Child Abduction Warning Notices - 369/23

Date Responded 22 March 2023

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. Please can you provide the annual number of Child Abduction Warning Notices issued for each of the last 5 calendar years, including 2022? Please also break down the type of concern per CAWN where detailed or known i.e. county lines, cannabis farms etc.

2. Please can you provide the annual number of Looked After Children under 18 whom a CAWN was issued for, for each of the last 5 calendar years, including 2022? Please also provide the name of the children’s home or company which was responsible for children in care who were the subject of the highest number of individual CAWNS per setting where known (i.e. if 3 CAWNS related to children from one children's home over this 5 years period - this is not applicable if the highest figure was simply one). Not all forces will readily hold this detail, so please ignore if not known.

3. Please provide a) the most number of CAWNs issued in relation to a single child in care/ Looked After Child and b) the youngest age of a child in care whom a CAWN was issued in relation to.

4. Please can you provide the annual number of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children who a CAWN was issued for, for each of the last 5 calendar years, including 2022?

For definition of a CAWN - please see p41 of this link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1101687/Child_Exploitation_Disruption_Toolkit_082022.pdf

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 Safeguarding Department of Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

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 already held statistically nor is it held in a format that would allow its extraction from systems within the permitted 18 hours.

Initial indications are there have been in excess of 550 CAWNs in the time period requested. Each of those would need to be reviewed to establish a response to each point of this submission. Even at a conservative estimate of 10 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate, extract and compile this information would take over 90 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.

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