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.
The number of serving police officers in your force that have criminal convictions, what they were convicted of, and their positions in the force.
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 we are unable to disclose for the following reasons.
A definitive response to the requested information could only be retrieved by either checking the personal file of each officer as held by People Services, or searching for each officer on the Police National Computer (PNC) to establish if they had receive any criminal convictions prior to joining the force. To carry out either of these processes and provide a response to all parts of the request has been estimated to greatly exceed the permitted time threshold under the Act. With an excess of 3,400 police officers, even at a conservative estimate of 10 minutes per individual file, which has been considered reasonable, this would take in excess of 566 hours. As we have estimated that to locate, extract and compile this information would take over the permitted 18 hours, Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act is applicable. 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 that part of 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. Therefore, 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 questions for officer criminal convictions received whilst employed by Northumbria Police at the time, subject to any exemptions applicable under the act.
If this would be useful you may wish to define and resubmit your request accordingly, however please note that any further requests will be aggregated with your previous request due to the cost/time implications under the Acts legislation.