Date Responded 24 January 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:

1: A year by year breakdown of the number of times police were called to seize or confiscate illegal drugs from school premises in the period from 1st January 2014 to the 31st of December 2019. Schools include; primary school, secondary school, academies and sixth form colleges.

2: What was the type of drug involved on each occasion?

3: What was the amount or volume of the drug involved on each occasion?

4: What was the gender of the person it was seized from on each occasion?

5: How old was the person it was seized from on each occasion? Please specify in the following age ranges: 0-11, 12-16, or 17+

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 in a format that allows its extraction with the permitted 18 hour threshold.  Initial searches were carried out for all incidents with any opening or closing drug codes where the location was an educational establishment. This brought back 486 results. Each of those returns would need to be manually reviewed to establish how many of those were actually drug related.  This alone would not ensure accuracy as some incidents may be recorded initially as other offences. However those 486 incidents have been estimated to far exceed the permitted 18 hour threshold.  (Further time would then be required to provide a response to the remainder of your request.)  Additionally point 3 in its own right would exceed the 18 hours.  This  is due to the drug seizures being recorded under the property system on central systems not linked to the Crimes.  A list of locations of all schools would be required to check for seizure location (sector/beat) .  Then each of the seizure locations for the school would need checking, with each crime/property/drug reviewing, per year.   As such  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 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 number of drug crimes noted within schools and the type of drug found (where possible).

If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.


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