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.
I would like to ask about officers accused of misconduct, breaches in professional standards and criminal offences for each tax year starting from April 2015 up to April this year.
For each year please tell me:
How many officers were accused of wrongdoing and what they were accused of. Please provide a breakdown by rank.
Please specify if they were accused of a sexual offence.
Please specify if they were accused of racism.
Please specify if this was a complaint from a member of the public or an internal referral.
Please tell me the outcome in each case with rank included.
For each year please tell me if the accused officer left the force before the investigation was completed.
Please give the reason for them leaving. Please tell me if the investigation was continued after the officer left. What was the outcome for each officer who left for each year? Please include what they had been accused of.
For each case dropped after an officer left, please tell me what classification it was (ie gross misconduct/misconduct or criminal offence) and what they had been accused of. Please provide rank in each case. Please provide details for each year.
For each of the above please provide the figures for officers working in your department of professional standards who were accused of wrong doing.
Finally, please provide me with details of the serving officer who has had the most misconduct and/or criminal allegations made against them. Please provide a breakdown of the number of allegations and what they were. What was the outcome of each one. What is their rank?
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 requested is not held in format that would allow its extraction from recording systems within the permitted 18 hour threshold. Each case would require a manual review to locate and extract all the information requested. There are approximately 700 recorded complaint files, each of which would require a manual review. 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 116 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.
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.
I can advise that had S12 not be fully applicable other exemptions would have been considered and applied where relevant.
In order to be helpful I can advise that Statistics pertaining to the number of allegations made against Officers is broken down by force area within the annual IOPC Police Complaints reports. Further statistics are given concerning the nature of complaint and whether or not it was upheld IOPC Statistics page
Additionally we also publish information on the Northumbria Police regarding Misconduct Proceedings which you may find useful. In order to assist I have provided the link below.