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Juvenille arrests - 518/19

Date Responded 14 June 2019

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.In the 2018 calendar year how many juveniles (children aged 10-17 inclusive) did you arrest who had already been arrested at least 49 previous times by your force in their past?

  1. For each individual please state
  • the total number of times they have been arrested by your force,
  • (ii) their age when first arrested,
  • (iii) their age when last arrested and
  • (iv) a breakdown of the offences for which they were arrested.

 

In Response:

1 & 2(i)

 

Person

Count

Person 1

53

Person 2

74

Person 3

123

Person 4

135

Total

385

 

2(ii) & (iii)

ii)

Age when first arrested

       
 

Age

Count

 
 

10

1

 
 

11

1

 
 

12

1

 
 

13

1

 
 

Total

4

 
       

iii)

Age when last arrested

       
 

Age

Count

 
 

15

1

 
 

17

3

 
 

Total

4

 

 

With regards to point 2 (iv) the below exemptions have been considered as applicable.

Section 40 (2) Personal Information

This is an absolute exemption and therefore a Public Interest Test is not relevant.  However, for clarity, I will explain my rationale for engaging this exemption.

Section 40(2) provides that information is exempt if it is the personal data of someone other than the applicant and disclosure would breach any of the data protection principles. The term ‘personal data’ means data that relates to a living individual who can be identified.  This may take an obvious form of ‘personal’ such as a name but can also include information from which a person can be identified. Providing information of this nature would be like providing a crib sheet of a young individual’s criminal record. Information of this nature would identify this individual to someone in the local community. It is worth noting a person would probably be known in the local community and their offences distinguishable to someone. The concern is if all of the information provided above was linked with this crib sheet a member of the public would then be able to know the other offences committed by this individual or offences which are not associated with the individual.

A disclosure in this instance, because it is so specific, would infringe the first Data Protection Principle, in that it would be both unlawful and unfair

Section 31 (1) Law Enforcement

Factors Favouring Disclosure

Disclosure would lead to a better awareness for the community in relation to this topic area enabling informed public debate to be undertaken.

Factors against Disclosure

Information of this nature could highlight vulnerabilities within policing by identifying a high focus of juvenile crime in relation to a particular type of crime i.e. county lines related offending. Additionally if it is identified that one person was the ‘top offender’ it may encourage other youths to try and beat the total and get in as much trouble with the police as possible.

Whist we attempt to put as much information into the public domain as we can, we do not do so if this would jeopardise Law Enforcement or harm any individual or the wider public.

Balancing Test:

Public safety and the ability to deliver effective law enforcement is of paramount importance. Disclosure  would undoubtedly compromise  law enforcement for the reasons already outlined above. Therefore, at this moment in time, it is our opinion that for these issues the balancing test against confirming whether or not information is held is not made out.

 

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