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Firearms Drawn By Officers - 1165/20

Date Responded 05 August 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 could you provide me details of the number of times a firearm has been drawn by a police officer.
  2. Of those occasions, which type of firearm was drawn,
  3. and how many times a firearm was discharged by a police officer?

Please provide this information for the following years:

2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019


In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Operations Department of 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 held in a format that allows its extraction within the permitted 18 hour threshold. To provide the information at point 1 namely, each time an officer has drawn a firearm, would require manually reviewing each incident where firearms had been deployed to establish what each individual officer did during that incident. This cannot be established within the 18 hours permitted and, 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.

As part of your request would exceed the prescribed limit, as defined by the Act, there is no requirement for Northumbria Police to provide a response to the remaining parts of your request. However, in order to provide you with some assistance, under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, an initial assessment of the information that may be provided within the time constraints would be how many times the deployment of firearms have been authorised over the same period and how many times a firearm was discharged.

If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.


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