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Fraud and Economic crime - 508/18

Date Responded 06 June 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:

How many fraud and economic crime offences were committed in a workplace (any public and private limited companies) by an employee or employer between January 1st 2015 – December 31st 2017? If possible can these offences be broken-down by crime type and year

Tax Evasion

Benefit Fraud

Money Laundering

Online fraud

Identity fraud

Banking fraud

Investment fraud

Bribery / Corruption

Electoral fraud

Fraud by abuse of position

Other

In Response:

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 specific to your request is not held in a format that allows its retrieval within the permitted time constraints.  There have been 5,514 fraud crimes in 2015, 2016 and 2017.  Each of these crimes would require a manual review to find out if the suspect was an employer or employee.  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 275 hours, therefore Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act would apply.  Additionally, we also searched under Home Office codes for the offences you listed above but there are only a few offences under these HO codes and none of these fit the employer or employee category requested.  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 that part of 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.

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