Allegations of Racism - 346/12
Dated: 07 Jun 2011
Date of request: 07/04/2012
Date of response: 23/04/2012
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 7 April 2012 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
Full details of allegations of racism made against force employees in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. I would like the response to include, for each year during the period,
The number of allegations made
The nature of each allegation
The rank of the employee facing the allegation
The method of resolving the complaint – ie by preliminary inquiry, internal or external investigation, etc
the judgement made – ie guilty or otherwise and
the penalty imposed, where relevant.
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Professional Standards Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held in part by Northumbria Police however can not be disclosed for the following reason.
Information is only required to be held for a 7 year period, therefore anything prior to 2005 may not be held.
The remainder of the information requested is not held in an easily retrievable format, as such allegations could be made under the headings 'incivility' 'discriminatory behaviour' 'respect and courtesy' as well as other types of conduct and misconduct cases.
These would then require manual review to establish which were allegations of racism. Initial searches for a 1 year period for 'incivility' cases have produced 191 allegations. We have estimated that to locate and extract the information specific to your request for the remaining 6 year period would take over the prescribed 18 hours, therefore Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act would apply. This section does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimated that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit of 18 hours, equating to £450.00
You should consider this to be a refusal notice under Section 17 of the Act for that part of your request.
As parts of your request would exceed the prescribed limit, as defined by the Act, there is no requirement for Northumbria Police to provide a response to the remaining parts of your request. However, in order to provide you with some assistance, under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, an initial assessment of the information that may be extracted and provided within the time constraints would be information specific to your request for a 3 year period only, ie data for January 2009 - December 2012
If that would be useful you may wish to define and resubmit your request accordingly.
The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police. Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation. In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.
How to complain
If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp
If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.