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Hate Crimes Against Gypsy, Roma and Travellers - 466/20

Date Responded 19 March 2020

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:

I would like to know the number of hate crimes recorded against individuals from Gypsy, Roma or Traveller backgrounds since 2015.

I require the information to show:

- What type of hate crime was reported? (Physical violence/verbal abuse etc)

- The year the offence was reported

- The age of the victim

- The outcome of the incident

In Response:

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.

There are no search facilities available to us that would allow us to extract the information specific to your request, ie to identify whether someone is from Gypsy, Roma or Traveller backgrounds.  Every racial hate crime would need to be manually reviewed to establish if any met the specifics of this submission.  Initial searches for the time period 01/01/2019 to 16/03/2020 have brought back in excess of 1740 racial hate crime cases.  Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information for that time period alone would take over 87 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 for 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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