For some time we have been gathering data on how many people had died in jobcentres in 2017 and 2018. The DWP provided us with the figures for East London, West London, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Thames Valley, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Scotland, Merseyside, Halton, Cumbria, Lancashire.
They claimed they didn’t hold the data for any individual region (obviously forgetting they provided it for the above regions). We asked them if previous information was provided in error (as we are entitled to do under Section 16 when they are not being clear) and they refused to supply an answer claiming it would require new information to be created.
They think it would put the safety of an individual at risk if they provided us with this information and implied it could reveal the location of an office. This is where they pretend to be idiots because what they say could only be true if there was only a single job centre in the likes of Wales, Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset. We checked and there was more than one. In fact there are several in each area.
As with the majority of other requests their true reason for refusing them is because of bad optics. People can die anywhere but DWP are aware it looks bad on them when they die in jobcentres, particularly if it has only just found them ‘fit for work’. It’s no surprise they want to keep that from you.
The matter is with the Information Commissioner.