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Incidents/Crimes at Colleges - 015/20

Date Responded 21 January 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:

  1. The number of drug offences reported at colleges or further education establishments under the force’s jurisdiction in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.  If possible, could you also detail the types of offences.
  2. The number of Modern Slavery Act offences reported at colleges or further education establishments under the force’s jurisdiction in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
  3. The number of hate crime offences reported at colleges or further education establishments under the force’s jurisdiction in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.  If possible, could you also detail the types of social identities targeted and the types of incidents.
  4. The number of harassment offences reported at colleges or further education establishments under the force’s jurisdiction in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.  If possible, could you also detail the types of social identities targeted and the types of incidents.
  5. The number of individuals subject to a Prevent referrals at colleges or further education establishments, or from their staff, under the force’s jurisdiction in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.  If possible, could you also detail the types of referrals/radicalisations including suspected far-right extremism and Islamist extremism.
  6. The number of knife crime offences at colleges or further education establishments, or from their staff, under the force’s jurisdiction in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.  If possible, could you also detail the types of offences, including the number of people reported to be in possession of a knife, the number of knives seized on campuses and the number of assaults or injuries reported on college grounds related to knives, in each of the years.

In Response:

As per our acknowledgement, your 4 requests have been aggregated due to cost/time constraints as they are all on the same subject matter.

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 will not be disclosed for the following reasons.

To establish a response specific to your request would entail a manual search of approximately 820 records which detail crimes occurring with a location of "college", "halls of residence" and "university" to see if the offences occurred specifically in one of the locations specified in the request.  We would also need to check that the offence was under Northumbria Police’s jurisdiction and not reported by a student studying out of force and reporting when they have returned home.  Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 68 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.

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 data based on it being at an educational institute, or higher educational institute, irrespective of jurisdiction (i.e. ignoring the circumstance of a student returning home and reporting a crime to their local police force) for the number of drug crimes, instances of modern slavery, knife crime, hate crime and harassment.  If that would be useful you may wish to define and resubmit your request accordingly.

With regards to point 5 - Information relating to the Prevent scheme is available in the public domain and the number of referrals made at a national level is published. (See below)

https://www.npcc.police.uk/CounterTerrorism/Prevent.aspx

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/individuals-referred-to-and-supported-through-the-prevent-programme-april-2017-to-march-2018

However, due to the highly sensitive nature of the subject matter, the risk of identification and harm to policing, the number of prevent referrals will not be broken down further and would be fully exempt from disclosure under Section 31 (1) (a) ‘Law Enforcement’ and Section 24 (1).

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