Date Responded 07 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:

  1. From 1st January 2010 to date how many people in total have sat as members on Independent Advisory groups (IAG)
  2. From 1st January 2010 to date how many people of South Asian ethnicity have sat as members on Independent Advisory groups (IAG)
  3. Can you breakdown those identified in the answer to Q2 by the numbers of male and female South Asian members of IAGs since 1st January 2010?
  4. How many IAGs does your force currently have, and can you provide some details of their purpose?
  5. Do you have any specific IAGs that deal with South Asian issues? Such as IAGs set up in mosques and temples.
  6. Are all IAG members subject to a DBS check by your force?
  7. What is the vetting process to become an IAG member?

In Response:

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

With regards to points 1 – 3:

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.

To establish a response to these parts of your query would require extensive research of any/all locations where such information this may be held.  This would require all formats of correspondence being reviewed, ie electronic records, documents, minutes of meetings etc.  This exercise cannot be achieved within the permitted 18 hours.

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 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.

4. There is currently one active IAG in Northumbria however the process is currently under review and will be replaced with Joint Engagement Group (JEG).The proposed new terms of the meeting are currently under review.

Northumbria Police has one Strategic IAG held at executive level

Strategic Independent Advisory Group (SIAG) - This Group will consider force-wide strategy, procedure and policy. Its aims are to improve public confidence and openness between Northumbria Police and the communities it serves by seeking strategic independent advice from all sections of the community. These members who have specific skills, abilities or knowledge will provide constructive feedback with the intention of providing advice that will contribute to Northumbria Police improvement in the fair and equitable delivery of services.

5. Not currently.

6. No.

7. Applicants will be vetted to NPPV 1 level. Checks and enquiries on applicant  include Police National Computer, Information Systems and  Police National Database.

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