Date Responded 29 June 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:

Please provide the number of credit card fraud cases recorded in your authority over the most recent five years?


In Response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidelines state that:
A public authority must confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit.
I can neither confirm nor deny that the information you require is held by Northumbria Police as to actually determine if it is held would exceed the permitted 18 hours therefore Section 12(2) 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.
I have set out the reasons for this below.

Credit card fraud is all part of a larger number of crimes that fall under action fraud. Action fraud is dealt with centrally where the offences are investigated and then disseminated to the Force where the perpetrator resides for further investigation/action. As credit card fraud is categorised as action fraud, we would have to review all the action fraud cases to find those that related to credit card fraud. In the fiscal year 2020/21 alone there were in excess of 1,700 action fraud offences, each of which would require a manual review to establish, how many , if any, related to Credit Cards. This cannot be achieved within 18 hours and has been estimated as exceeding 1700 hours for that time period alone.
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 may wish to redirect your query to Action Fraud or the Office for National Statistics to see if they are able to assist with your query.

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