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Date Responded 07 September 2018

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) For the calendar years 2016 and 2017 and the period 1st January 2018 to 22nd August 2018, could you tell me how many crime reports have mentioned the drug "monkey dust" also known as "MDPV"? 

2) If it is within the time/cost limit set out by the FOI Act, could you provide brief details of each crime report mentioning "monkey dust" or "MDPV"?


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. 

As there is no Home Office classification  specifically relating to this drug, it will likely fall under offences relating to other Class B drugs,  and therefore we are unable to specifically search for it to ascertain if the information is actually held .

However, in order to try to assist you, the MOs of crimes created between 01/01/2016 and 22/08/2018 have been searched for the terms "monkey dust" and/or "MDVP." This search has returned no results. As with any keyword search, the search will only return exact matches within the Crime MO. This does not account for differences in terminology and/or spelling used. Additionally as we are unable to search the crime investigation screens/additional information screens, if the terms are not used within the MO the crime will not be identified. 

We are therefore unable to state with any accuracy that we hold or do not hold the information you are seeking.

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