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.
For the period 2016 & 2017:
1. Could you please state how many sexual harm prevention orders, sexual risk orders, or criminal behaviour orders have been made in your force area which prohibit an individual from entering unisex changing facilities or toilets.
2. For the last available year, could you please state how many allegations of sexual crime (harassment, voyeurism, assault, etc) which took place in unisex changing facilities or toilets have been reported to your force.
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidelines state that:
A public authority must confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit.
I can neither confirm nor deny that the information you require is held by Northumbria Police as to actually determine if it is held would exceed the permitted 18 hours therefore Section 12(2) 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.
I have set out the reasons for this below.
We are unable to establish a response to your queries as to do so would exceed the permitted time constraints.
Initial research has indicated that in the time period requested there are in excess of 560 orders of the types requested. Each of those would require a manual review to establish where the individuals had been prohibited from. Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract the information at point 1 alone would take over 46 hours, therefore Section 12 is relevant.
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 question 2 only, as written above in your request.
If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.