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Complaints Against Officers - 663/20

Date Responded 05 May 2020

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.

You asked:

  1. The number of complaints against police officers within your police force, separated by reason for the complaint, for the years 2018 - 2020, inclusive to 26/04/20
  2. The number of complaints made against officers since 26 March 2020 inclusive to 26/04/20 as a result of the police enforcement powers that have come into effect in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

In Response:

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 cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.

The information requested is not held in a format that allows its extraction within the permitted 18 hour threshold.  This is particularly relevant to the ‘separated by reason’ part of this submission.  There are in excess of 1900 complaints recorded in the time period specified. Each complaint may have multiple allegations.  To provide a response to that part of the request would require a manual review of each of those complaints.  Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate, extract and compile this information would take over 160 hours, 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.

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 the remaining questions as set out above ie with ‘separated by reason for the complaint’ part removed.

If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.

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