Mike Haseler: The Norfolk Police were just making it up

Posted: October 26, 2012 by tallbloke in FOI, Legal, Politics
Written by Mike
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 11:17
In the Climategate investigation summary Norfolk police made two specific allegations:

  1. That there were significant “commercial interests” involved.
  2. That sceptics believe:
    1. climate change is not happening
    2. or mankind is not responsible

These two sections show this very clearly:

“The original hypothesis was that the data had been taken by a person or persons unknown ranging from an individual acting alone to an organised group engaged in espionage or offences linked to terrorism and potentially linked to foreign governments and/or organisations with significant commercial interests. Whilst the terrorism element quickly receded the other elements of the hypothesis remained current throughout the investigation.


There are significant political and commercial influences surrounding the climate debate, which include oil producing nations such as Saudi Arabia, emerging economies such as China and existing major economies such as the USA and Russia. Alongside the political and commercial intereststhere exists a global network of climate change sceptics who variously believe that climate change is not happening or if it is, that mankind is not responsible

The “Significant commercial” interests was particularly interesting to us, because the Norfolk police in their investigations had identified sources of funding which we were not aware of and as SCEF is almost broke this had to be followed up. So, we sent off an FOI asking for any details.

However they also  … let’s put it bluntly … lied about what sceptics think. If they wanted to know, all  they had to do was ask sceptics and e.g. we now have it summarised in “The Sceptic View

So we also asked:

What was the source of information that led to the statement about our beliefs in this statement: “climate change sceptics who variously believe that climate change is not happening or if it is, that mankind is not responsible”.

This is their response (highlighting is ours)

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: FOI 225/12/13

I write in connection with your request for information received by the Norfolk Constabulary on the 7th September 2012. Your request related to references to ‘commercial interests’ in a report published by the Constabulary about the investigation into the theft of emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in 2009.

Norfolk Constabulary does not hold the information you have requested. The references to ‘commercial interests’ in the report was purely in a context sense, to indicate to any person and not just those well-versed in the subject, that the theft of these emails had very broad implications because the debate about climate change is extremely complex and has a wide range of stakeholders. The function of the Constabulary was to conduct a criminal investigation into the theft, and there was no intention to enter into or comment on the wider debate. The published information stated that it was necessary to conduct a proportionate investigation, with the technical examination of how the theft took place being the central line of enquiry. There is a wealth of publically available information setting out the various aspects of the climate change debate and the Constabulary’s report was clear in referencing the ‘Blogoshpere’ as a source of such information.

This response will be published on the Norfolk Constabulary’s web-site http://www.norfolk.police.uk under the Freedom of Information pages at Publication Scheme – Disclosure Logs.

Should you have any further queries concerning this request, please contact me quoting the reference number shown above.

Yours sincerely,

Dawn Clarke
Freedom of Information Department


They were just making it up as they went along or, as they failed to answer the question about the source of their comment about us, they, like the University of East Anglia before them, are intentionally breaking FOI law.

And the real irony: the reason they can get away with it is because they know we do not have commercial interests behind us to take them to the cleaners through the courts.


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  2. tallbloke says:

    I think this mostly revolves around the meaning you choose to invest in the conjunctive term “alongside” in their statement. It might range from ‘happening at the same time as’ to ‘known associates of’ to ‘thick as thieves’.

    I think one of the factors in the police losing heart in the investigation was when they paid their visit to Tallbloke Towers. What they found was two people on relatively small incomes in a small workers cottage with a wood burner to keep warm by.

  3. Paul Matthews says:

    “an organised group” “potentially linked to foreign governments and/or organisations with significant commercial interests.” “There are significant political and commercial influences surrounding the climate debate, which include oil producing nations such as Saudi Arabia..”

    Hmm, what could they be referring to here? Where is this well-funded organisation with links to commercial interests, oil companies and oil-producing nations?
    Well, have a look at CRU funding sources:
    British Petroleum, Commercial Union, Shell, Sultanate of Oman, Tate and Lyle, …

    Perhaps the Norfolk Police are hinting that it was an inside job.

  4. “The function of the Constabulary was to conduct a criminal investigation into the theft,”

    What theft?

    Are they talking about a misappropriation of public funds? 😉

  5. Tenuc says:

    The problem the police had in finding any external source for the leak was compounded by the context of the politics of the situation, which made it unacceptable to look too closely inside the team.

    My own speculation is that this was an internal leak undertaken by some person / persons who became disenchanted by how poor the evidence for CAGW was! And the lengths his/her/their colleges in the CRU were willing to go to bend the sparse and inaccurate climate data to support their politically motivated beliefs.

    For any crime their has to be motive, opportunity and means – an insider with a conscience would have all these. Perhaps the police were diverted from this politically dangerous and damaging answer with thoughts of catching bigger ‘vested interest’ international fish – after all, red herrings about climate warming and CO2 are not that uncommon… 🙂

  6. nzrobin says:

    What is it that we have behind us? Now let’s see. Lots of inquisitive minds all around the world, who are communicating via the Internet on blogs. Not much money but one hell of a lot of brainpower bumping off each other and learning.

  7. tallbloke says:

    nzrobin: Yes, and this is what doesn’t seem to compute in the world of ‘BIG CLIMATOLOGY’.

  8. Michael Hart says:

    Most of it reads as pretty harmless to me, and I can’t impute much of a sinister nature in the report. I recall TB posting that they [Norfolk Police] seemed to regard the issue as some dry dispute between academics.

    I certainly wouldn’t expect the Police to be up to speed on everything climate-related, but they have a duty to keep an open mind and consider many possible alternative explanations. [A quality which is not always demonstrated by the aforementioned academics].

    If I was looking to find something objectionable, then the use of the word “network” could be construed as pejorative in some circumstances, where it might be associated with some form of a conspiracy.

  9. oldbrew says:

    Re last night’s Radio 4 review of ‘Climategate’, BBC’s FOI specialist Martin Rosenbaum says:

    ‘Since in this case some unbroadcast material comes from a freedom of information request, I thought I should write about it here. So this contains some additional information about the police inquiry beyond what was in the programme’

    (links to several pdf’s of police documents)