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.
Please send information on illegal drugs intercepted in the mail by police since 1 January 2019. Please state the
1. number of interceptions,
2. what month each interception was made,
3. the type and
4. quantity of drug intercepted and
5. what format it was posted in (envelope, card, parcel etc.).
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Crime 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.
To establish a response at points 3, 4 and 5 would require the details of approximately 460 drug seizures to be located and manually reviewed to establish what information, if any, is recorded to specific to those parts of your request. Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 38 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.
When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under 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 I see no reasonable way in which we can do so.
You should note that had Section 12 not been fully applicable other exemptions would have been considered and applied, where relevant, to withhold.