Disclosure Details

Human Tissue - 440/12

Dated: 03 Jul 2012

Date of request:    22/05/2012

Date of response:   03/07/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 22nd May 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: 

With regard to the ACPO report released yesterday in relation to retained body parts by police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - I would like to know the following information.

1. How many category one (scrapings, fingernails etc) and category two (small tissue samples and block slides) samples your force has retained without the knowledge of families.

2. Of the category three samples, how many are from people who were under the age of 18 at the time of death?

3. In category three, how many times did you record why the organ or body part had been kept.

4. In category three, which law was used in each case to retain the organ - please say when you don't know.

5. How many category 3 samples has your police force disposed of without the knowledge of families?

6. How many reburials/funerals has your force had to pay for because of the practice of retaining body parts?

7. How many people are taking legal action against your force over the practice of retained body parts?

8. Can you estimate how many man hours it has taken to compile your audit for the ACPO report and the estimated cost of staffing this. 

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 Crime and Legal Departments of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held, in part, by Northumbria Police.

I have decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1. No information held.  Category one and two samples were not considered by Northumbria Police for the purposes of the Police Human Tissue Audit 2010-2012.  Please refer to paragraph 8.9 of the Report.

2, 3, 4 and 5.  No information held.  As per the ACPO Report on the Police Human Tissue Audit 2010-2012, Northumbria Police did not identify any Category 3 material.

6. No information held.

7. None.

8. No information held.  Any hours/costs associated with this audit are not identified or collated.

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.


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-28029