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Date Responded 07 September 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. How many under 18 year olds have been arrested or charged by your officers because of the COVID-19 restriction breaches? If this is less than 5 please say Otherwise, please state the actual number.
  2. Prior to receiving this email, was your constabulary aware that the law related to COVID-19 restrictions only applies to those aged 18 and above?
  3. Prior to receiving this email, did your constabulary do anything to ensure that those under the age of 18 were not arrested or charged for breaches of the COVID-19 restrictions?

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held in part by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

To note – as you have not provided otherwise, we are taking the time scale as being from when the legislation came into force.

1  Arrests – 4

Charges - 0

The count of charges is based on disposal information.  This is updated regularly and a history is not kept; as such this reflects the disposal data valid as of 23 July 2020.

2  No information held.

3  Whilst Fixed Penalty Notices can only be issued to persons over the age of 18 (s10(1) of the Act refers), there are no restrictions on the police to enforce a power of arrest if reasonable grounds exists to do so, ie the necessity for arrest relating to a young person in contravention of the regulations, the power to detain using reasonable force and return to home addresses exists but if the child is non compliant then arrest may be necessary as a short term measure.

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