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Crime at Halloween - 1181/19

Date Responded 07 November 2019

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) For the 15 hour period of 31st October to 1st November, a record of all crime reports you received in each of the last three financial years (2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19) that mentioned the phrase 'trick-or-treat' or 'trick or treat'.

For each one, please detail:

a) the police division/local policing unit/neighbourhood in which it took place

b) the time it was reported

c) a description of the incident

d) the crime outcome

Please conduct this search of your records with and without hyphens for 'trick or treat'.

Please begin the search at 17:00 on 31st October and end it at 08:00 on 1st November.

2) The number of crimes recorded you received between 17:00 on 31st October and 08:00 on 1st November in each of the last three financial years (2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19)

For each one please detail

a) the police division/local policing unit/neighbourhood in which it took place

b) the time it was reported

c) a description of the incident

d) the crime outcome

3) A record of all crime reports you received between 00:00 on 31rst October and 23:50 on 1st

November in each of the last three financial years (2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19) where people were wearing fancy dress costumes for the last 3 financial year (2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19).

I would like the following details for each incident:

a) The date and location of the incident

b) The type(s) of fancy dress costume(s) involved

c) The nature of the incident - e.g. suspicious circumstances, criminal damage - and,if possible, a brief description of what occurred.

d) The outcome of the incident - e.g. whether anybody was arrested, cautioned etc.

In Response:

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 in part by Northumbria Police however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.

The information requested is not held in a format that allows its extraction within the permitted 18 hour threshold.  This is particularly relevant at point 3.  For the time periods requested in excess of 2,620 offences were reported.  Each report would need to be manually reviewed to establish if any individual involved was wearing ‘fancy dress’.  Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate and extract this information alone would take over 131 hours.  Further time would then be needed to establish the dates and locations, type of fancy dress, nature of the incident and the outcome.  As we have estimated point 3 far exceeding 18 hours Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act applies. 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.

When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under As part of your request would exceed the prescribed limit, as defined by the Act, there is no requirement for Northumbria Police to provide a response to the remaining parts of your request. However, in order to provide you with some assistance, under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, an initial assessment of the information that may be provided within the time constraints would be question 2 only, as set out above.

If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.

I can advise there are no crimes recorded that fit the criteria at point 1.

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