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Date Responded 29 October 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:

“I would like this to cover the 2018 and 2019 to date calendar years please.

  1. What is the response time for a police officer to contact a member of the public regarding a issue from a 101 call.
  2. What is the failure rate of police officers to respond to 101 enquires
  3. How many complaints have Northumria police received for failure to respond to 101 enquires.
  4. How many officers have have disiplinery action taken against them for failing to respond to a 101 enqury.”

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, particularly at point 3, 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.

There is no way to identify whether any information is held at point 3 within the 18 hour time limit.  A ‘complaint’ may be made by a member of the public to anyone and anywhere in the force, ie in person to front office staff, via e mail to any mailbox in force – be that personal accounts or departmental mailbox accounts which would be in excess of 6,000 accounts, or by letter to numerous locations within the force.  A review of all those places looking for a ‘complaint about a 101 call’ cannot be achieved within that 18 hour time period.  Section 12(2) is therefore appropriate.

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.

In order to try to assist you we contacted our Professional Standards Department to see if we could narrow any searches down to that department alone, however they have advised that there is no search category that would allow them to conduct searches down to ‘complaints about 101 calls’ within the permitted 18 hours.

Additionally I can advise that we do not hold any information at points 1 and 2.  We do not have ‘response times’ for 101 calls and consequently we have no failure rates.

You should note that 999 calls will always take priority over 101 calls.

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