Alarm call outs - 63/18

Date Responded 18 January 2018

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 many alarm response emergency calls did Northumbria Police receive in the following 12 month periods, or whatever measurable 12 month period the force uses to record such data;a.         January 2017 – December 2017

b.         January 2016 – December 2016

c.         January 2015 – December 2015

2.         How many of these calls were false alarms, or required no police action, for each period of data given?

3.         What is the cost to Northumbria Police to respond to an alarm response emergency call? 

In Response:

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 within Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held in part by Northumbria Police.

The information requested at point 1 is held, however the information requested at point 2 is not held in a format that allows its extraction within the permitted 18 hour threshold.  To respond to this part would require in excess of 15000 alarm incident calls  to be viewed to see which were false alarms or required no police action. Even at a conservative estimate of 2 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take well over the permitted 18 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 your request. 

Additionally, whilst there are closing codes for some false alarms, some alarms such as  Police Installed alarms can be a mixture of genuine & false alarms, these are not coded separately, so any results, had we been able to extract, would not have been accurate. 

Although excess cost removes Northumbria Police's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information below, relative to points 1 and 3 of your request, retrieved or available before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded. I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of your request. 


2017 – 4,632

2016 – 5,528

2015 – 4,855 

3, No information held.  We do not calculate/record police attendance to any incidents/call outs 

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