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Date Responded 05 March 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:

From 1 April 2017 to 20 February 2020 please detail:

  1. The number of cases where call handlers identified that a domestic abuse victim was vulnerable and there was a delay in dispatching a police officer. Please specify the length of the delay; the reason for the delay; the threat level logged by the call handler; and where possible, the nature of the reported threat and any consequences of the delay. 
  2. The number of domestic abuse-related reports assessed at a threat level higher than ‘standard’ that were allocated a scheduled-appointment by the call handler. Please detail how long the victim had to wait between the original call and the attendance of a police officer –– and if known, any consequences of the delay.
  3. The number of calls made to report coercive or controlling behaviour as a principal offence and the threat-level assigned to each call. Please detail the nature of the complaint, including whether it contained a ‘threat to kill’ and what action was taken as a result.
  4. The number of DASH assessments of domestic abuse-related offences and the threat level assigned to each report. Please detail the nature of the complaint and what action was taken as a result.
  5. The number of DASH assessments where coercive or controlling behaviour was reported as the principal offence and the threat-level assigned to each report.

Please detail the nature of the complaint, including whether it contained a ‘threat to kill’ and what action was taken as a result.

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.

The information requested is not held centrally not is it held in a format that allows its retrieval down to the detail requested within the permitted 18 hour threshold.

In excess of 32000 domestic abuse incidents are reported to Northumbria Police per year.  Each of these would require manual review to establish a response to points 1 and 2. Likewise regarding  point 3, coercive or controlling behaviour, each reported crime would need to be reviewed to establish a response to those parts. This would require in excess of 1500 recorded crimes of coercive control being reviewed.  Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as a reasonable minimum, we have estimated that to extract coercive control information alone would take over 250 hours and domestic abuse information far in excess of that, approximately   2666 hours for each year requested.  Further time would then be required to provide a response at points 3 & 4, which again in their own right would also far exceed the 18 hour threshold due to the numbers involved. Accordingly Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act is applicable. 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.

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 and the numbers involved, I see no reasonable way in which we can give a response to any part of your request within the prescribed time limit.

 

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