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Hunting Incidents - 641/20

Date Responded 05 May 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:

For each year from 1st January 2015:

  1. The number of complaints made to the Northumbria Police by members of the public, regarding the activity of hunts (fox hunts/trail hunts) on roads, including the presence of hunting hounds on roads.
  2. Details of all incidents of hunting hounds being killed or injured on roads, including the date, location, description of the incident and any action taken in response by Northumbria Police.
  3. Details of all incidents of hunting hounds being unattended or lost on roads, including the date, location, description of the incident and any action taken in response by the Northumbria Police.
  4. Details of all incidents of hunting hounds chasing other animals on roads, including the date, location, description of the incident and any action taken in response by Northumbria Police.
  5. Details of all other incidents of hunts and/or their hounds causing disruption to road users and traffic, including the date, location, description of the incident and any action taken in response by Northumbria Police.

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.

We are unable to offer a response to this submission as there is no easy way in which we can provide a response to the questions within the 18 hour time constraint.  A manual review of thousands of logs that relate to/ mention  wildlife, Dogs on road; Dogs killed on road; Stray dogs; Disruption to traffic; hunting to name a few would be required.  No parts of this request can be achieved within 18 hours and 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, even for a considerably shorter time period.

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