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County Lines Incidents Since 2017 - 050/20

Date Responded 04 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. The number of logged reports/incidents containing the words ‘County lines’ and the nature of those reports for the three years from January 2017.
  2. How many minors, aged 10 to 17, have been arrested for offences relating to the supply of controlled drugs between January 2017 and January 2020.
  3. How many minors, aged 10 to 17, have been arrested for drug-related violence, stating where possible the nature of the violence for the same time period.
  4. How many of those minors have been charged with an offence and break this down by the age of the suspect, and the offence they were charged with, the class of type of drug involved.
  5. Please also state the number of minors arrested by their county of residence (by county, I mean the administrative county of the address you have on record. I will also be happy with either postal town/city if this is easier to provide).

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Corporate Development 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.

To establish a response at point 3 alone would require approximately 8,900 records of minors being arrested for violence to be located and manually reviewed to establish which were drug related, as specified in your request.  Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 714 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.

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 question 1 (if you could clarify exactly what you mean by “the nature of those reports”) and question 2.

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


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