Date Responded 17 March 2023

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.

You asked:

1. The number of crimes reported - or incidents to which police were called - to your force relating to physical or verbal abuse of a person described to be refereeing or otherwise officiating a football match from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022, inclusive;

2. A keyword search of police records to show how many times the words 'referee' and ‘linesman’ appear in crime reports from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022.

In Response:

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 with the Corporate Development Department 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 with the caveats below to be noted as follows.

• Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

• The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

• As with any keyword search, the search will only return exact matches within the Crime MO or incident comments. This does not account for differences in terminology and/or spelling used. Also, we cannot search the crime investigation screens/additional information screens, if the terms are not used within the MO or the incident comments the crime/incident will not be identified. The MO search is limited to the first 242 characters of the MO, any information beyond that will not be searched.

• There were no incidents or crimes that were within the purview of question 1.

• Question 2 has returned 41 results, however the term 'linesman' is used in relation to electricity and this should be borne in mind when using these results. When reviewing these incidents it was found that only 14 of the results referred to an incident/crime at a sports venue.

1. There were no incidents where the police were called to an incident or crime where an official was either verbally or physically abused.
2. 41

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