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.
My request concerns police records of domestic abuse in the years 2019, 2020 and 2021. I want the figures, please, for January-May of those years for:
1. Number of calls to the police reporting an incident of domestic abuse
2. Number of arrests and charges
3. Number of prosecutions
4. Number of homicides flagged as being related to domestic abuse.
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
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.
The information requested, particularly at point 3, is not already held statistically, nor is it held in a format that would allow its extraction with the permitted 18 hour threshold.
In excess of 2500 charges would need to be reviewed to establish how many resulted in a prosecution. Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate, extract and compile this information alone would take over 208 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.
As part of your request would exceed the prescribed limit, as defined by the Act, there is no requirement for Northumbria Police to provide a response to the remaining parts of your request. However, in order to provide you with some assistance, under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, an initial assessment of the information that may be provided within the time constraints would be the remaining questions as set out above.
If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.