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 planned unlicensed music events - "illegal raves" have been recorded in the last 5 years, in Newcastle and Sunderland.
Please can the figures be given per year for each city. So for example, Newcastle 2014 = X, Sunderland 2014 = X and so on.
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police, however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.
There is no easy way to conduct searches on our systems to extract the requested information. Initial searches were made on the keywords 'Rave' and 'Unlicensed Music' which were recorded as being 'neighbour dispute/noise problem' or 'licensing'. These searches brought back 668 incidents for a two year period alone. Each of these would require a manual review to establish if any related to 'rave'. Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have established that this would equate to over 33 hours work therefore S12 is appropriate. Additionally, this will be significantly more for the full search period requested and down to the locations of Newcastle and Sunderland .
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.