Date Responded 11 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:

  1. Could I please request the number of

- fines

- arrests

- charges

made by your police force in response to the Covid-19 lockdown and social distancing rules between March 23 and April 16 2020 - i.e., for people who were not following these rules.

If possible, could you please include within this information:

- the amount of each individual fine, and the total amount fined

- the reason for each fine, arrest and charge

- the location for each fine, arrest and charge

- the date of each fine, arrest and charge

2  Could I also request the total number of calls made to your police force in this period regarding concerns about social distancing or self isolation rules.


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 the Corporate Development Department 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.

To establish a response at point 2 only would require approximately 1,980 incidents reported within the period specified by your request to be located and manually reviewed to establish which were in relation to an active breach of guidelines.  Even at a conservative estimate of 2 minute per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information alone would take over 66 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 for 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 be for point 1 as set out above. 

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

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