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 disclose, from January 1 2012 up until today's date, how many police raids have been carried out at addresses over concerns relating to either trafficking or sexual exploitation.
For each raid, please disclose:
- The date
- If the address was private or commercial. If it was a commercial address, what was it operating as (I.e. massage parlour, hotel etc)
- If there were any arrests/charges
- How many people were then safeguarded. If so, please disclose (if known) that person's ethnicity and gender.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Safeguarding 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.
Since January 2016 alone there have been over 600 incident and crime records which have been linked in some way to either trafficking or exploitation. Each of these would require a manual review to identify the address and then review to establish whether searches were conducted. Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would far exceed the 18 hour threshold for that period of time alone. Further time would then be required to establish responses at points b-d, as well as for the period back to 2012. As your request far exceeds the permitted time, Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act applies. 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.