Crimes & ASB Incidents - 062/20

Date Responded 18 February 2020

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:

All of the below relates to the BCU Newcastle-Upon-Tyne located within the Northumbria Policing Area.

  1. A crime by crime breakdown (one crime per line) including:

a.Type of Crime (as defined by Home Office Counting Rules)

b. Date of offence

c. Time of Offence

d. Whether or not the Crime has had a sanction detection (Y/N)

If any of the above cannot be supplied please ignore and supply all data that is available.


2.An ASB incident by ASB incident breakdown (one incident per line) including:

a. Type of ASB (as defined by your ASB incident recording system)

b. Date of ASB incident

c. Time of ASB incident

If any of the above cannot be supplied please ignore and supply all data that is available.

Can all of the above be supplied for the period 1st April 2014 to 31st December 2019.

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

Section 14(1) of the FOIA states that section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the request is vexatious.

The Commissioner's guidance on the application of Section 14(1) indicates that the key question for a public authority is whether the request is likely to cause a disproportionate or unjustified level of disruption, irritation or distress.  In this case it is the disruption area that is relevant to this request.  I have set out our rationale for our refusal under 314(1) below.

No public interest test is applicable for this exemption.

The data requested in question 1 has returned 209,116 crimes and for question 2 has returned 7,517 incidents.  Each of these incidents and crimes, would require a manual review in order to take out any sensitive information, personal data and also whether any were part of an on-going investigation.  This process would inevitably be burdensome as the FOl Team would be responsible for reading and redacting this information.  Even at an average read through time of 1 minutes per crime/incident we have estimated that to do this would take in excess of 3,600 hours.  This exercise would require a member of staff being abstracted from their day-to-day duties to establish if any information relevant to your request is held throughout these files.  This would impose a significant burden on the small team dealing with FOI requests.

I have considered the Information Commissioner's latest published guidance, Dealing with vexatious requests (Section 14)", particularly taking into account the volume of information that needs to be extensively reviewed in order to identify anything relevant to your application, as well as any information that needs to be considered for redaction, and the resulting burden it would place on Northumbria Police in doing so.  I therefore consider Section 14(1) relevant and appropriate to your request.

Under Section 16 of the Act we would normally 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.


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