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Assaults on Emergency Workers - 042/20

Date Responded 14 January 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:

The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 came into force on 13 November 2018.

  1. Please can you disclose the number of attacks on emergency workers since the new law came into force up to the time this request is answered? Can these figures be broken down month by month?
  2. What type of emergency worker was attacked for each offence? Was the emergency care worker in question male or female? Age?
  3. Details of the attacker, gender, age etc for each offence.
  4. Details of the attack - what happened in each offence?
  5. How many have been charged and sentenced in court for each offence?
  6. How many were jailed? Details of the jail sentence and other punishments for each offence.

On 13 January 2020, you provided the following clarification of your request:

I'm looking for a full list of assaults on emergency workers since the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 came into force.

I'm looking for information relating to all assaults on emergency workers, regardless of whether the assault resulted in an injury.

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 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.

There is no crime category that denotes an emergency services worker who has been assaulted, and that the assault has resulted in an injury.

From 13/11/2018, there have been over 15000 assaults that have resulted in injury. These would each need to be manually checked in order to ascertain whether or not the victim was an emergency services worker.  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 1000 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.

However, 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:

008/73 Assault or assault by beating on a constable

008/74 Assault or assault by beating on a emergency worker (Except a constable)

104/23 Assault on a constable

104/30 Assault on a constable

These are all under the "assault without injury" category, and therefore do not include assaults wherein injury has been sustained.

As per previous comment, there is no crime category that denotes an emergency services worker who has been assaulted, and that the assault has resulted in an injury.

If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.

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