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Assaults at Education Premises - 1013/19

Date Responded 22 August 2019

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 assaults did your police force attend on education premises in the past five years (2014 to present)? I would like the information broken down by:
  2. Date
  3. Type of education setting (nursery/ preschool, primary school, secondary school and college/ university)
  4. Name of establishment
  5. Nature of assault (whether it involved children v children/ teacher v child/ teacher v teacher or a parent etc)
  6. The outcome (were charges brought?).

In Response:

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 is not held in a format that allows its extraction within the permitted 18 hour threshold.  For a two year period alone – 01/04/2017 – 31/03/2019 there have been in excess of 1,000 assaults recorded as being on school premises – some of which would have occurred when the school was closed – and each would require a manual review to establish a response at points 2 and 4-6.  Even at a conservative estimate of 4 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 66 hours for those two years alone, 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.

Additionally, at point 3, I can advise we do not record down to the type of education setting.

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.


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