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.
1. The number of reports which contain both the word ‘blade or point on school premises’ where the suspect was under 18. Please provide figures for the 2019/2020 and 2020/21 academic years (1 September to 31 July), broken down by age of suspect, local authority area and the name of the school (unless the name of the school is exempt from release).
2. For each of these incidents, if possible, please could you provide the outcome data (as used in the police.uk statistics)?
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.
I am able to disclose the located information to you as attached with all the below noted.
• Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.
• The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.
• The data has been taken from the central database using the crime and disposal tables where the keywords, 'point' and 'blade' were searched for in the MO and the location was one of the following: Classroom; Mobile classroom; Nursery school or School premises.
• As with any keyword search, the search will only return exact matches within the Crime MO. This does not account for differences in terminology and/or spelling used. Also, we cannot search the crime investigation screens/additional information screens, if the terms are not used within the MO the crime will not be identified. The MO search is limited to the first 242 characters of the MO, any information beyond that will not be searched.
• The age of the suspect was then calculated where the date of birth was available.
The name of the school will not be provided and the following exemption has been applied to withhold.
Section 40 (2) - Personal Information
Section 40 (2) is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement to consider the public interest in disclosure. That being said where Section 40(2) is engaged in order to make the exemption absolute there needs to be evidence that a data protection principle would be breached by disclosure. In this case it would not be fair to process information which, we believe by providing all the information you have requested, could lead to the identification of an individual. Therefore the first principle of the Data Protection Act would be breached.
If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.
Knives in Schools - 482/22
FOI 482-22 - Knives in Schools.pdf