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Victim's With Weight Issues - 1379/19

Date Responded 12 November 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:

  1. Please provide all instances of reported crime where the victims' weight (for instance, being overweight/obese/fat/underweight) was a factor over the past three years. Please break down by calendar year for 2017, 2018, and 2019.
  2. I would also like a full breakdown of each report. If it would exceed cost limit to provide details for all three years, please just provide details for the year 2019. By ‘a full breakdown of each report,’ I refer to the type of crime reported, the outcome, and a brief description of the incident. For instance, if the reported incident referred to a malicious comment, please include what that comment was

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Corporate Development Department of Northumbria Police.

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidelines state that:

A public authority must confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit.

I can neither confirm nor deny that the information you require is held by Northumbria Police as to actually determine if it is held would exceed the permitted 18 hours therefore Section 12(2) 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.

I have set out the reasons for this below.

The information requested, if held, is not held in a format that allows its extraction within the 18 hour threshold.  This type of crime would more than likely fall under a public order offence or harassment if it was persistent.  Therefore, every public order and harassment offences would need manually reviewed to establish if any met the criteria specified by your request.  In 2018 alone there were in excess of 23,000 public order offences.  Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate and extract the information for public order offences in 2018 alone would take over 1,150 hours.  Therefore a Section 12 exemption is clearly applicable.

However, in order to provide you with some assistance, under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, an initial assessment of the information that may be provided within the time constraints would be from a keyword search, however it should be noted that we do not believe that this will return accurate results as we can only search the crime MO and not all information related to the crime.  It is unlikely specific quotes would be included in the crime MO.  Therefore, if you would like us to perform a keyword search, you would need to provide the keywords that you wish us to conduct our searches on.  

If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.

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