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The day in FoIA: Sandhurst links with oppressive regimes and police taser use at record high

UK spent millions training security forces from oppressive regimes

The UK government has spent millions of pounds on training military, police and security personnel from oppressive regimes that have arms embargoes in place, the Guardian has learned.

In the last five years, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have received from the UK government £2.4m between them in training and support for military and defence personnel.

In information revealed in a freedom of information response from the Ministry of Defence a total of £75,406 has been spent on providing 44-week courses at the elite Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for Sudanese and Congolese forces. Other support includes military logistics, advanced command and staff courses, strategic intelligence and evaluating challenges to state sovereignty

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Diane Taylor and David Smith | The Guardian | 25th September 2012

Three people are shot every day with Tasers

Three people are shot every day by police armed with 50,000-volt Taser stun guns, figures revealed last night.

The potentially deadly devices were deployed in almost 4,500 confrontations last year, more than ever before.

The latest figures were revealed in a series of requests to every force across England and Wales under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Chris Greenwood and Jack Doyle | Daily Mail | 24th September 2012

Riot failures at Broadmoor: Bosses tried to play down four-hour rampage at home of some of Britain’s most notorious criminals

Broadmoor bosses have admitted the ageing hospital’s “physical structures failed” in a night of violence.

Trust officials tried to play down a four-hour rampage on a ward, home to some of Britain’s most notorious criminals.

They referred to the incident last year as merely a “disturbance”.

But a letter in response to a Freedom of Information Act made by the Mirror reveals for the first time the 149-year-old mental health unit’s “physical structures failed” last August 30.

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Andrew Gregory | The Mirror | 5th September 2012

Release of council staff emails about failed merger project sparks Breckland Council review of openness procedures

Emails revealing a council’s apparent reluctance to reveal how much a failed money-saving project cost it have prompted a review of its commitment to openness.

The exchanges between Breckland Council officers about an EDP request for information about the proposed merger of senior staff with Yarmouth Borough Council were released following a second Freedom of Information Act request.

The project, which Breckland Council said would save its taxpayers £100,000 a year, was dropped after Labour councillors opposed to the scheme won control of Yarmouth in May.

Breckland Council said it had complied with its legal obligations to release information, but admitted “in some of the emails our attitude to FoI requests comes across as negative and reluctant”.

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Martin George | EDP24 | Tuesday 25 September 2012

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