Seat belts - 506/16
Dated: 26 Aug 2016
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
Thank you for your e mail dated 18 April 2016 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 at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
For the calendar years 2006 to date (15th April 2016) or for the years that you can provide the information for:
How many people have you taken action against who you suspected were not adhering to the child seat belt legislation?
How many fines were issued to those not adhering to the child seat belt legislation?
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 Fixed Penalty Unit of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by in part Northumbria Police, however cannot be disclosed as the information you have requested is not held in a format that can be retrieved within the time limits of the Act. From 2009 there have been 372 seat belt offences relating to a child. (No data is held prior to 2009). To determine the number of fines issued to those not adhering to the child seat belt legislation would entail a member of staff manually reviewing each individual record to determine the outcome of each case. Even at a conservative estimate of 10 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate, extract and compile this information would take over 62 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 for a one year period only.
If that would be useful you may wish to define and resubmit your request accordingly, indicating which year you would like us to consider for research.
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 data. For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.