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.
1) What are the different categories of crime into which police must place each offence?
2) The number of Police Cautions handed out over the past 5 years, broken down into each year, and the offences they were given for.
3) The number of Conditional Police Cautions handed out over the past 5 years, broken down into each year, and the offences they were given for.
4) The number of people who received a caution who had a prior conviction or caution on their criminal record, over the past 5 years, broken down into each year.
5) The total number of offenders charged and the total number cautioned, broken down by each year over the past 5 years.
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 by Northumbria Police, however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.
To provide information which meets the criteria of your request, particularly at question 4 would entail a member of staff manually searching over 4500 records. Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 227 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.
Although excess cost removes Northumbria Police's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information below, relative to your request, retrieved or available before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded. I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of your request.
With regards to question 1.
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 can be found via a simple search for Home Office Counting Rules on the Government website.
Information relating to question 2, 3 & 5 is attached.