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.
For each day since 1st January 2020 up until 14 April 2020
- The daily number of dispatches or visits to addresses where a member of the public was found to be dead on arrival at the address.
- The daily number of dispatches or visits to addresses where a member of the public was found to be dead on arrival at the address when the person in question had been flagged (either by other emergency services or in communication sent to the force) as a potential or known coronavirus sufferer.
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 is not held in a format that allows us to provide a response within the permitted 18 hours.
A manual review of all incidents and crimes within the time period specified would be required in order to establish which of these:
- involved a home visit and,
- resulted in someone being found dead at scene
Based on a search of any incidents wherein the description contains the words "sudden death" or "concern for safety" there are 925 such incidents. At an estimated average rate of three minutes per incident to establish both of these criteria, this would exceed the time/cost limitations. Section 12 (2) is therefore relevant.