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Black Lives Matter Protests - 1044/20

Date Responded 05 August 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:

I am writing to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request the below information. In early June, Black Lives Matter protests took place in Newcastle and have since continued. On 13 June, a counter protest also took place in Newcastle. Please could you answer the following? You will note this FoI is in two parts—if part one uses up the cost allowance, please disregard part two.

Part One

1) Please could you provide me with copies of communications that were sent to police units and/or police officers around how to police the Black Lives Matter protests? This may include, but is not limited to, communications around what to expect, what to look out for, and what policing tactics to use. Please take as your time frame the period 24 May 2020 to 9 July 2020 given the protests are ongoing.

2) Please could you advise how many people have been arrested for taking part in the Black Lives Matter protests? Please take as your time frame the period 24 May 2020 to 9 July 2020 given the protests are ongoing.

3) Please could you advise how many times Use of Force has been used by officers at the Black Lives Matter protests? I remind you that this includes, but is not limited to, handcuffs, tasers, strikes, and batons. Please take as your time frame the period 24 May 2020 to 9 July 2020 given the protests are ongoing.

4) Please could you advise me how many police officers have been injured while working at the Black Lives Matter protests? Please take as your time frame the period 24 May 2020 to 9 July 2020 given the protests are ongoing.

5) Please could you provide me with any communications sent to police units and/or police officers around the Black Lives Matter protests that relate to the following: Use of Section 50 of the Police Reform Act, kettling, Stop and Search (including Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994), riot police, mounted police, deescalation, facial recognition, and use of force. Please take as your time frame the period 24 May 2020 to 9 July 2020. Some of these communications may be captured by 1) above.

I understand that you may make redactions to some of these communications, but I ask that you redact only exempted information and justify the use of those exemptions. I also kindly remind you that the time taken for redactions does not usually contribute towards the cost cap under FOI.

Part Two

6) Please could you provide me with copies of communications that were sent to police units and/or police officers around how to police the 13 June counter protest. This may include, but is not limited to, communications around what to expect, what to look out for, and what policing tactics to use. Please take as your time frame the period 1 June to 14 June.

7) Please could you advise how many people were arrested for taking part in the 13 June counter protest?

8) Please could you advise how many times Use of Force was used at the 13 June counter protest? I remind you that this includes, but is not limited to, handcuffs, tasers, strikes, and batons.

9) Please could you advise me how many police officers were injured while working at the 13 June counter protest?

10) Please could you provide me with any communications sent to police units and/or police officers around the 13 June counter protests that relate to the following: Use of Section 50 of the Police Reform Act, kettling, Stop and Search (including Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994), riot police, mounted police, deescalation, facial recognition, and use of force. Please take as your time frame 1 June to 9 July. Some of these communications may be captured by 6) above.

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 with several Departments 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.

Part 1

To provide a response to Questions 1, 3 and 5 of Part 1 individually would entail a manual review of 100’s of emails, documents (including national), correspondence, paper based decision logs, from multiple participants pertaining to the protests. We have estimated that this would take in excess of 100 hours to review, 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 these parts of your request.

You should also note that had Section 12 not been fully applicable other exemptions would have been considered and applied where relevant.

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 for Question 2 - for the protest of 13 June 2020. We may also be able to provide the number of arrests for other protests, however this would not be known until a request to conduct the relevant searches has been made. Question 4 - for the number of offices that have suffered an injury whilst attending protests during the period specified.

If this information would be useful to you, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.

As instructed in your request we have ignored Part 2 of your request, as above we have indicated that in order to provide a response to individual questions of Part 1 would not be achievable within the time constraints of the act.

 

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