Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
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 each of the past five calendar years (2015, 2016, 2017 2018, 2019) can you tell me:
- The date of each complaint made to the force regarding the work of family liaison officers.
- The nature of each of those complaints in as much detail as possible.
- Any action taken by the force in reaction to each of the complaints. (Unofficial or official apologies offered, officers disciplined etc)
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Professional Standards Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police, however will not be disclosed for the following reason.
To establish a response for the whole of your request would require the records of each officer who has held the role of Family Liaison Officer over the past 5 calendar years to be identified, located and manually reviewed to establish if any information is held about that individual officer specific to your request. Even at a conservative estimate of 10 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 90 hours, (it should be noted that this is based on the fact that we currently have 110 police officers that are trained as Family Liaison Officer’s, timed by your requested 5 calendar year period – obviously there may have been more or less officers that held this role in each of the years requested) therefore Section 12(1) 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 your request.
When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under Section 16 of the Act would normally entail that we contact you to determine whether it is possible to refine the scope of your request to bring it within the cost limits. However, from the information we have outlined above I see no reasonable way in which we can do so.