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Criminal damage to dwellings - 1265/18

Date Responded 03 January 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:

Please provide the following Force-wide statistics over the past three years up to date broken down by year:-

1 Jan 2018 -- 5 Dec 2018

1 Jan 2017 -- 31 Dec 2017

1 Jan 2016 -- 31 Dec 2016

  1. What is the total number of recorded offences of criminal damage by fire to dwellings?
  2. What is the total number of recorded offences of other forms of criminal damage (excluding those by fire) to dwellings?
  3. What is the total number of other offences involving dwelling (excluding offences falling under the Criminal Damage Act 1971), e. g. burglaries?


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.

To provide information which meets the criteria of your request, particularly at questions 1 would entail a member of staff manually searching over 3715 cases of arson to identify if the location type is recorded as dwelling. 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 185 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.

Similarly for questions 2 and 3, the research would involve the review of thousands of crimes to try and extract the data requested and accordingly the exemption outlined above would apply to these parts of your request should we remove question 1.

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.

Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another. Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data. For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

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