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Covid Breaches Police Officers & Staff - 297/21

Date Responded 07 April 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. Please disclose, since the start of March 2020, how many serving officers or police staff have been investigated/fined for breaches of the coronavirus legislation.  For each instance, please disclose.
  2. Their role (police staff, officer, detective etc)
  3. A summary of the allegation against them (i.e. a police staff member was fined after they were found inside a property with three other households)
  4. If they were fined, and if so, how much
  5. If the case had been passed to Professional Standards for an internal investigation

In Response:

As advised in our acknowledgement email this request has been aggregated with your previous requests (FOI’s 1909/20, 43/21 and 114/21) with regards to time constraints under the Act, as they refer to the same subject area – Covid, and also with all being received within 60 working days of each other.

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with both the Fixed Penalty Unit and the Professional Standards Department of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

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

With regards to police officers, at points 1-4 I respond as follows:

As the information you have requested is accessible by other means I have not provided you with a copy of the information and will rely on Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  You should therefore consider this a refusal for your request.

I have provided an explanation to this exemption below.

Section 21 (1) - Information accessible by other means

Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant is exempt information.

This information has  been asked for previously, released and is published on the Northumbria Police Disclosure Log, FOI 243/21 refers and the link to the Log is below.  This answers point 1-4

With regards to information regarding police staff:

  1. 1 x PCSO
  2. Meeting with a person from another household
  3. £100
  4. All four have been recorded and were addressed via Practice Requiring Improvement via the Reflective Practice Review Process.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete.  However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes.  The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.  As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

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