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.
- How many outstanding warrants for arrest are there currently?
- Please provide a breakdown of the offences the warrants are for, together with the number of outstanding warrants for each offence?
- For each offence where there are outstanding warrants, please include how many warrants have been outstanding for more than one year.
- How old is the longest currently outstanding warrant?
These are warrants issued by the courts for failing to appear at court. These can be warrants for arrest without bail or warrants where the subject will be issued with a bail notice giving him a new court date. I would term these as FTA warrants.
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 at point 2, 3 and 4 is not held statistically and can only be retrieved by manually reviewing all warrants. This equates to viewing in excess of 526 records, (this figure provides a response to point 1). Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate, extract and compile this information would take over 43 hours, 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.
Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another. Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data. For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.