MEPO files at National Archive, Kew, UK

Discussion in 'UK National Archives' started by Horseradish, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Horseradish Member

    Did anyone ever manage to get down to Kew to scan the last lot of released documents? I'm thinking the three files MEPO 2/10283 (released summer 2011).

    If not, I may be able to spare some time in January.

    What's the best method of scanning dox at Kew? Use their public scanners, if any? Take pix? I haven't been there before.
  2. thewayup Member

    Lots of talk. I think nothing came of it though.

    I would heartily support your fine endeavour.

    Contact Kew would be the best way.
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  3. Horseradish Member

    Thanks, thewayup.
    Okay, my plan is to hop over there in Jan, then.

    The National Archives have no scanning, but you can take photos. My camera's reasonable for this kind of thing.

    My mental image is of three seriously fat files, given that the 4th file (unavailable) is 330 pages, and they split the rest into 3.
  4. thewayup Member

    Often you can find some gems, with archive research.
    Back in the Enturb days I put up some great old reports on Hubbard.

    If you're taking a camera, it might be worth making some kind of cheap D.I.Y. stand and practice taking doc shots a bit before going in.

    Good luck
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  5. Horseradish Member

    From their house rules, it seems like you can't take in a tripod or stand, but they do have their own stands that you can use, first come first served. I will do some practice.
  6. Horseradish Member

    Does anyone know of other potentially interesting files there, from a CoS POV?

    Note that the move towards 20 years has begun (see below).

    02 January 2013

    As of 1 January 2013, the government has begun its move towards releasing records when they are 20 years old, instead of 30.
    A Commencement Order that brings into force the relevant parts of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, plus two transition orders have all been signed and laid in Parliament by Lord McNally, the Minister responsible for the 20-year rule.
    This secondary legislation reduces, from 30 to 20 years, the point at which public records are transferred to The National Archives over a 10-year transition period, and in parallel reduces the lifespan of certain Freedom of Information Act 2000 exemptions.
    This means that during 2013 The National Archives will receive records from 1983 and 1984. Then, two further years' worth of government records will be transferred to us each year until 2023 when we will receive records from 2003.
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  7. Horseradish Member

    I paid a brief visit today (with another longer visit due shortly).

    Three fat files, with hundreds of docs in each, and a fair few FOI exemption slips replacing records, plus redactions (some names) within included documents. There are no indexes, so you don't know what the missing doc types are (unlike in some other files held by the NA).

    Documents: police correspondence (mainly UK, some US and German), many Interpol telegrams, CoS letters, a range of internal reports, and even some correspondence from the German authorities (some in German). Quite a few police responses to correspondence not included (presumably in the 'closed' file). Also original Oxford questionnaire, copies of some other CoS publications, and a CoS request for bids for publicity work.

    I've taken quite a few hundred photos today, and will need to return to complete.

    I'll then need to decide on the best way of propagating.
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  8. Horseradish Member

    I'd imagine the 'closed' file includes the original correspondence from complainants to the police about CoS, with allegations and/or evidence.

    There is one intriguing letter from a (name redacted) media outlet, inquiring as to whether the Met was investigating CoS for drug trafficking (a rumour they had heard).

    No time to go through it all yet.

    One thing I did notice was that whenever a non-UK-govt organisation or individual sent anything to the Met, they kept the envelope as well as the letter. Hinteresting.
  9. Anonymous Member

    I didn't realize this rumour had made it to the UK. Maybe they should be likewise investigated in their home country.
  10. Horseradish Member

    The responses by the Met to CoS enquiries (sent from Saint Hill East Grinstead) are invariably of the 'we are unable to comment' variety.
  11. wolfbane Member

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  12. Horseradish Member

    There were several cross-agency meetings, which are minuted in the file. That's the Met plus UK central government departments.

    Also a statement that the CoS case was with the UK prosecution authorities at one point, but that they had decided there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

    Some strong statements from individual police officers....

    Right, I need to go and transfer all my document images and start reading...
  13. Horseradish Member

    What's going to be the best way to make all these hundreds of documents available?

    We are talking >500 docs, maybe >1k individual pages
  14. Anonymous Member

    If original file format is photo images, without getting better suggestions from someone with a readily website for permanent storage - suggest you just dump them to filesharing site of your choice (hotfile, mediafire, etc.). Then start a new thread in leaks and legal subforum for posting links the collection(s) with a request for other people to mirror them someplace more permanent.

    I can likely handle getting some of the more juicy ones reposted to other places more permanent if nobody steps up to take the whole set, but not sure if I can handle 500.
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  15. Horseradish Member

    I need to strip the metadata from these pix (Mac) before posting.
  16. Horseradish Member

    The snowy weather is due to clear here tomorrow, and I have a second, longer visit lined up over the next week to capture pix of the rest of those three police files. Looking forward to it. :)
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  17. thewayup Member

    Glad to hear of your report, Horseradish.
    If I was over your way, I'd offer to help in any way I could.

    Looking forward to your followups.
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  18. Thanks, Horseradish!
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  19. jensting Member

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  20. Horseradish Member

    Interesting question, that I've been pondering myself.

    It's clear from one doc that the two redacted names on it - a passing reference to extradition proceedings - are Jane Kember and Mo whassisname. Given this is info is very much in the public domain, and Jane Kember's name is otherwise all over the files, I'm questioning the basis of these redactions.

    I've not yet come across anything that is explicitly Snow White related. And early on, I did wonder: if the US authorities had come up with all this, what about the UK? And then I discovered Jane Kember's role, and the question became even more pertient. After all, she was in charge of the GO (?), and at Saint Hill. She was directing the op from there, no?

    Were the UK authorities idle? Did they just not look? If they found anything, one assumes there would have been legal proceedings here in the UK too. (???)

    There are of course more docs to come, and there's 300+ in the 'closed' file [to remain closed until 2047]. I'm getting the idea that we could at least find out what kind of things are in there, if the items concerned are section 40 exemptions. I'm keeping my eyes open, and I'm taking pix of ALL sheets, including folder covers [some basic indexes] and inserted exemption sheets - the latter include the exemption section being claimed and the number of sheets, but no other info. I then intend to trawl through the exemption sections being claimed. See if there's any 'national security' stuff or similar. :cool:

    One thing to bear in mind: which files would this kind of stuff be in? The Met [MEPO] files only if there was a police investigation in the Met area. The Met don't even deal with extraditions for crimes - that's Home Office and [currently] CPS. [I called to check about another case.]

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