Search and Rescue - 657/12
Dated: 31 Jul 2015
Date of request: 17/08/2012
Date of response: 22/08/2012
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 17 August 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.
'Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, I request the following information for the last five years for which complete records are available.
The amount of money allocated to specialist search and rescue training across your force;
The number of trained specialist search officers in your force;
The number of missing persons reported in your force area; and
The number of times you have requested assistance from partner agencies (such as specialist search and rescue or Mountain Rescue teams) or other forces to search for missing persons )
For the sake of clarity, this request does not include persons Wanted in connection with a criminal investigation.'
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 HR and Corporate Communications Departments 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.
Parts of this request are not held in an easily retrievable format, particularly with regards to question 4. To establish how many times we have requested assistance from partner agencies (such as specialist search and rescue or Mountain Rescue teams) or other forces to search for missing persons would entail in excess of 20,000 records being manually viewed. Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 1000 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 information that may be provided within the time constraints would be questions 1,2 and 3. However you will need to clarify questions 1 and 2 as to whether these questions relate specifically to missing person specialist search officers to enable us to search for relevant information only and to endeavour to keep your request within the prescribed time.
If this 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.