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Date Responded 17 December 2021

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:

  1. The Number of complaints of illegal hunting of wild animals in the past 2 years (or the most recent 2 years figures are available for).
  2. The number of complaints of assault of hunt monitors or saboteurs by hunt followers in the same time period.
  3. The number of prosecutions brought for both of the above in the same time period.

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with both the Corporate Development and Operations Departments 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.


To provide information which meets the criteria of your request, particularly at questions 2 and 3 would entail a member of staff manually searching over all recorded assault complaints, which would be potentially thousands, for the search period in order to ascertain which records relate to hunt monitors being assaulted by hunt followers.  As a result of this, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 18 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.


As part of your request would exceed the prescribed limit, as defined by the Act, there is no requirement for Northumbria Police to provide a response to the remaining parts of your request.  However, in order to provide you with some assistance, under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, an initial assessment of the information that may be provided within the time constraints would be question 1 and the number of prosecutions specifically for offences under the Hunting Act 2004 only.


If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.

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