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.
1. Please can you provide how many Unlicensed Music Events (UME) or illegal "raves"* have been reported in each of the following years: 2007, -, 2018.*A ‘rave’ is defined, under S63-65 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, as a gathering on land in the open air of 20 or more persons (whether or not trespassers) or 20 or more people who are trespassers in a building at which amplified music is played during the night, which is by reason of its loudness and the duration and time at which it is played, likely to cause serious distress to the inhabitants of the locality.
2. What provisions or resources does your force actively employ to disturb, disrupt, or stop these events?
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 when we conduct the same search for the full search period from 2007 to 2018.
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.
Although excess cost removes Northumbria Police’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as a gesture of goodwill outside of the Act, I can confirm that there is some information relating to your request already in the public domain that can be found by simple research. In order to assist I have provided the links below. However there may also be further information on this matter.
2. If we receive/find information of a potential event, we assess and direct a policing response appropriately. No further information would be given at this point as this would reveal tactical information and would be exempt under Section 31 Law Enforcement
I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of your request.