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.
“Could you please let me know how many dog fouler have been prosecuted in Sunderland during the last 12 months”
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 is not held in a format that allows us to confirm its held or to extract the data within the permitted 18 hour threshold.
There is a home office code for this offence (111/21 - Dog defecates on designated land and person in charge of dog failing to remove faeces from land forthwith) however it is classed as a non-crime. As such, the only method we have to identify actual charges being levelled due to this offence is via disposal information, which does not allow a search via offence location, ie Sunderland. 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 the number of case of this type of offence forcewide.
If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly. However we would ask that any resubmission be made at a later date when the current situation we are faced with has eased, as such submissions take officers and staff away from their normal day to day duties.