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Date Responded 06 November 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:

Could you please provide the following information for 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018 and separately for 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017?

  1. How many requests have been made to your force under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) otherwise known as "Clare's Law"?
  2. Can you please provide the overall total number of requests separately for each of the two years and if possible, broken down by the gender of the person the information is potentially being disclosed to / shared with (female, male, other, unknown ). (The person for whose benefit the request was made, rather than the person who actually submitted the request)>


In Response:

As advised in our acknowledgement this request has been aggregated with your previous request FOIA 1265/19 refers, for time/cost implications under the Act.

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 can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.

The only method available to us to establish the gender of the person any information is disclosed to is by a manual review of records, there is no search facility on recording methods that would allow its electronic extraction, therefore in excess of 950 records would need to be manually reviewed to establish how many females, males or unknowns the disclosure was being made to.  Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate, extract and compile this information would take over 48 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.

Although excess cost removes Northumbria Police's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information below, relative to some of your request.  I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of your request.

Financial year April 2018 – March 2019 = Total DVDS applications were 691

I can advise that a response to 2017/18 data can be found on the Northumbria Police Disclosure Log.  A simple search for Clares Law will bring back relevant results. 

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