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Witness intimidation - 687/18

Date Responded 26 July 2018

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:

Could you please provide the following data, broken down by year, starting from January 1st, 2014 to the date this FOI request is processed:

1. Number of allegations of witness intimidation received by the police force

2. Number of investigations into witness intimidation by the police force

3. Number of individuals charged for witness intimidation

4. Number of individuals successfully prosecuted for witness intimidation 

In Response:

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 both the Criminal Justice and Corporate Development Departments 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, particularly at point 4,  is not held centrally nor is it held in a format that would allow its retrieval within the permitted 18 hour threshold 

In the time period requested there have been in excess of 300 offences charged for witness/juror intimidation.  To establish how many of those were successfully prosecuted each case would require a manual review. Even at a conservative estimate of 6 minutes per record, which we have considered as a reasonable minimum, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 30 hours for that point alone, 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 supplied information below, relative to 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. 

1&2 

Below is the number of crimes recorded as witness/juror intimidation. If an allegation has been received, a crime will have been recorded and subsequently investigated.  The response to both point 1 and point 2 is  therefore is the same. 

2014                                       120

2015                                       142

2016                                       171

2017                                       186

2018 (15/07/18)                      130 

3.

Numbers of offences charged for witness/juror intimidation is as follows: 

2014                                       87

2015                                       86

2016                                       60

2017                                       48

2018 (15/7/18)                       34 

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