Date Responded 09 February 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:

  1. The total number of dog theft crime reports made in 2015/2016/2017/2018/2019/2020/2021, broken down by month and year.
  2. All individual dog theft crime reports made in 2015/2016/2017/2018/2019/2020/2021, one per line.  I would like to ask for a list of each individual crime report covering those time periods, one crime report per line, with as much detail as is immediately available without having to spend a lot of time digging into other systems.  Ideally, each line would look something like like:

Crime ID    Date        Time    Longitude   Latitude    Location Type    

ffa5fa63    2021-01-25  15:01   -2.509930   51.410873   Street

547cb8a7    2021-01-24  12:05   -2.509930   51.410873   Residential Building

If there are any other details logged, such as breed of dog, I would like them included.

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.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

We do not hold data at longitude and latitude level.  Rather than refuse your request we have provided what we are able to extract.  We have therefore provided data by sector level.

The crime reference number is personal data of the victim, therefore will not be disclosed.

Section 40 (2) - Personal Information

Section 40 (2) is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement to consider the public interest in disclosure.  That being said where Section 40(2) is engaged in order to make the exemption absolute there needs to be evidence that a data protection principle would be breached by disclosure.  In this case it would not be fair to process information which, we believe by providing all the information you have requested, would lead to the identification of an individual.  Therefore the first principle of the Data Protection Act would be breached.

When viewing the figures it should be noted that every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete.  However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes.  The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.  As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

Data has been taken from relevant systems and a manual review had to be made where some of the information was not apparent within the recording systems used.

The "Location" data relates to the first listed location for each crime.

The date in Q2 relates to the date that each crime was created as per crime counting rules. The time relates to the (approximate) time that the crime was stated to have happened; note that in some cases this won't be known (eg, a dog was stolen at some point in a two hour window, or a dog was taken from an unoccupied house.)

Crimes have been filtered based on actually being theft and a dog being noted as either stolen or recovered.  Those that did not meet this criteria, ie where a dog may have been used as a means of intimidation in a robbery have been removed.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

With all the caveats above noted I respond as attached.

Dog Thefts - 138/21

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