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Computer Misuse By Employees - 1223/19

Date Responded 07 November 2019

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. Between January 2016 and January 2017, what was the most common offence committed by your police employees who were being investigated for computer misuse? What was the second most common "computer misuse" offence? What was the third?
  2. Between January 2016 and January 2017, how many of your police employees were investigated for computer misuse? How many of these employees were fired as a result of the investigation? How many of them resigned voluntarily?
  3. Between January 2017 and January 2018, what was the most common offence committed by your police employees who were being investigated for computer misuse? What was the second most common "computer misuse" offence? What was the third?
  4. Between January 2017 and January 2018, how many of your police employees were investigated for computer misuse? How many of these employees were fired as a result of the investigation? How many of them resigned voluntarily?
  5. Between January 2018 and January 2019, what was the most common offence committed by your police employees who were being investigated for computer misuse? What was the second most common "computer misuse" offence? What was the third?
  6. Between January 2018 and January 2019, how many of your police employees were investigated for computer misuse? How many of these employees were fired as a result of the investigation? How many of them resigned voluntarily?

By computer misuse, I was seeking data on employees that have been disciplined for accessing the Northumbria Police Integrated Communications and Control Systems (NPICCS) for a non-policing purpose/people that have been disciplined under our Acceptable use policy eg -an officer who uses the internet in working time for personal use.

After we sought clarity asking for specific time parameters you stated you meant from 1st January to 31st December for each year.

In Response:

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 Professional Standards Department of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held, in part, by Northumbria Police, however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.

The information you are asking for is not held in a format that allows its extraction and collation within the permitted 18 hour threshold.  Owing to the way in which the recording systems records allegations, there is no timely way to carry out searches that would guarantee relevant/accurate results would be returned.  The only way to provide a response to your queries would be a manual review of all allegations for the time period requested.  This would entail hundreds of records, and as such cannot be achieved within the permitted 18 hour threshold.  As we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 18 hours, then 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

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