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.
Please provide a copy of all problem profile assessments produced or commissioned by your police force related to child sexual exploitation in your force area from January 1st 2019 to date.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within 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 the below exemptions noted with regards to the exemptions made and applied to the relevant information.
Section 40(2) - Personal Information
Section 40 is an absolute, class-based exemption there is no requirement for us to evidence the harm in disclosure or apply a public interest test. Any information which relates to third parties, if disclosed, would breach the data protection principles of the Data Protection Act.
Section 31(1)(a) - Law Enforcement
As Section 31 is a prejudice-based, qualified exemption there is the requirement for us to articulate the harm that would be caused in confirming or not whether information is held as well as considering the public interest test.
In order to prevent and detect crime or disorder and maintain public safety, the public expect Northumbria Police along with all other forces and other law enforcement agencies to use all powers and tactics available. Police forces and intelligence agencies are reliant upon the flow of information and the release of operationally sensitive information would have a substantial prejudicial impact on the ability to carry out and apply law enforcement. This would cause subsequent harm to the Police service’s ability to protect the public it serves and could prejudice its ability to perform core functions such as the prevention and detection of crime. By disclosing such information to the public would impact on the ability of Northumbria Police to prevent and detect certain offences, which would in turn lead to members of the public being at an increased risk of harm.
Public Interest Test
Factors Favouring Disclosure
Disclosure of this information would allow the public to better informed and understand the resources available to Northumbria Police as it seeks to continue the prevention and detection of such crime. It would also serve to reassurance the public that adequate resources are in place to protect the Community form such offenders and offences.
Factors Against Disclosure
Disclosing such information would greatly compromise law enforcement tactics by identifying areas where investigations are being concentrated and therefore identifying to those where such information would be useful what investigations and efforts to enforce are or are not being concentrated, thereby greatly influencing the valuable purpose of this resource and encourage the unlawful practices of criminals. Any increase in crime committed would have an impact on other police resources, thereby hindering the prevention and detection of crime.
The Police is tasked with protecting the community we serve and solving crime and there is a public interest argument in ensuring we are open and transparent with regard to policing investigations and operations. There is no doubt that for the issues outlined above, any disclosure of such information would jeopardise those important roles and place individuals at serious risk of harm. Therefore it is our opinion that the balance of the public interest favours withholding the information.
You should consider this to be a refusal notice under Section 17 of the Act for parts of your request.
In addition to the above the below exemption is also applicable.
Section 23(5) Information supplied by, or concerning, certain Security Bodies
Northumbria Police can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any other information with regard to an exempt body as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply by virtue of the following exemption:
Section 23(5) Information Supplied by, or concerning, certain Security Bodies
Section 23 is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement to consider the public interest in this case.
Problem profiles - 1634/20
FOI 1634-20 REDACTED.pdf