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Missing Persons - 206/20

Date Responded 03 February 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. I would like a breakdown by month of the reported incidents of missing persons within your whole policing boundaries recorded by Northumbria police between the years of 2009-2019.
  2. I would also like the numbers of solved cases (cases where missing people have been found alive) in your entire policing boundaries between the years 2009-2019 recorded by Northumbria police.

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, in part, by Northumbria Police, however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.

To establish a response at point 2 alone of your request would require approximately 1,560 records to be located and manually reviewed to establish which met the criteria specified by your request.  Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 130 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 of the Act would be the above questions but for a considerably shorter time period, or as above but removing question 2.

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

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