Date Responded 22 March 2022

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) The number of reported thefts of electric vehicle charging cables from January 2019 to the current date, broken down by month.


2) The number of reported cyber attacks against internet connected or automated vehicles from January 2020 to the current date, broken down by month. For example, this could relate one or more of the following:

- Malware, or another cyber-attack that damages or destroys their vehicles’ data, software, or operating systems

- A vehicle being immobilised or made inoperable,

- A hacker communicating and confronting with drivers over their audio system


3) The number of reported keyless car thefts from January 2020 to the current date, broken down by month and vehicle type.


In Response:

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 already held statistically nor is it held in a format that would allow its extraction from systems within the permitted 18 hours.

In the time period requested in excess of 48,500 thefts would need to be manually reviewed to establish if any theft included an electric vehicle charging cable, 26,600 offences that had Cyber as the method/means or instrument used,  would have to be reviewed to find if any were relevant to this request and in excess of  9800 thefts of motor vehicle would need to be reviewed to provide a response to point 3. 


Even at a conservative estimate of 6 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information at point 1 would take over 4850 hours,  point 2 would take over 2660 hours and point 3 would take in excess of 980 hours. Further time would then be required to break all the stats down by month as requested.  As such  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.


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.


Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another. Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data. For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.


The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police. Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation. In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

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