Missing Children - 1045/19

Date Responded 17 September 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. How many missing children have been found when a warrant for drugs is executed?
  2. What are the age ranges of the children found on these warrants?
  3. Which counties were the found missing children missing from?

Please provide data for the last three years split into year calendar year. Please split the children into Male and Female.

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Safeguarding Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held in part by Northumbria Police, however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.

To establish a response for your request would require approximately 18,000 warrant records to be located and manually reviewed to establish which were specific to a warrant executed for drugs, to then ascertain who was present at the time of the search, each person would then need to be checked to establish if they were a child, their gender and age range.  Each child’s record would then need examining to discover whether they were missing at the time of the warrant being executed.  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 1,500 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.

When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under Section 16 of the Act would normally entail that we contact you to determine whether it is possible to refine the scope of your request to bring it within the cost limits.  However, from the information we have outlined above I see no reasonable way in which we can do so.

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