Fraud - 228/15
Dated: 17 Mar 2015
Date of request: 03/03/15
Date of response: 16/03/15
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 3 March 2015 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.
1. The number of offences recorded annually under s.2 of the Fraud Act 2006 which involved the suspect telephoning the victim, dating back to 2009 up to the most recent data which is held, either by yourselves or originated by yourselves.
2. The number of offences recorded annually which involved both a breach of s.2 of the Fraud Act 2006 AND s.1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, dating back to 2009 up to the most recent data which is held, either by yourselves or originated by yourselves.
3. The number of victims annually affected by offences under s.2 of the Fraud Act 2006 2006 which involved the suspect telephoning the victim, dating back to 2009 up to the most recent data which is held, either by yourselves or originated by yourselves.
4. The average age of the victims of fraud by false representation where the suspect telephoned the victim in 2014, and the average sum of money lost by a victim of such a fraud in 2014.
5. The total amount of money victims lost in offences recorded under s.2 of the Fraud Act 2006 which involved the suspect telephoning the victim since 2009.
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 cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.
The information requested is not held centrally nor in an easily retreievable format. For the time period specified there are a total of 4,680 crimes of fraud relating to Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006. Each of these would need to be manually viewed to establish if a telephone was used during the offence.
Even at a conservative estimate of 2 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate, extract and compile this information would take over 156 hours, therefore Section 12(1) 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.
When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under Section 16 of the Act would normally entail that we contact you to determine whether it is possible to refine the scope of your request to bring it within the cost limits. However, from the information we have outlined above I see no reasonable way in which we can do so.
I can advise that our response at point 4, had we been able to extract,would be no information held. We would not hold the 'average' age of the victim or the 'average' sum of money lost.
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 data. For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.
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.