Faith & Belief Abuse - 1293/21

Date Responded 12 October 2021

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:

For each calendar year 2018, 2019 and 2020 and for the period 1st January 2021 to 28th September 2021, please could you tell me:


1) The number of cases of abuse linked to faith or belief that have been reported

2) A brief description of each case and the outcome if known (i.e. charge/summons, caution, etc)


You provided links to child faith or belief abuse, which indicated that you were asking for child victims of such cases.

In Response:

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.


The information requested is not already collated nor is it held in a format that would allow its extraction from recording systems within the permitted 18 hours, accordingly a manual review of almost all crimes with a victim under 18 would be required. In the time period specified, there were 37882 crimes with a listed victim under 18 .  Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 1894 hours, therefore Section 12 (2)is applicable. 


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.

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