Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 Offences - 812/21

Date Responded 21 June 2021

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:

Please may you provide the annual count for your Constabulary of arrests, charges, number of assailants released on bail or released without charge under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 from its introduction in 2003 to date. I am only seeking data relating to online or text-based communication, specifically malicious social media communications via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, email, and text.

I request a breakdown of the gender of the complainants in aggregated form i.e. 50 complainants are men, 76 are women.

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 however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.
The information requested, particularly that prior to April 2010, is held on different recording systems that would require manual review to extract the data requested. This part would mean that this request would then exceed the permitted 18 hours and therefore Section 12(1) 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

As part of your request would exceed the prescribed limit, as defined by the Act, there is no requirement for Northumbria Police to provide a response to the remaining parts of your request. However, in order to provide you with some assistance, under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, an initial assessment of the information that may be provided within the time constraints would be questions as set out above for the time period after April 2010.
If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.


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