Procedures

Anonymity Policy

  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Purpose
  • General principles governing anonymisation
  • Specific principles governing anonymisation
  • Requests for anonymity, security risks and notification
  • Redaction of the Report
  • Schedule 1 – Guidance on the redaction of personal data
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    Introduction

    1.    The Daniel Morgan Independent Panel (“the Independent Panel”) was appointed by the then Home Secretary, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, to shine a light on Daniel Morgan’s murder, its background and the handling of the case since March 1987. It was also required to examine the treatment of the family by the various organisations involved since 1987, and to address the role played by police corruption and the media. Its terms of reference can be found on this website. It is tasked with obtaining exceptional and full disclosure of all relevant documentation and presenting a final Report (“the Report”) to the Home Secretary for publication in Parliament. It has received and reviewed documents from various providing organisations in order to compile its Report.

    2.    The Report will make reference to various individuals including the family of Daniel Morgan, members of the public (such as people he knew or people who assisted the police investigation) police officers involved in investigating the murder historically and to the present day, officials from organisations who have assisted the police with investigating the murder, and other statutory agencies who have assisted the Independent Panel with drafting its Report, independent experts, journalists, politicians and lawyers.

    3.    This Anonymity Policy (“the Policy”) is not intended to cover every eventuality or procedural issue that will arise, and as such, the Independent Panel will not be bound by the Policy if in the interest of justice and fairness it needs to depart from the Policy in exceptional circumstances. The Policy may be revised if necessary.

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    Background

    4.   The purpose and remit of the Independent Panel is to shine a light on the circumstances of Daniel Morgan’s murder, its background and the handling of the case over the whole period since March 1987. In doing so, the Independent Panel has sought to address the questions arising, including those relating to:

      • police involvement in the murder;
      • the role played by police corruption in protecting those responsible for the murder from being brought to justice and the failure to confront that corruption; and
      • the incidence of connections between private investigators, police officers and journalists at the News of the World and other parts of the media and alleged corruption involved in the linkages between them.
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    Purpose

    5.   The purpose of the Policy is to set out an approach to anonymisation of individuals referred to in the Report.

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    General principles governing anonymisation

    6.   The Independent Panel aims to balance the public interest in briefing the family through the Report and shining a light on the circumstances of Daniel Morgan’s murder, its background and the handling of the case as required by the terms of reference, with the need to protect individuals from any risks to their safety and security. The Independent Panel is also mindful of respecting individual’s data protection and privacy rights so that it fulfils its obligations as a Data Controller under the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and the Data Protection Act 2018.

    7.   The Independent Panel will also consider individual’s rights under the Human Rights Act 1998, namely, the right to life (Article 2) and the right to respect for private and family life (Article 8).

    8.   The Independent Panel’s aim is that no personal data will be published by it unless it is relevant to its terms of reference and necessary to publish the data to enable the understanding of its findings.

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    Specific principles governing anonymisation

    9.    The Independent Panel will name an individual in the Report if there is a significant public interest in naming the individual.

    10.  In determining whether there is a significant public interest in naming an individual, consideration will be had to several factors such as whether the individual is significant to the narrative of the case in so much as not naming them would prevent the Independent Panel from fulfilling its terms of reference, is a public figure or has already been named in association with the Daniel Morgan case in the public domain. The Independent Panel is more likely to name an individual if information linking them to the case is already in the public domain but will not automatically do so without considering wider factors such as the individual’s security, data protection rights and rights under the Human Rights Act 1998 as referenced in paragraph 6 and 7 of this Policy.

    11. The Independent Panel will also follow the guidance as set out in Schedule 1 below to inform its approach to the redaction of the identity of individuals.

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    Requests for anonymity, security risks and notification

    12.  The Independent Panel will have regard to any requests for anonymity from individuals, for example from those who have provided information to the Independent Panel during the course of its work. The Independent Panel will consider these requests for anonymity alongside the other general and specific considerations for determining anonymity but will give no greater weight to the fact that a request for anonymity has been made. The Independent Panel makes no assurances that those who have requested anonymity will be granted it.

