Disclosure Details

Shoplifting - 814/12

Dated: 30 Jul 2015

Date of request:   18/10/2012

Date of response:   26/10/2012

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 18 October 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.

You asked: 

  1. A list of the number of times shops in the area covered by Newcastle Central have been subject to shoplifting from October 2011 - October 2012 (please provide a breakdown of individual shops, the number of times they have been stolen from, and the dates on which the shoplifting took place). 

  2. A list of the items stolen from shops in the area covered by Newcastle Central during the period October 2011 - October 2012 (please provide a breakdown of the item/s stolen, the shop it was stolen from and the date on which the shoplifting took place).

  3. A list of the number of children under the age of twelve who were caught shoplifting in the area covered by Newcastle Central from October 2011 - October 2012 (please provide a breakdown of ages, the shops stolen from and what was stolen)

  4. A list of the number of youths aged 12 - 16 who were caught shoplifting in the area covered by Newcastle Central from October 2011 - October 2012 (please provide a breakdown of ages, the shops stolen from and what was stolen.

In response:

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 Newcastle Area Command and 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 you have requested is not held in an easily retrievable format and would require the interrogation of more than one recording system.  Initial searches have indicated that for the time period and area specified there are in excess of 1,700 offences of shoplifting.  To provide a response specific to your request would entail each of these crimes to be viewed manually to enable extraction of the relevant information.   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 56 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.

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.

You should note that 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:-

http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/index.asp

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 underour 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. 

Downloads

FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-28029