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Officer Safety During Covid-19 - 644/20

Date Responded 12 May 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:

How are you managing social distancing and protecting your front line officers while they are travelling together in the same vehicles?

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the People Services Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

Officers are deployed on a risk assessed basis and this includes double crewing when assessed as necessary for operational reasons or officer safety.

When officers are double crewed they have access to PPE as recommended in guidelines from National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) which is both in the vehicle and available at base locations for personal use.  As this NPCC guidelines are accessible by other means I have not provided you with a copy of the information and will rely on Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  You should therefore consider this a refusal for those parts your request.

I have provided an explanation to this exemption below.

Section 21 (1) - Information accessible by other means

Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant is exempt information.

This information is freely available via the following link:

https://www.college.police.uk/What-we-do/COVID-19/Documents/Personal-Protective-Equipment-Operational-Guidance-1.pdf

Vehicles are subject to an enhanced cleaning regime and cleaning materials are also available to be used between drivers.

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