    13.  The Independent Panel will also seek advice from organisations that have provided information as to any security concerns they may have on the naming of individuals before determining who should be anonymised. The Independent Panel will carefully consider the risk attaching to naming an individual if it feels that this could pose a risk of death or injury to the individual, however, the Independent Panel will make the final determination on granting anonymity once it has received all relevant information on this risk from the organisation in question.

    14.  The Independent Panel may determine that an individual in relation to whom there is a significant public interest in naming, should be anonymised in the Report if there are security concerns surrounding publishing their name. The Independent Panel acknowledges that some anonymised individuals will remain identifiable to readers of the Report with prior knowledge of the matters in question. The Independent Panel may not make attempts to further anonymise these individuals, unless there are specific security concerns raised in relation to them.

    15.  The Independent Panel will notify those who are to be named in the Report as part of a courtesy letter process which will be undertaken prior to publication of the Report. This will be conducted in parallel with, and in addition to, the Fairness Process in which individuals (and organisations) who are subject to possible criticism in the Report will be informed of this by letter.

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    Redaction of the Report

    16.  If an individual is to be anonymised, the Independent Panel will redact personal data, which includes names, addresses, dates of birth and signatures. The Independent Panel may leave in identifying features, such as an individual’s gender or job title.

    17.  The Independent Panel may take the decision not to redact personal data where that data relates to a deceased individual, to whom the normal rules on data protection do not apply.

    18.  So far as possible, the Independent Panel will ensure that where information has been redacted, this will be clear to the reader.

    April 2020

     

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    Schedule 1 – Guidance on the redaction of personal data

    1.   This guidance sets out the approach to be adopted by the Independent Panel to the redaction of personal data in the Report.

    2.   This guidance is not intended to cover all matters and there may be individuals who fall outside of the scope of the categories below, or who fall into more than one of the categories set out below, and in respect of whom the Independent Panel will determine whether to grant anonymity to on the basis of the principles set out in this Policy.

    3.   The Independent Panel will be guided by the general principles set out below:

    a)   Members of Daniel Morgan’s family – will not usually be anonymised in the Report.

    b)   Police officers investigating Daniel Morgan’s murder, from 1987 to the present day –

    •  Chief officers such as Commanders who made high-level decisions in the investigation will not usually be anonymised in the Report;
    • Senior officers such as Detective Superintendents who had day to day involvement in the investigations will not usually be anonymised in the Report;
    • Junior officers with day to day involvement in the investigations such as Police Constables will usually be anonymised in the Report, unless there is a significant public interest in naming them.

    c)   Officials (individuals who work for institutions that have provided assistance in investigating Daniel Morgan’s murder or in relation to issues arising from it from 1987 to the present day) –

    • Senior officials responsible for high-level decisions will not usually be anonymised in the Report;
    • Junior officials with day to day involvement in the case will usually be anonymised in the Report.

    d)   Experts (including experts employed by the police and by lawyers, authors of academic work cited in the Report and advisors to the Independent Panel) – the Independent Panel will consider the naming of experts on a case by case basis and in accordance with the principles set out in this Policy.

    e)   Members of the public – the Independent Panel will consider the naming of individual members of the public on a case by case basis and in accordance with the principles set out in this Policy.

    f)   Politicians (including Members of Parliament or the House of Lords, Government Ministers and elected Members of local authorities) – will not usually be anonymised in the Report.

    g)   Journalists (including reporters for newspapers or news agencies and management or editorial staff representing news organisations) – will not usually be anonymised in the Report.

    h)   Lawyers/ legal professionals who have been involved in the Daniel Morgan case, from 1987 to the present day – the Independent Panel will consider the naming of such individuals on a case by case basis.

     

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