Date Responded 10 August 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:

For each of the following calendar years, the number of "citizen’s arrests" made in your police force area (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 so far). When reporting 2018 I will take the date of your reply as the date to which the figures are correct unless you specify otherwise. Please also break the number of arrests down by the type of crime, see below for categories.

 If the breakdown by crime type is not possible, please at least provide the overall number of citizen’s arrests made in each year. 

Crime Type


Offences involving knives and sharp instruments

Offences involving firearms

Other violent crime

Sexual offences

Criminal damage and arson

Vehicle theft offences


Other household theft

Theft from the person

Other theft of personal property

Bicycle theft


All other theft offences



Computer misuse

Public order offences

Drug offences

Possession of weapons


Other category

In Response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidelines state that:

A public authority must confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit.

I can neither confirm nor deny that the information you require is held by Northumbria Police as to actually determine if it is held would exceed the permitted 18 hours therefore Section 12(2) 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 have set out the reasons for this below.

This information, if held, is not held in an easily retrievable format.  We do not statistically record this information and to establish if any such instances had been recorded would involve looking at all incidents for the time periods specified to establish if that term had been used. As there will be many hundreds of thousands of  incidents recorded per year we have estimated that to establish if this information is held would take well in excess of the prescribed time limit. I can advise if a member of the public detained someone, an officer would then attend and arrest them.  That officer would be the arresting officer.

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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