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Date Responded 23 October 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:

This request relates to applications under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) – aka ‘Clare’s Law’. Please state:

  1. The number of disclosures made to your force under the under ‘Right to Ask’ in 2018.
  2. Results at point 1 broken down by time taken to complete disclosure in the following categories: a) 0-20 days, b) 21-35 days and c) 36+ days.
  3. The number of disclosures made to your force under the under ‘Right to Know’ in 2018,
  4. Results at point 3 broken down by time taken to complete disclosure in the following categories: a) 0-20 days, b) 21-35 days and c) 36+ days.
  5. The three maximum lengths of time taken to complete ‘Right to Ask’ disclosure in 2018 (i.e. completion times in the three cases that took the longest to disclose)
  6. The three maximum lengths of time taken to complete ‘Right to Know’ disclosure in 2018 (i.e. completion times in the three cases that took the longest to disclose)

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Safeguarding 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, particularly at points 2, 4, 5 and 6 is not already recorded statistically, nor is it held in a format that allows its extraction within the permitted 18 hour threshold.  Each record would require a manual review to establish the date it was opened and the date it was closed (which may differ from the date disclosure was actually provided).  Initial searches have indicated that for 2018 alone there were in excess of 800 records.  Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information alone would take over 40 hours.  Further time would then be required to complete the remainder of the request.  As we have estimated this would exceed the permitted time constraint 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.

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 questions 1 and 3.

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

In the first instance I direct you to the Northumbria Police Disclosure Log, link below, where previous requests on this subject can be found.  A simple search for ‘Clares Law ‘ will bring back relevant returns.  Information there may satisfy your requirements and negate the need for a further submission from you.

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