Justice CommitteeWritten evidence from Adrian Kerton

I made an FOI request to the University of East Anglia for climate data.

I was surprised to be contacted later by the Norfolk constabulary, asking for personal details of me, my family and our computing equipment, purely on the grounds that I had made an FOI request.

Norfolk police also contacted other people just because they had made an FOI request.

In a letter to my MP they state that I “was not and is not currently a suspect in the investigation”.

I felt intimidated. If I didn’t co-operate would they raid my house unannounced to take my computers? Hence I did co-operate. Although I am informed I am not a suspect they refuse to take my details of their computer systems and inform me they may never take them off until their investigations are complete.

I would like the inquiry to make it illegal for the police to question anyone, only on the grounds they have made an FOI request when there is no other evidence of suspected criminal activity.

I feel that my civil liberties have been abused, and that the police have acted beyond their remit. I feel that this exercise was designed to intimidate myself and others into not making legitimate FOI requests.

January 2012

Prepared 25th July 2012