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.
Please can you tell me how many times over the past 10 years the police force has deployed a taser at an acute hospital trust or mental health trust (please specify whether acute trust or mental health trust)? Please tell me how many people have been tasered if this number differs from the number of times the taser has been deployed i.e. if the same person has been tasered more than once.
For each incident can you give the reason why the person was tasered, which hospital this took place in and the date it occurred. Please also tell me the outcome for the person if recorded i.e. any injury, were they arrested.
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 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 18 hour time constraint. Prior to 2018 the recording database used did not record mental health trust. Any records prior to this date would require manual review to establish a response to your request. With taser deployments averaging approximately 100 each year this cannot be achieved within 18 hours. Even at a conservative estimate of 10 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate, extract and compile this information would take over 116 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.
When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under 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 the questions as posed as above but for a 3 year time period only – that being 2017 – 2019.
It should be noted that exemptions may be considered regarding any resubmission. This is dependent on the returns once research has been carried out and an assessment made.
If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.