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.
I would like to request figures for the number of reported graffitiing/vandalism crimes carried out in Sunderland in 2017 if possible.
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 requested is not held in a format that allows its extraction within the permitted 18 hour threshold. We do not have specific codes for vandalism and /or graffiti. We can only search using various Criminal Damage codes. Between the dates of your request, we searched the following codes:
- Criminal damage to a dwelling
- Criminal damage to a motor vehicle
- Damage other than dwelling
- Damage other
- Damage to a boat
- Damage to a telephone
- Endangering life
- Racially aggravated criminal damage to a building other than a dwelling
- Racially aggravated criminal damage to a vehicle
- Racially aggravated damage to a dwelling
- Racially aggravated other criminal damage
- Racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage to a building other than a dwelling
- Racially or religiously aggravated other criminal damage
- Religiously aggravated criminal damage to a building other than a dwelling
- Religiously aggravated damage to a dwelling
- Religiously aggravated other criminal damage
This brought back 3069 crimes in the sectors Sunderland North, Sunderland South, Sunderland East and Sunderland West. Each of those crimes would require a manual review to see if the word graffiti or vandalism had been mentioned as the reason for the damage caused. Even at a conservative estimate of 2 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take well over 102 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.
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.