Arrest Details - 897/12
Dated: 23 Nov 2012
Date of request: 14/11/2012
Date of response: 20/11/2012
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 14 November 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.
The dates of birth of everyone who has been arrested by your force over the last five years, and the dates of birth of everyone who has been convicted of a crime in the policing area over the last five years.
and, as a separate request
The first names of everyone who has been arrested by your force over the last five years, and the first names of everyone who has been convicted of a crime in the policing area over the last five years.
To clarify, I am not asking for the name and date of birth together of anyone who has been arrested or convicted.
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 Corporate Development Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police however can not be disclosed for the following reasons.
The information requested is not held in an easily retrievable format. To provide information which meets the criteria of your request, particularly regarding conviction data, would entail a member of staff manually searching through individual arrest records and then reading through court screens to extract. For the period 2011/12 alone there were in excess of 25,000 arrests. Even at a conservative estimate of 2 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate and extract this information would take over 830 hours for a one year period only, 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 part 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 provided within the time constraints would be the first name and dates of birth for those arrested only. This would be restricted to a one year period only, ie 2011/12 however you should note that initial searches for this time period have returned over 68,000 arrests (other years actually surpass this amount). This is a massive amount of data to be supplied with and exceeds the capacity for an excel spreadsheet.
You may therefore wish to reconsider your request.
Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another. Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the crime data. For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.
You may be interested to know that Northumbria Police routinely publish information that has been disclosed by Northumbria Police in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 via the Disclosure Log. The aim of the Disclosure Log is to promote openness and transparency by voluntarily placing information into the public arena.
Whilst it is not possible to publish all responses we will endeavour to publish those where we feel that the information disclosed is in the public interest. The Disclosure Log will be updated once responses have been sent to the requester. I have provided the relevant link below:-
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.