Disclosure Details

Vehicle Recoveries - 844/12

Dated: 31 Jul 2015

Date of request:   29/10/2012

Date of response:   12/11/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 29 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: 

For the below questions, I am specifically referring to non-statutory recoveries.

  1. Does Northumbria Police Force receive a referral fee, administration fee or any other kind of remuneration from recovery agents scheme management company when making a non-statutory referral to a recovery company or scheme management company ?

  2. If yes, how much is the fee charged? Please provide details and estimates if the fee varies.

  3. How many non-statutory referrals to recovery companies or scheme management companies did the force make: 

    a. From 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010? 
    b. From 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011? 
    c. From 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012?

  4. What is the revenue generated from non-statutory referrals to recovery companies or scheme management companies for the above years?

  5. Does the force receive any non-monetary benefits from recovery companies or scheme management companies for using their services, such as free vehicle storage, services such as SOCO facilities or recovery of police vehicles ?

  6. If yes, please specify all benefits received by the force.

  7. If yes, please give an approximate estimated value of the services for the following dates: 

    a. From 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010? 
    b. From 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011? 
    c. From 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012?

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 the Finance and Resources 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.

To provide information which meets the criteria of your request, particularly at questions 3 and 4, would entail a member of staff manually searching approximately 12,000 records for the time periods specified to establish which were non-statutory referrals.  These records are not held separately from statutory referrals.  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 alone would take over 600 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 questions that may be answered within the time constraints would be questions 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7.

If these would be useful you may wish to define and resubmit your request accordingly.

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 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. 


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-67103