FOI Information Commissioner decision Tower Hamlets

This decision by the Information Commissioner partly contradicts the Bexley decision.  The Commissioner refused to allow the disclosure of the addresses of empty homes owned by Tower Hamlets on the basis it would prejudice the prevention of crime.  This was a reason that had been discarded by the Information Tribunal in the Bexley case.  Tower Hamlets maintained that they had more serious problems with squatting of their properties than many other authorities and produced evidence to support this that was accepted by the Commisisoner.

In the Tower Hamlets case, the Commissioner concluded: "Respectfully, the Commissioner reaches a different conclusion on the facts in this case. In the Commissioner's view, whilst the direct impact on those particular private individuals who own properties might not be present for organisationally owned properties, this does not mean that the impact of crime on individuals is completely absent."

It will be interesting to see if this case will go to appeal too.