Indecent Images - 554/12
Dated: 07 Jun 2011
Date of request: 03/07/2012
Date of response: 27/07/2012
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 3rd July 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.
Please can you tell me how many people have been arrested for possessing indecent images of children.
I would like these figures for each calendar year since 2007 (and up until the present date of this year).
Also, of those arrested, can you tell me how many were arrested for possessing level 5 images?
Finally, for each year, of those arrested, how many had more than 100 images, 1,000 images, 10,000 images, 100,000 images and 1 million images.
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 both the Crime and Corporate Development Departments 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 reason. For the period specified by you in your request there have been in excess of 500 arrests for indecent images. It should be noted that
no-one is arrested for possession of level 5 images: they are arrested for indecent images and the copine scale levels are determined at a later date, and are relevant to sentencing, not to arrest. To determine which, if any, of those arrested held any level 5 images, and the amount of images actually held, would require members of staff manually viewing each of the relevant files. Even at a conservative estimate of 15 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate and extract this information would take over 125 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 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 questions 1 and 2. You should note that exemptions under the Act will apply to any information disclosed in a resubmitted request.
If this would be use 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.