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Police officer misconduct - 167/18

Date Responded 27 February 2018

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:

For each question, please state the police ranks of each officer and use the date range January 2010-December 2017. 

1. How many officers from your force have been suspended from duty?

2. How many officers from your force have been put on restricted duties pending disciplinary action?

3. How many officers were taken to a misconduct hearing?

4. What was the outcome of each misconduct hearing?

5. If there are any cases in which officers were suspended or put on restricted duties pending disciplinary decisions but did not face a misconduct hearing please state the outcome. 

In relation to question 4, we sought clarity and you said the information you wanted was in relation to ‘all misconduct hearings in general please’ 

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, however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons. 

The information requested at question 2 is not held in a format that allows its extraction within the permitted 18 hour threshold.  To respond to this part would require a review of over 700 Officers records.  This would involve checking each of those Officers’ file individually to see if they had been placed on restricted duties and then checking with our Professional Standards Department to see which of those were on restricted duties due to disciplinary action.  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 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 your request. 

Although excess cost removes Northumbria Police's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information below, relative to points 1, 3, 4 and 5 of your request, which was retrieved or available before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded. I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of your request. 

I am able to disclose the located information to you as attached. 

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