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.
How many detained persons have made a claim that they are a victim of
(a) modern slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour;
(b) human trafficking
in the financial year 2020-21 and each of the previous five years (2015-16 to 2019-20)?
(If figures are not available by financial year please provide data in whatever time set is available, such as calendar year.)
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidelines state that:
A public authority must confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit.
I can neither confirm nor deny that the information you require is held by Northumbria Police as to actually determine if it is held would exceed the permitted 18 hours therefore Section 12(2) 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.
I have set out the reasons for this below.
The information requested is not already held statistically nor is it held in a format which would allow its locating, extraction and compilation within the permitted 18 hours. Each custody record for the time period requested would require a manual review to establish if it had been recorded that detained persons have made a claim that they are a victim of modern slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour or human trafficking. With tens of thousands of records per year which would require review, this exercise cannot be achieved for even a one year period. Section 12(2) is therefore applicable.