Indecent Images - 880/12
Dated: 08 Jan 2013
Date of request: 07/11/2012
Date of response: 28/11/2012
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 7 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.
How many allegations did your force receive relating to offences of possessing, downloading or distributing indecent images of children last year (April 2011- March 2012)?
How many people were investigated for offences of possessing, downloading or distributing indecent images of children by your force last year (April 2011- March 2012)?
Of that number how many were:
b) dealt with by police caution?
d) charged with offences of possessing, downloading or distributing indecent images of children?
e) convicted of offences of possessing, downloading or distributing indecent images of children?
How many people suspected of possessing, downloading or distributing indecent images of children last year (April 2011 – March 2012) were written to rather than arrested?
How many offenders were placed on the Sex Offenders Register by your force last year (April 2011- March 2012)?
Of that number how many were placed on the register for possessing, downloading or distributing indecent images of children.
How many cases of possessing, downloading or distributing indecent images of children were passed to your force by CEOP last year (April 2011- March 2012)?
How many cases of possessing, downloading or distributing indecent images of children were passed by your force to CEOP last year (April 2011- March 2012)?
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
As advised earlier, your 3 requests have been aggregated as they are on the same subject matter.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Crime 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 reasons.
There is currently no facility to easily access all of the information that you require, within the cost threshold. To attempt to establish even question 1 of the requested information would involve viewing all incidents opened as 'sexual offences'. For the period specified there were in excess of 3100 incidents that were opened as 'sexual offences' Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate, extract and collate this information would take over 155 hours for this part of your request alone, without taking into consideration the remaining questions, 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 provided within the time constraints would be questions 3, a, b,c,d and e, 4, 5, 7, & 8 this information would be for Crimes recorded in relation to the possessing, downloading or distributing indecent images of children only. You should note however that even if the request is refined as suggested it does not remove our right to cite exemptions to prevent disclosure if relevant, or to even confirm or deny whether information is held.
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.
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.