Date Responded 23 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 can you provide the below information for each of the calendar years 2018; 2019 and 2020, as well as from the period 01/01/21 to 31/05/21.

1) How many pregnant women were held in custody- following an arrest- by your police force over this period? 1a) Please state the offence they were being arrested in relation to.
2) What was the age of the youngest of these pregnant women (at the time)?
3) Please can you tell me, if such tactics were deemed necessary, all of the cases where a police restraint technique (for example, but not limited to the prone position) was used on one of these pregnant detainees in the police station/custody following arrest.
3a) Please specify the technique used in each of the cases and if a man or a female officer was the person doing the restraint.
3b) Please can you also tell me the youngest age (at the time) of the person out of the identified pregnant women who was restrained using one of the police techniques specified in Q3a.

Of course, you may not have realised the woman was pregnant when you first arrested her, but this may have emerged later. Can these incidences be included in the tally (along with women you knew were pregnant when the officer(s) first responded to the incident which led to her arrest).

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.

In the time period requested in excess of 15,700 arrest subjects have been listed as female.  (This does not include those that are blank or unknown)  Each of those cases would require a manual review of records to establish if it had been disclosed and noted that the person was pregnant. Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information alone would take over 785 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.

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.

 

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