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Date Responded 14 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. How many reports of fraud against individuals (as opposed to businesses) were reported to your police force between the following dates:

•           1st August 2017 to July 31st 2018

•           1st August 2016 to July 31st 2017

•           1st August 2015 to July 31st 2016 

2. How many reported frauds against individuals (as opposed to businesses) resulted in a criminal conviction between the following dates:

•           1st August 2017 to July 31st 2018

•           1st August 2016 to July 31st 2017

•           1st August 2015 to July 31st 2016 

What was the age of individuals reporting fraud (non-business) to your police force between 1st of August 2015 and July 31st 2018 grouped into the following bands:

•           <18

•           18-29

•           30-39

•           40-49

•           50-59

•           60-69

•           70-79

•           80+ 

3. What types of fraud were committed within your police force’s jurisdiction against individuals and how many cases of each type of fraud were reported? 

4. What was the average monetary value of frauds committed in your jurisdiction between 1st of August 2015 and July 31st 2018 

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 in part by Northumbria Police, however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons. 

There were 4,730 victims from 4,305 crimes.  There were 2,097 victims with no monetary value attached to the crime and 2,633 with a value attached.  The total reported stolen was £8,702.093.  There were 14 victims who had over £100,000 stolen.

The Force will have a number of action fraud crimes that are dealt with within the Force, and the national team will be notified of those.  The national team will also have action fraud crimes reported independent of the Force.  These crimes may be referred back to the Force in a bundle (one crime number with several crimes incorporated), these are the crimes that will have several other related crimes within them.  To identify these we would have to read through all of the action fraud crimes.  We have estimated that to extract this information would take well over the permitted 18 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 your request.

Although excess cost removes Northumbria Police's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information attached, relative to your request, retrieved or available before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded. I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of your request.  However, please bear this context in mind when reviewing the data. 

It should be noted that the vast majority of fraud are recorded by National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) via Action Fraud, not the police. The Home Office counting rules explain in detail, which types of fraud are recorded by NFIB; these include Cheque, plastic card, and online bank accounts; application fraud (e.g. opening an account using fake or false documents); etc.  Police forces record frauds that fall outside of the scope of NFIB. This section of the home Office counting Rules describes those types of crime including Counterfeit money, Possessing article used in fraud, Fraud associated with driver records, etc. 

This request may be concerned with those types of crimes reported to Action Fraud rather than the police.

Additionally, ‘Action Frauds’ recorded on the Force crime recording system relate to both i) reports of fraud where we redirect the victim to contact Action Fraud, and ii) notifications from Action Fraud for the Force to investigate a crime. 

With regards to question 2.  No information held.  We do not hold conviction data, this can be sourced from Her Majesty’s Courts. 

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