Date Responded 14 March 2023

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. How many police officers in your force are under investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct or racism? Please can you give the figures for the last five years (up to 2022) as well as the number currently under investigation?

2. Please divide the figures by those facing allegations of sexual misconduct and those facing allegations of racism 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 by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you with the below caveats to be noted as follows.

  • The following information has been extracted from a ‘live’ database and may be subject to the addition and deletion of complaints, complainants and subjects after the initial extraction of data used for the purposes of this request.
  • The data provided in the table below has been grouped by the year of recording the alleged allegation and not necessarily when the incident took place.
















As of 10 February 2023 there are currently 25 live cases under investigation.

2. The breakdown requested will not be provided due to low numbers and we will rely on the following exemption:

Section 40(2) - Personal Information

 Section 40(2) is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement to consider the public interest in disclosure.  That being said where Section 40(2) is engaged in order to make the exemption absolute there needs to be evidence that the disclosure of the information requested would lead to identifying individuals and place information pertaining to them into the public domain.  This constitutes personal data which would, if released, be in breach of the rights provided by the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations; namely the first data protection principle, which states that personal data will be processed lawfully, fairly and transparently.

It is our view that the request runs counter to the three requirements prescribed by law and that there is no lawful basis to provide this information to you.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, you should consider this as a refusal for this part of your request.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete.  However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes.  The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.  As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

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