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.
I would like to ask for information on crimes reported within your area between June 1st 2017 and May 31st 2018 (inclusive).
- The number of offences involving theft reported in total
- The number of those offences that involved the taking of computing and communications devices i.e. mobile and smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, computing equipment
- How many of the reported takings of computing and communications devices were from private individuals
- How many of the reported takings of computing and communications devices were from businesses or other organisations (e.g. local Government, health services, etc.)
- The number of those reported offences committed by individuals riding on a vehicle i.e a moped, bicycle or motorbike.
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 in part by Northumbria Police, however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.
The information requested is not held in a format that allows its extraction within the permitted time constraints, particularly at points 3, 4 and 5. We do not have a marker that tells us if a theft was from a person or a business, and therefore all crimes would need to be manually reviewed to determine this. A manual review would also be required to establish which crimes were committed by individuals riding on a moped, bicycle or motorbike. For the time period requested there have been 2,783 instances of theft that involved the taking of computing and communications devices i.e. mobile and smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, computing equipment (this provides a response to point 2 of your request). Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract the information for points 3, 4 and 5 would take over 139 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
Although excess cost removes Northumbria Police's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as a gesture of goodwill I have also supplied information below in response to point 1 of your request, retrieved or available before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded. I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of your request. This now provides you with a response to points 1 and 2.