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Arrests for stalking - 779/18

Date Responded 03 September 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:

1. The number of people arrested for stalking for the first time, and the number of times their victim had reported them to the police prior to the arrest.

2. The total number of people arrested for stalking, by gender.

3. The number of times those arrested, as point 2,  had previously been arrested for stalking. 

Please provide me with data for the last three financial years, starting from 2017/18 

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 Corporate Development 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, particularly at point the latter part or point 1 and point  3, is not held in a format that would allow its extraction within the permitted time constraints.  The Crime Recording details of each offender would need to be manually reviewed to see if the  victim was the same victim in each case.  A dip sample made of 25 offenders brought back in excess of 300 crimes that would require a review. Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract the information for those 25 offenders alone would take over 25 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. 

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 some of your request, 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. 

A response to part of point 1, and point 2 is provided below. 

  1. Arrested for the first time                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Year         Count                                                                                                                        2015/16      8                                                                                                                            2016/17     18                                                                                                                        2017/18     130                                                                                                                      Total          156        

2. The total number of people arrested for stalking, by gender. 

Year               Male           Female           

2015/16            8              0         

2016/17          15              3         

2017/18          125            8         

Total    159                           

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