Date Responded 24 February 2021

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 call-outs have the police received for bars and pubs breaching Covid-19 restrictions for the following months: March 2020, April 2020, May 2020, June 2020, July 2020, August 2020, September 2020, October 2020, November 2020, December 2020.
  2. Were there any pubs or bars that repeatedly broke Covid-19 restrictions?
  3. How many pubs or bars repeatedly broke Covid-19 restrictions?
  4. How much did it cost the police force for each call-out in response to a bar or pub breaching Covid-19 restrictions?
  5. What punishments did those pubs or bars that broke Covid-19 restrictions receive?
  6. What was the largest fine issued to a pub or bar for breaking Covid-19 restrictions?

In Response:

The information requested is not already held statistically, nor is it held in a format that would allow its extraction within the permitted 18 hour threshold. To even try to attempt to answer point 1 alone would require in excess of 5900 recorded incidents where Covid breaches had been reported via 999, phone call or web submissions being reviewed to establish if it had been recorded that the location was bar or pub.  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 300 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.  Further time would then be needed to supply a response to the remainder of the questions.

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.

You should note, in response to point 4, such cost are not calculated.  This is part of officers normal day to day duties. As with any other incident or crime, costs are not calculated down to such levels and there is no reason for this to be calculated.

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