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Child trafficking and slavery - 683/19

Date Responded 01 July 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:

Re: Child trafficking and slavery – police arrests, charging decisions and training

01 January 2017 – 01 January 2018 and 01 January 2018 – 01 January 2019

A

  1. How many police officers were employed by this force? 
  2. B. Child Arrests and Charging Decisions

01 January 2017 – 01 January 2018 and 01 January 2018 – 01 January 2019

  1. How many children were arrested by this force?
  2. How many of the arrests resulted in drugs-related charges?
  3. How many of the arrests resulted in theft-related charges?
  4. How many of the arrests resulted in offensive weapons/bladed articles charges?
  5. How many of the arrested children were referred to the National Referral Mechanism to be assessed as trafficking or slavery victims? This includes children who were charged or released under investigation; and those the police took no further action against.

C,Human trafficking and slavery training

01 January 2017 – 01 January 2018 and 01 January 2018 – 01 January 2019

  1. Please specify the contents of the mandatory training courses (the names of the courses were disclosed in response to Hestia’s FOI).
  2. Please confirm whether the mandatory training courses included:

(a) The legal definition of human trafficking and slavery;

(b) Trafficking/slavery indicators;

(c) The duty of police officers to identify and refer crime suspects who may be potential victims of trafficking or slavery to the National Referral Mechanism;

(d) How to refer crime suspects who may be potential victims to the National Referral Mechanism;

and

(e) The non-punishment principle (as enshrined in international and domestic law) – which requires police to refer crime suspects who may be potential victims, rather than to prematurely charge them. 

3.Please confirm the duration and mode (i.e. lecture/e-learning) of the mandatory training courses.

4.Please confirm whether police officers were required to attend Continuing Professional Development sessions on human trafficking and slavery, or whether the mandatory courses were limited to one session only.

5. Please confirm how many police officers from your force attended and studied the mandatory course sessions.

6. Please confirm how police officers’ attendance and study of the mandatory course were monitored.

7. Please confirm how police officers’ understanding and competence in this course was examined.

8. If police officers were examined on this course, please confirm how many police officers successfully passed it.

9.If police officers were not examined on this course – why not?

 

If unable to answer questions/provide data

  1. If not able to answer a question, why not?
  2. If not able to answer a question, does the data exist?
  3. Is the data does not exist, why not?

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within the Crime, Corporate Development, People Development and the HR Departments 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.

To provide information which meets the criteria of your request, particularly at question B5 would entail a member of staff manually searching every NRM referral who would have been a juvenile at the time of referral.  Some referrals have limited info, some we don’t have DOBs for, some are anonymous and some will relate to encounters by other forces and partners.  They will therefore not necessarily correspond with the results of B1-4 which specifically relates to arrests by Northumbria Police.   

We have estimated that to extract this information alone would take over 40 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.

I can advise that had Section 12 not been fully applicable that other exemptions would have been applied to this part of the request.

When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under As part of your request would exceed the prescribed limit, as defined by the Act, there is no requirement for Northumbria Police to provide a response to the remaining parts of 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 the remainder of your questions as set out above.  Please note that if this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.  You should note however that once all the data has been gathered that exemptions will be applied where appropriate.

I can advise that question B5 at a national level is already published – see below link which may be useful to you.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/individuals-referred-to-and-supported-through-the-prevent-programme-april-2015-to-march-2016

https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications/282-national-referral-mechanism-statistics-end-of-year-summary-2018/file

 

Force figures are also freely available – see link below which you may find useful

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-workforce-open-data-tables

Current Northumbria Police figures are routinely published on the Northumbria Police website

https://beta.northumbria.police.uk/about-us/who-we-are/the-structure-of-northumbria-police/

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