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Thefts from and Thefts of Vans - 934/19

Date Responded 21 August 2019

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:

I am writing to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request information regarding theft of tools from vans. Specifically, please provide the following figures:

  1. Please provide the number of recorded incidents of theft from vans/light commercial vehicles where the item was listed as a tool or similar in the last financial year (2018/19) or nearest recorded 12 month period.
  2. Please provide the estimated/recorded cost of tools/items stolen from vehicles listed in Question 1 in last financial year (2018/19) or nearest recorded 12 month period.
  3. Please provide the number of vans stolen in the last financial year (2018/19) or nearest recorded 12 month period.

Please provide a monthly breakdown for financial year 2018/19 or nearest recorded 12 month period in both Question 1, 2 and 3.

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 by Northumbria Police however cannot be disclosed for the following.

The information requested cannot be extracted within the 18 time constraint.  Searches of each individual incident would be required to establish whether the vehicle in the incident was recorded as van/light commercial vehicle.  Within excess of 5,600 recorded theft from vehicle, even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract the information at point 1 alone would take over 280 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.

Obviously further time would then be needed to extract the information at point 3 and to retrieve, calculate and compile a response at point 2.

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.

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