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Knife and gun crimes - 363/18

Date Responded 18 May 2018

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) Please provide, in .csv or .xls format, a list of the following data about firearm crime offences for the calendar years 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

•           The date of the offence

•           The major crime category (e.g. violence against the person, possession of weapons)

•           The minor crime category (e.g. wounding / GBH, theft from person)

•           The latitude and longitude of the offence*

 

2) Please provide, in .csv or .xls format, a list the following details about knife crime offences for the calendar years 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

•           The date of the crime

•           The major crime category (e.g. violence against the person, possession of weapons)

•           The minor crime category (e.g. wounding / GBH, theft from person)

•           The latitude and longitude of the offence*

 

*Note – the location data I'm seeking is released in this format through the API on data.police.uk.

Please provide this data as two separate datasets, one for gun crime and one for knife crime.

 

We then notified you on 13th April 2018, and explained that early indications showed that your request would exceed the 18 hour threshold.  In that email we informed you of what we may be able to provide if you took out the latitude and longitude and replaced the breakdown by monthly data.

As we had not heard from you within the 20 days, we had closed your FOI request, which we mentioned in that email.

On 3rd May 2018, you responded to our initial email from 13th April and said the following.

To be clear, the British National Grid (Eastings and Northings) co-ordinates for each crime are snapped to the street centre line for each crime from data automatically provided. Clearly this information is easy to pull off the filtered results for knife crime. This information has been provided for numerous other requests and there seems no basis to suggest this should take anything like the 18 hours limit to put together. I'm happy to show you many of the responses already received as an illustration. If not, please consider this a request for a internal review.

 

We then progressed with your original submission.

In Response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

 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 cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.

 The information is not held in a format that allows us to retrieve the data within 18 hours, particularly the latitude and longitude of the offence.  We do not hold the data in the same format as Police.gov.uk, their data is created from data provided by Northumbria Police using an algorithm that places all incidents within a given area at the centroid of that area.  To narrow your request down to this level would involve a manual review of all of those crimes for the time period requested. Initial indications are that there are in excess of 600 crimes that fit the criteria of your request. 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 50 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

I can advise that had Section 12 not been fully applicable other exemptions would have been considered and applied where relevant, in this case Sections 30 – Investigations  and 40 – Personal Information would have been applicable due to the level of detail being requested.

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 what we advised in our email to you dated 13th April 2018, which is now copied below. 

1) Please provide a list of the following data about firearm crime offences for the calendar years 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, broken down by month.

a)    The major crime category (e.g. violence against the person, possession of weapons)

b)    The minor crime category (e.g. wounding / GBH, theft from person)

c)    The local authority area of the offence

2) Please provide a list the following details about knife crime offences for the calendar years 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, broken down by month.

a)    The major crime category (e.g. violence against the person, possession of weapons)

b)    The minor crime category (e.g. wounding / GBH, theft from person)

c)    The local authority area of the offence.

Please provide this data as two separate datasets, one for gun crime and one for knife crime.

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

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