybe someday when they get the time…

    The UEA work is under the heading “Investigations” and there are requests that yielded amounts spent on the investigation, and many requests yielding nothing based on their wording.

    June 2010:
    123/10/11 “Cost , and number of Officers working, on the investigation of the publication of emails belonging to the University of East Anglia – Jun 2010″


    I write in connection with your request for information received by the Norfolk Constabulary on the 14th of June 2010, in which you sought access to the following information:
    I understand that Norfolk Constabulary was asked to investigate the leaking/hacking of data from the servers of the University of East Anglia at the end of 2009 – the so-called “Climategate” affair.
    1. I would like to know the cost to date of the investigation and
    2. The number of officers currently working on the case.


    The Norfolk Constabulary’s investigation has been allocated a specific cost code. At the time of receiving your request, the total recorded cost against that cost code stood at £54,691.

    The number of officers working on the case fluctuates depending upon workloads at any given time. Currently, one officer is working full time with management being provided on a part-time basis by two senior officers (as required). Other officers and staff will undertake work on the case when required but this is managed in line with the demands of other investigations.

    March 2011:
    566/10/11 “The monthly cost for the period November 2010 to February 2011 of the University of East Anglia (UEA) e-mails disclosure investigation”


    I write in connection with your request for information received by the Norfolk Constabulary on the 10th March 2011 in which you sought access to the following information:
    • The total cost expended by month on the UEA emails investigation between November 2009 and February 2010.

    Response to your Request
    [table]
    Month Expenditure
    November 2009 £0
    December 2009 £3,117.30
    January 2010 £6,435.89
    February 2010 £1,779.66
    Total £11,332.85

    Strange how they can figure expenditures down to the pence when they “do not record the time spent by officers and police staff on a specific investigation” according to the response to Montford.

    Whoops, found this May 2011 one:
    595/11/12 “Total cost expended per month on the University Of East Anglia emails investigation, March 2010 to February 2011.”
    They actually give a table from November 2009 to February 2011. October and December 2010 and January 2011, £0.00. That’s right, nothing. But November 2010 is the highest monthly total, £38,454.61. Paying off an outside investigator for computer forensics?

    There is also a note to add £23,309 to the June 2010 FOI requested figure noted above, “… which was known expenditure but had not been paid out at the time the response was issued.” No mention of making a correction to or amending that FOI response. Guess the information is accurate at the time when they tell you, and they tell you only what they think you can know at the time.

    It seems the wording is the issue. State it right and they’ll tell you what was spent, but can’t tell you specific amounts of hours. If you really want to see if the investigation is technically dead, request info on the current financial expenditures.

    Although going by the 2011 FOI requests, that could have been requested a half dozen times this year already. Just wait for it, it’ll show up when they get around to updating their FOI disclosure list again. Someday. Most likely.

    Bonus Item from September 2011:
    248/11/12 “Copies of any correspondence between Norfolk Constabulary and central government relating to enquiry into leak of emails from the UEA.”

    Norfolk Constabulary holds no records of any correspondence with anyone from central government relating to the investigation into the leak of emails from the University of East Anglia.

    Wouldn’t the police have to retain any such correspondence as it may be subject to FOI requests? With this being true, are we to believe that NO ONE higher up the food chain in “central government” has asked in writing, not even a quick email, about ANYTHING? The House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee inquiry, that gave its report on March 31, 2010, never asked about the investigation, any opinions as to hack or leak, if emails were doctored or untainted? No one higher up had ever cared enough to ask anything?

  30. Auto says:

    onlyme says:

    March 26, 2012 at 8:06 am

    So, what does the response actually mean, that the Norfolk Police Department is no longer keeping records of investigative hours? I see nothing that says that the investigation is closed, just that the Department is now using shoddy accounting practices.

    Did I miss something?
    ========================
    I’m not normally a friend of obfuscators, but ‘onlyme’ may have some truth on his/her/their side. This practice, if wide-spread – will enable the Chief Constable [the local Head of Police for Norfolk] to be believable when she [or he] says, ‘I need more police officers’. there is, of course, despite the rules. no back-up to anyone seeking to disprove this bit of ‘Empire-building’.

  31. Chuck says:

    At one time I naively believed that if one filed an FOI request that you would get the requested information unless there was a compelling reason why it couldn’t be supplied. Such reasons would be the exception. It seems that FOI requests are in fact little more than a joke. Those who hold the information fight every FOI request as if national security was at stake, trying to contort the law in every way possible to prevent release. I’m not a conspiracy theory type but it’s hard not to think that resistance to releasing requested information is because the information would make people look bad or worse. I guess the FOI laws need to be tightened and public employees need to understand that any work they do on the job is subject to public scrutiny and that they need to perform their jobs believing that what they did today might end up on the nightly national news.

  32. son of mulder says:

    This is terrible. If the police are not even measuring the time they are spending on a case how can they manage their activities and how can they possibly prioritise anything?

  33. Pamela Gray says:

    I get the names Tisdale and Tallblock mixed up. Who’s computers were taken and did you get them back? Do they still work?

  34. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    @Pamela Gray on March 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm:

    Technically neither, that was Roger Tattersall, who’s apparently a Tall Bloke (and there’s my memory aid for the spelling).
    Telegraph report and from his own blog:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/8960701/Climategate-police-raid-home-of-blogger-in-UEA-stolen-emails-probe.html
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/tallbloke-towers-raided-many-computers-taken/

    I scanned the blog comments, didn’t notice his saying they came back. The report was they only wanted to clone the hard drives, then they would return them. As it was, apparently with the incoming donations, he went shopping for a new one.

  35. CRS, DrPH says:

    Well, I guess the old WUWT saw is true….”Nothing to see here, move along!”

  36. M Courtney says:

    The conclusion of the headline is unsubstantiated.

    The FOI request obtained no useful information because of a technicality relating to recording of routine hours.

    We do now know this though:
    1 The Norfolk police are not following the correct procedure relating to recording their officer’s time. That’s worth following up if you live in Norfolk.
    2 The Norfolk police are not interested in communicating openly and honestly on this matter. That’s worth following up if you live in the area threatened by AGW (e.g. this planet).

  37. LazyTeenager says:

    http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/107693/response/267740/attach/html/3/Response%20Letter.pdf.html
    ———
    According to this they don’t know how many hours. Which of course tells you nothing one way or the other.

    And Andrew Montford thought this was news?

  38. dave ward says:

    “We do not record the time spent by officers and police staff on a specific investigation.”
    Even if that were true (and as others have pointed out, it’s not) do they really think any sane person is going to believe them?

    Try carrying on like that in any commercial concern, and see how long you remain in employment…

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