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 tell me for each financial year from 2010/11 to 2017/18
How many vehicles that were stolen;
- were fitted with an insurance backed tracking device and
- of those stolen vehicles how many were recovered back to their respective owners using the tracking monitoring systems.
Owners in all instances will be the purchaser of the vehicle or the recovery insurance company.
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 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 time constraints of the Act. We searched for all vehicles linked to crimes recorded in 2017/18. These were filtered for those which have been classed as stolen or recovered. This has returned 1646 vehicles which are associated with 1529 crimes. The stolen vehicles screen (for each vehicle), the crime investigation screens and any linked incident would have to be manually reviewed to establish if a tracking device has been mentioned and if so, whether it has been used to recover the vehicle (if recorded). Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 82 hours for 2017/18 data alone, this would be considerably more to include 2010/11, 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.