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 you to provide me with the following information:
1. Hate crimes and incidents recorded. For each, the total number and the breakdown by monitored strand (race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and transgender, or other classification available) and by offence type (violence against the person, public order offences, criminal damage and arson…, or other classification available), for each month of the calendar years 2015, 2016 and 2017.
2. Hate crimes and incidents flagged as online crime recorded. For each, the total number and the breakdown by monitored strand (race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and transgender, or other classification available) and by offence type (violence against the person, public order offences, criminal damage and arson…, or other classification available), for each month of the calendar years 2015, 2016 and 2017.
3. In the cases classified as religious hate crime, the breakdown by the perceived (by the offender) religion (or belief or faith) of the victim.
4. The date since when the online crime flag is being used by this police force.
We then received clarity from you and you said ‘I would like to clarify that by "Hate crimes and incidents flagged as online crime recorded" I mean crimes which have occurred online (cyber crime), no matter if they have later been reported online or in other ways.’
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 can be retrieved within the permitted time allowed. To explain, incidents are not broken down by offence type. The cyber flag is only used on crimes. There is a qualifier code which can be applied to incidents with a cyber element but as only two qualifiers can be applied per incident and one of these will be a hate qualifier, it is unlikely this will be a reliable measure of cyber related incidents. Each crime/incident may fall into more than one category. For example if a crime was motivated by both faith and race this crime would be counted once in each category. This means that all hate crimes do not equal the overall total of hate crimes/incidents. Therefore to establish if an incident has a cyber element, each incident would have to be read. As there are 5288 hate incidents, each one would have to be manually reviewed to obtain this information. Even at a conservative estimate of 3 mins per record, this would take in excess of 18 hours to complete. 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 below, relative your request, retrieved or available before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded.
With the above in mind, the information provided is the total for each strand by month and year only. Please see attached spreadsheet. 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.
Additionally, if you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.
FOI 308-18 - Hate Crime