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Date Responded 08 October 2020

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. “Please Provide a list of callsigns for all area commands
2. Is their is 1 control room using the LB callsign?
3. Please provide a list of all dept heads and neighbourhood management teams from Inspector level up”

In Response:

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 within Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held in part by Northumbria Police.

This information will not be disclosed and by withholding we rely on the following exemption.

s31(1)(a)(b) Law Enforcement

Section 31 of the Act (Law Enforcement) states that information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to prejudice:
(a) The prevention or detection of crime
(b) The apprehension or prosecution of offenders.

This exemption is a qualified and prejudice based exemption and therefore the legislators accept that there may be harm if released into the public domain. The authority has to consider and describe the harm that would occur if the information were released and carry out a public interest test. In accordance with best practice, I detail the harm first.

To disclose a list of call signs would be of huge concern. Such information would allow those with ill intent to cause disruption to operational policing and prejudice the prevention and detection of crime. Knowing call signs and associated information for specific areas would allow individuals to speak on the policing network with a level of validity that could lead to major disruption to the force communications network. It would also encourage criminals to try and disrupt events involving these areas.

Factors favouring disclosure
The release of the information would demonstrate the openness of the organisation to make such matters public. Disclosure would contribute to the accuracy and quality of public debate.

Factors favouring non disclosure
Releasing such data would give those individuals with the intent to do so, the intelligence required to disrupt police activity. This knowledge would mean that offenders would be able to target their offending more effectively which would inevitably lead to an increased likelihood of terrorist or criminal activity and an increased danger to the public.
On a national level, terrorists and criminals would be able to identify and use this knowledge to their own advantage in furthering terrorist/criminal activity around the country.
Any disclosure of information which is likely to undermine the Police service’s ability to serve the public in preventing and detecting crime can only be considered as being harmful to the public.

Balance test

As outlined in the Harm above, such information if disclosed would provide those with the intent to do so to cause disruption to the force. This would obviously impact on the Police service’s ability to protect the public it serves and would prejudice its ability to perform core functions such as the prevention and detection of crime.
It would not be in either the publics or the polices interests to provide information which could aid those who are intent on causing disruption or harm to our communities or police services.
Having considered both sides of the public interest, it is considered that the balance favours non disclosure of the information requested. Whilst this information may be of interest to the public, it is not in the public interest to provide those with intent to do information that would allow them to target any areas of policing, which would thereby increase the risk of terrorist/criminal activity. Such disclosures would always be resisted.

You should consider this to be a refusal notice under section 17 of the Act for this part of your request.
2. LB is the call sign for the Force. We have considered no harm in disclosing this point as it would not provide any detail of Force units/operations etc.



Inspector Neighbourhood Policing

Inspector Neighbourhood Policing (Rural)

Chief Inspector Communities

Department Heads

Chief Superintendent Area Commander

D/Chief Superintendent - Crime

D/Chief Superintendent Safeguarding

Chief Superintendent Communications

Chief Superintendent People Services

D/Superintendent Professional Standards

Superintendent Operations Department

D/Superintendent (Prosecution & Victims Services)

Chief Inspector Corporate Development

Head of ICT

Head of Business Support

Head of Corporate Development

Head of Communications & Engagement

Head of Cyber Technical & Digital Capabilities

Standards & Performance Manager

Force Transformation Lead

Head of Finance

Estates Manager

Head of Legal Services

Head of Forensic Services

Information Management Unit Manager

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