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Date Responded 07 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.
a) Please provide the total number of times restraint techniques were used by officers in your force – i.e. the number of restraints reported by individual officers in use of force forms – for each of the past two years April 2018 to March 2019 and April 2019 to March 2020.
b) For each year, please provide totals for each ethnicity of the subject as perceived and provided by officers in use of force forms - i.e. the total number of white, black, Asian, or other subjects, as well as the total number not recorded/not known

2
a) Please provide the total number of Conducted Energy Device (CED, ie TASER) incidents recorded in your force over the past two years (Apr 2018 - Mar 2019 and April 2019 – Mar 2020)
b) For each year please provide the total number of incidents in which CEDs were discharged, along with the totals for each ethnicity of the subject as perceived and provided by officers in use of force forms - i.e. the total number of white, black, Asian, or other subjects, as well as the total number not recorded/not known
c) For each year please provide the total number of incidents in which CEDs were not discharged, along with the totals for each category of ethnicity of the subject as perceived and provided by officers in use of force forms - i.e. the total number of white, black, Asian, or other subjects, as well as the total number not recorded/not known

3
a) Please provide the total number times irritant spray was used in your force over the past two years (Apr 2018 - Mar 2019 and April 2019 – Mar 2020)
b) For each year please provide the total number of incidents recorded in which irritant spray was discharged, along with the totals for each ethnicity of the subject as perceived and provided by officers in use of force forms - i.e. the total number of white, black, Asian, or other subjects, as well as the total number not recorded/not known
c) For each year please provide the total number of incidents in which irritant spray was not discharged, along with the totals for each ethnicity of the subject as perceived and provided by officers in use of force forms - i.e. the total number of white, black, Asian, or other subjects, as well as the total number not recorded/not known

4
a) Please detail the number of times officers have attended incidents over the past two years (Apr 2018 - Mar 2019 and April 2019 – Mar 2020) where the subject has been suffering from a confirmed or suspected ABD (acute behavioural disturbance)
b) Please provide the number of times these incidents resulted in force such as restraint techniques, CED, irritant spray being, firearm or other force used
c) For each category – i.e. no force used, restraint, CED, irritant spray, firearm, other – please provide the totals for each ethnicity of the subject as perceived and provided by officers in use of force forms - i.e. the total number of white, black, Asian, or other subjects, as well as the total number not recorded/not known

In Response:


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 however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.
The information requested is not held in a format that allows its extraction from recording systems used within the permitted 18 hour threshold. This is particularly relevant at point 4. To establish a response at this point would entail manual searches of thousands of records to establish if any mentioned the subject had been suffering from a confirmed or suspected ABD. This exercise alone would far exceed the 18 hour threshold. In addition to that, the reviewing of the ethnicities at the other questions in this submission would also exceed the 18 hours in each case. As such 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 and from the detail being requested I see no reasonable way in which we can do so.

In order to be helpful I can advise that some data is already in the public domain at point 1-3 that may be useful to you. Statistics are published annually by the Home Office and I have provided the link below. Most recent data will be published at a future date.
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-use-of-force-statistics-england-and-wales-april-2018-to-march-2019
Additionally data which may be useful to you regarding taser can be found on the Northumbria Police Disclosure Log by simple research. The link to the Log is provided below.

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