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.
1. How many people have been arrested whilst in a mental health crisis or people with mental ill health – people who are taken into custody who are given a warning marker of "suicidal" or "attempted suicide" on their arrest record or have these markers on their crime record as recorded suspects, or already have these warning markers on their crime record at the time of arrest – I’d like the figures for 1st January to 31st December 2019, 1st January to 31st December 2020, 1st January to 31st December 2021, 1st January to 31st December 2022?
Just to clarify, this is suicidal before police intervention, not a result of police intervention, but police intervention because of suicidal ideation, attempted suicide or mental health crisis. This data can include being arrested after being sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
2. Following this – how many of these arrests resulted in charges? I’d like the figures from 1st January to 31st December 2019, 1st January to 31st December 2020, 1st January to 31st December 2021, 1st January to 31st December 2022?
3. How many officer hours at your force have been spent assisting people whilst in a mental health crisis or people with mental ill health? I’d like the figures for 1st January to 31st December 2019, 1st January to 31st December 2020, 1st January to 31st December 2021, 1st January to 31st December 2022?
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 in part by Northumbria Police however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.
The information requested, specifically at points 1 & 2 is not already held statistically nor is it held in a format the would allow its extraction from systems within the permitted 18 hours.
In the time period requested there are approximately 2000 occasions where the person arrested had a 'mental health' flag, however we would not know when that flag had been applied without a manual review of all the arrests over several systems to establish a response. Even at a conservative estimate of 6 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 200 hours, 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.
I can advise no information is held at point 3. We do not calculate officer hours spent assisting people whilst in a mental health crisis or people with mental ill health. This is part of an officers day to day duties.