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Football Costs - 1232/20

Date Responded 04 September 2020

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 me with figures of income your force has received - or has agreed to receive - from football clubs to cover matchday policing in the 2018/19 season, the 2019/20 season and the 2020/21 season.  Please state the name of the club and give three figures for each club, one for each season.
  2. Please also send me copies of all emails sent to or by your staff between March 23 2020 and August 12 2020 on the subject of matchday policing.

In Response:

Regarding point 2 of your request - 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 at this point 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.

This part of your request asks for ‘all emails sent to or by your staff between March 23 2020 and August 12 2020 on the subject of matchday policing’.  This part would require extensive manual searching of all Officers and staff emails as well as all departmental mailboxes within the force to locate, what if anything, touches on  the parameters of your request.  This task cannot be achieved within the permitted 18 hours and as such Section 12 is applicable.

You should note that had Section 12(2) not been fully applicable other exemptions would have been considered and applied where relevant as such correspondence would likely contain sensitive operational information, personal data etc. that would not be for public viewing.

As part of your request would exceed the prescribed limit, as defined by the Act, there is no requirement for Northumbria Police to provide a response to the remaining parts of your request. 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 question 1 - where held.

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

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