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.
How many planned unlicensed music events did your force record in the following years? –
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 its extraction within the permitted 18 hour threshold.
Such instances will be created on recording systems as ‘Anti-social behaviour’ or as ‘noise complaint’. To search such instances would require many thousands of such occurrences to be manually reviewed each year to ascertain which met the criteria of this request. This cannot be achieved within the permitted 18 hours even for a one year period.
It may be worthy of note that many music events do not require a license as under Legislative Reform (Entertainment Licensing) Order 2014 which came into force on 6 April 2015 with the effect that the following forms of entertainment are no longer licensable:
- Performances of unamplified live music between 8am and 11pm, on any premises
- Performances of amplified live music between 8am and 11pm (with various criteria applied re: sale of alcohol, type of premises, whether audience size exceeds 500 etc.)
‘Music Events’ falling into this category would not be recorded