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Date Responded 28 March 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:

  1. The number of individuals released on pre-charge bail following arrest for a sexual offence involving a child in (a) the year from April 2017 – March 2018 and (b) the prior year, April 2016 – March 2017.
  2. The number of individuals released ‘under investigation’ following arrest for a sexual offence involving a child in (a) the year from April 2017 – March 2018 and (b) the prior year, April 2016 – March 2017.
  3.         The percentage of cases where an individual later charged with a sexual offence involving a child was released by police without pre-charge bail conditions in (a) the year from April 2017 – March 2018 and (b) the prior year, April 2016 – March 2017.

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.

The information requested is not already held statistically and is not held in a format that would allow its extraction within the permitted time constraints.  The information requested is paper based and to extract would require a manual review of all records to filter the types of crimes of interest and then a further review would be required to find those that were subject to a pre-charge bail.  This cannot be achieved within 18 hours.  Additionally under investigation is a status that is subject to change and would only be relevant as of the time and day it was extracted.

As we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 18 hours, 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, that at point 3, no information is held. We do not already hold this as % and are not obliged to create in order to offer a response, however this point in its own right would also attract Section  12 refusal to extract any raw data.

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