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 incidents were reported in your area in the period from 30 January 2018 to 30 January 2019 where the complainant was an MP and the incident was in relation to their personal safety?
- [if you hold this data] How many prosecutions were there in your area in the period from 30 January 2018 to 30 January 2019 where the complainant was an MP and the incident was in relation to their personal safety?
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.
Initial searches were carried out for incidents that were opened as ‘concern for safety’. This brought back in excess of 14,600 incidents for the time period requested. Each of those would require a manual review to establish if any victim had been recorded as being an MP. Even at a conservative estimate of 2 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that this exercise would take over 486 hours.
You should note however that had Section 12(2) not been relevant we would have neither confirmed nor denied any information was held and appropriate exemptions would have been applied to withhold.