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Date Responded 01 November 2019

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 would like the data for the most recent 12 months for which you have data available e.g. Aug 2018 - Aug 2019.

1. What number and proportion of requests for pre-charge detention in police custody were refused in the last year?

2. For last year please provide:

  • Total number of adults held in detention
  • Outcome rate
  • Number given pre-charge bail
  • Number given RUI
  • Average length of detention

3. Please provide the number of adults detained in police custody on court warrant last year, broken down by reason for warrant (FTA, non payment of fine, etc) and how this has changed over time

4. Please provide a breakdown of adults charged at the police station by number remanded in police custody vs number bailed until court

5. For those adults appearing in court from remand in police custody, how many go on to be granted bail the court?

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, however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.

The information requested is not held in a format that allows its extraction within the permitted 18 hour time constraint.  From January 2019 to August 2019 alone, in excess of 20,500 adults were detained.  Each of those records would require a manual review to establish a response at points 2 – 5, additionally I can advise at points 2,c & d we do not hold historic information.  Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate and extract this information would take over 1,025 hours for that 8 month time period alone, 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.

Additionally to note, we are taking it that by ‘proportion’ at point 1 and ‘outcome rate’ at 2b to refer to percentage figures, and had Section 12 not been fully applicable a response to those parts would have been “no information held”, as we do not hold percentage figures and are not obliged to calculate them just to offer a response to a FOI request.

When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under Section 16 of the Act would normally entail that we contact you to determine whether it is possible to refine the scope of your request to bring it within the cost limits.  However, from the information we have outlined above I see no reasonable way in which we can do so.

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