Date Responded 07 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:

How many people have you recruited within your force as a police officer who have disclosed as taking sertraline 50mg in the last 5 years ?

In Response:

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, if held, would not be held in a format that would allow its extraction within the permitted 18 hour threshold. We do not ask for information on specific medication within application forms.  Any information, if held would, may be held within an individuals personal medical files, each of which would require manual review to establish if any mentioned that the individual had disclosed they were taking sertraline.  This exercise cannot be achieved within the permitted 18 hour threshold and therefore Section 12 is relevant.  Consideration of  the application of Section 40 - Personal Information, would have been considered if Section 12 had not been fully applicable.

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