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Date Responded 22 March 2018

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 interested in obtaining data pertaining to exemption types invoked by the constabulary in response to freedom of information (FOI) requests received from January 2014 to the date this FOI request is processed. 

1. Total number of FOI requests received by the police force by year from January 2014 to the date this FOI request is processed.

2. Total number of FOI requests received by the police force which received a neither confirm nor deny response by year from January 2014 to the date this FOI request is processed.

3. Total number of FOI requests which received a neither confirm nor deny response by year from January 2014 to the date this FOI request is processed, by virtue of the following exemption: Section 23(5) Information relating to the Security bodies.

4. Total number of FOI requests which received a neither confirm nor deny response by year from January 2014 to the date this FOI request is processed, by virtue of the following exemption: Section 24(2) National Security.

5. Total number of FOI requests which received a neither confirm nor deny response by year from January 2014 to the date this FOI request is processed, by virtue of the following exemption: Section 30(3) Investigations.

6. Total number of FOI requests which received a neither confirm nor deny response by year from January 2014 to the date this FOI request is processed, by virtue of the following exemption: Section 31(3) Law enforcement. 

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 Information Management Unit 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.

There is no requirement to compile these figures as a matter of course, therefore this information is not already held statistically nor is it held in a format that allows its extraction and compilation within the permitted time constraints. In the 4 year period of your request we have received in excess of 5000 Freedom of Information request.  Each of those would require a manual review to establish a response to each  point of your request.

Even at a conservative estimate of 2 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 166 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. 

Additionally it is likely that the exemptions you have quoted may apply to part of a request only, with the majority of the information being disclosed. 

Although excess cost removes Northumbria Police's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information below, relative to point 1 of your request, retrieved or available before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded. I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of your request. 

2014 – 1070

2015 – 1195

2016 – 1410

2017 – 1338

2018 – 224 up to 28th February 2018 

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