Coercive & Controlling Behaviour -1295/20

Date Responded 16 September 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:

For the time period 1st August 2019 to 31st July 2020?

  1. How many ABE video interviews have been conducted with victims of Coercive & Controlling Behaviour (CCB)?
  2. What advice/guidance is given to responders by your force in relation to a Section 9 statement vs an ABE video interview for CCB offences and other domestic abuse related offences?

In Response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidelines state that:

A public authority must confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit.

I can neither confirm nor deny that the information you require is held by Northumbria Police as to actually determine if it is held would exceed the permitted 18 hours therefore Section 12(2) 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.

I have set out the reasons for this below.

The information requested, particularly at point 1 is not held in a format that would allow its extraction within the permitted 18 hour threshold.  Each ABE would need to be manually reviewed to ascertain if there were any coercive control offences.  Though we have no definitive number of those cases that would require a manual review this has been estimated to be in the high hundreds and therefore outside the permitted time to be able to review.  As such Section 12 is applicable.

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 any remaining part 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 information that may be useful at point 2. 

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

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