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.
Can you please provide me with the following information from April 2017 up to the most recently available data:
- The number of suspects released under police investigation for: all crimes; violent offences; sexual offences; rape; murder; manslaughter; a domestic abuse crime (any offence with a DV tag).
- The number of suspects in each category above that went on to be arrested for a further offence.
- The nature of those further suspected offences (including whether it was a violent offence, sexual offence; rape; murder; manslaughter; or a domestic abuse crime).
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within 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 status of under investigation (UI) is a temporary status which will change once the offence is finalised, we do not keep a historic record of these changes and as such the reporting of the UI status is a snapshot in time that cannot be replicated. We do not know if a suspect has been allocated a status of UI in the past so reporting on this status will not be accurate unless it is the number of people recorded as having that status (UI) on a particular date.
With this in mind, we can only answer question 1 as the status is today. For question 2 and 3 we would have to review each offender with a UI status and see if they had committed any further offences, there are currently 1,419 offenders under investigation as of 27/03/2019. Even at a conservative estimate of 4 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable minimum, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 93 hours, 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.
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 for point 2 and 3.