Disclosure Details

Speed Cameras - 199/13

Dated: 09 Apr 2013

Date of request:     06/03/2013

Date of response:   09/04/2013

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

Thank you for your email dated 6 March 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.

You asked: 

  1. The location of every road traffic fatality in Northumbria for the years 2002-2012 inclusive.  If you are unable to provide data going back to 2002 please provide data from the oldest record up until the most recent

  2. The location of all speed cameras in Northumbria and the date they were introduced

  3. The amount of revenue collected in fines for each camera since installation

  4. Details of how money collected from speed camera fines has been used e.g. by the local council, central government/treasury, speed camera operator

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

1. Please note that the Tyne and Wear Traffic and Accident Data Unit (TADU) carry out the statistical function on behalf of Northumbria Police and they may be able to assist you with your request.  In order to aid and assist you, we have provided contact details below:-

 Ian Abernethy
 TADU Co-ordinator
 Tyne and Wear Traffic and Accident Data Unit
 Transport and Highways Service
 Development and Enterprise
 Gateshead Council
 Civic Centre
 Regent Street
 NE8 1HH
 e-mail:  IanAbernethy@gateshead.gov.uk

0191 4333103


2.  See attached below.

3. I am unable to provide information in relation to this part of your request and will rely on the following exemptions.

Section 31 (1) law enforcement

Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would or would be likely to, prejudice-

a) the prevention and detection of crime

b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders

c) the administration of justice

(2) the purposes referred to in subsections a,b, and c are

a)  the purpose of ascertaining whether any person has failed to comply with the law,

b) the purpose of ascertaining whether any person is responsible for any conduct which is improper

c) the purpose of ascertaining whether circumstances which would justify regulatory action in pursuance of any enactment exists or may arise

Section 31 is a qualified exemption and requires the application of a Harm and public interest test which I have set out below.

Harm Test

The disclosure of amount of revenue collected in fines for each camera since installation would identify the cameras which have recorded the most offences. This could encourage individuals to attack those specific cameras, incurring costs to the force repairing damage to the cameras and the costs of replacements. There is real evidence in the public domain showing that cameras have been targetted in the past.
There will be cost implications – repairing damage to the cameras and the costs of replacements.
The loss of such equipment could have a detrimental effect on the safety of those both using the roads and those living in the communities protected by such equipment.

Public interest Test

Considerations which favour disclosure


The information could relate directly to the efficiency and effectiveness of the Force, showing the public either positively or negatively that speed enforcement is robustly investigated by Northumbria Police. 

Public Debate:

The Police Services handling of speed enforcement investigations is subject to much debate and the information may enhance the public debate on these issues.

Public safety

As outlined in the previous two factors the information would increase public knowledge of the effectiveness of the force and the use of safety camera technology to improve safety on the roads both for drivers and communities.

Considerations favouring non-disclosure

Effective and efficient conduct of the force

Release of the information may lead to attacks on safety cameras, compromise the operation of safety cameras by Northumbria Police and subsequently undermine road safety and road policing.

Public safety

Public safety could be compromised by acts of vandalism on the camera sites which may result in an increase in the number of drivers choosing to exceed the speed limits due to the fact that there is  no longer a device in place deterring offenders.

Balancing Test

In this case the Public Interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.  It is not sufficient that information will be of interest to the public; its release must be beneficial to the community as a whole. Clearly where the release of information could lead to the public being put at risk, disclosure must be resisted.

You should consider this to be a refusal under section 17 of the Act for this part of your request.

4. The revenue collected in fines goes to central government/treasury. 

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_tcm4-67103
FOI 199-13_tcm4-73142