Sarahs Law - 054/13
Dated: 28 Jan 2013
Date of request: 12/01/13
Date of response: 24/01/13
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 12 January 2013 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 applications for information have been made to the police under the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme (known as Sarah's Law) in each year since it was introduced in 2008?
How many disclosures about sex offenders have been made in each year since the scheme started? Is it then possible to state in which town/city the offender was then living?
How many cases have been referred to social services in connection with this scheme?
How many people have been prosecuted for not keeping information disclosed under the scheme confidential?
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 Legal Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.
I have today decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.
The Child Sex offender Disclosure Scheme was initially piloted from September 2008 in four police forces, Cambridgeshire, Cleveland, Hampshire and Warwickshire. Following the initial pilot the Home Office decided that the initiative would be rolled out across the 43 police forces in England and Wales. The infomation held, therefore is from the time the scheme came into force for Northumbria Police. I can confirm that since October 2010 there have been 78 such applications.
2010 - 2 - Sunderland, Newcastle
2011 - 2 - North Tyneside
2012 - 4 - Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside
None - as yet we have had no concerns about any unlawful disclosures, therefore there have been no prosecutions.
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.