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Sleep Disorder Crimes - 717/21

Date Responded 10 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:

1. Please could you undertake a keyword search in order to provide me with the number of cases in all reported crimes in your police force area containing any of the following terms:
"Sleep walking"
"Sleep sex"
"Sleep assault"
"Sleep disorder"
"Sleep condition"

In each of the financial years 2001 - 2021:

2. Please also provide a breakdown of the nature of the reported crimes by offence according to Home Office classification code for each of these years.

In Response:

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.

The information requested is not already held statistically nor is it held in a format that would allow its extraction from recording systems within the permitted 18 hour threshold. Data prior to financial year 2013/14 is not held in a format that allows ease of locating and extraction and would far exceed the permitted 18 hours. Section 12 (2) is therefore applicable.

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 the questions from 2013/14 only.

If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

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