Date Responded 14 February 2020

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 reports of farm incursions by either animal rights or vegan activists have you received in 2017, 2018 and 2019?
  2. How many prosecutions have you brought against animal rights or vegan activists in each of the last three years (2017, 2018, 2019)?

In Response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidelines state that:

A public authority must confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit.

I can neither confirm nor deny that the information you require is held by Northumbria Police as to actually determine if it is held would exceed the permitted 18 hours therefore Section 12(2) 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.

I have set out the reasons for this below.

There is no easy way to establish a response to this request within the permitted 18 hour threshold.

The logical route to establish a response was to check the Incident and Crime tables for any instances of ‘trespass’ , going by the incident codes and HO codes relating to trespass.  This brought back nil results.  Its should be noted that trespass is a civil tort rather than a criminal offence, and therefore this information may not be held by police.  Additionally with regards to point 2 there is no current marker which would indicate if an individual was an animal rights or vegan activist so this part can also not be responded to.

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