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Date Responded 12 February 2020

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. In each financial year including and since 2016/17, please provide details of all arrests made for the following offences

Possession with intent to supply Class A

Concerned in the supply of Class A

Conspiracy to supply Class A

2. For each arrest, please also provide the following information;

  • Date of the arrest
  • Location of the arrest
  • Location of the home of the suspect. Please only provide the name of a town/city/London borough rather than postcode to avoid data protection issues. If suspect is of no fixed abode please specify
  • The age of the suspect at time of arrest
  • Date of arrest
  • The quantity and type of drug seized (if any)
  • The outcome (if known)

3.Please also provide the number of known active county lines in your force area at present.


In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with both the Crime and Corporate Development 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 establish a response to your point which asks for the “Location of the home of the suspect” alone would require approximately 1,137 offences to be located on our recording system and manually reviewed to establish the specific data request at this part of your request.  Even at a conservative estimate of 1.5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 28 hours, therefore Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act would apply.  Additional time would then need to be taken in order to research and extract data for the remaining parts of your request.  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.

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 2 above however for a considerable shorter time period ie the last complete financial year (2017/18) or the last calendar year 2019 or alternatively questions 1 and 2 above with the removal of the points which ask for the “location” of and removal of “date of arrest” and instead asking for the “month of arrest”.  This of course would be subject to any relevant exemptions.

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

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