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.
I wish to have copies and information about all restrictions placed on protests, assemblies and marches in Newcastle upon Tyne from 1 June 2020 to the present day. I wish to see copies of any sections imposed, including but not restricted to section 14 notices, section 35 notices, and any restrictions imposed or agreed with event organisers. This should include any restrictions in relation to any part of the public order act and also and restrictions or agreements in relation to covid-19 regulations and guidelines.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Operations 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.
The information specific to your request is not held in a format that allows its retrieval within the permitted time constraints. Your request for ‘ Information’ is very broad and non specific. This therefore would include any information held by the force on this subject, ie e mails / documents (including national) /correspondence / paper based decision logs, from multiple participants pertaining to the protests. This would be held in multiple places and to attempt to retrieve all relevant data has been estimated as far exceeding the 18 hour threshold. As we have estimated that to extract this information would take over the permitted 18 hours, 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.
As parts of your request would exceed the prescribed limit, as defined by the Act, there is no requirement for Northumbria Police to provide a response to the remaining parts of 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 would be the information relating to the orders issued. It should be noted however that exemptions may be applied to withhold some information held therein if deemed necessary. The extent of what may be disclosed will not be known until further consultation with Chief Officers as to what information, if any, needs to be exempt.
If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.