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.
The number of hate crimes reported where the victim was identified as Gypsy, Roma or Traveller. If possible, I would also like this information broken down by the ethnic group of the victim i.e. Gypsy, Roma or Traveller. I would like this information for the last five years, broken down by year i.e. 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
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 held in a format that allows us to provide a response within the permitted 18 hours.
"Gypsy", "Roma" and "Traveller" are not options within the self-class ethnicity that we can perform an electronic search on, therefore a manual review of all 8,040 hate crimes within the time period specified would be required in order to establish whether any were regarded as anti-traveller hate crimes. At an estimated average rate of three minutes per incident to establish both of these criteria, this would exceed the time/cost limitations. 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.