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Ten Highest Recorded Speeding Offences - 1030/19

Date Responded 29 August 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. The top 10 highest recorded speeding offences within the past year (11th August 2018 - 11th August 2019 inclusive). For each offence, please include the recorded speed, the speed limit of the road, and the name of the road.
  2. I would also appreciate any recorded video or photographic evidence of the offences if it is available, but if this would exceed the financial limits of the request, then please ignore this part of the request.

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Fixed Penalty Unit of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1.

 

Highest speed

Speed Limit of Road

Name of Road

1

108

70

A1 Felton

2

107

70

A1 Felton

3

107

70

A1 Felton

4

106

70

A1 Felton

5

105

70

A1 Felton

6

102

70

A1 Felton

7

101

30

A1058 Eastbound

8

100

70

A1 Felton

9

100

70

A1 Felton

10

99

60

A69 Melkridge

 

2.with regards to this part, this information will not be disclosed and by withholding we rely on the below exemptions.

Section 31(1)(a)(b)(c)  - Law Enforcement)

Section 40 (2) – Personal Information

Section 40(2) Personal Information:

This is an absolute exemption and therefore a Public Interest Test is not relevant.  However, for clarity, I will explain my rationale for engaging this exemption.

Section 40(2) provides that information is exempt if it is the personal data of someone other than the applicant and disclosure would breach any of the data protection principles. The term ‘personal data’ means data that relates to a living individual who can be identified.  This may take an obvious form of ‘personal’ such as a name but can also include information from which a person can be identified. Although not explicitly naming individuals, the cumulative effect of full disclosure may lead to the identification of those involved in an incident; not only the person(s) subject of the complaint, but potentially those making a complaint or assisting with an incident, such as potential witnesses.

A disclosure in this instance, because it is so specific, would infringe the first Data Protection Principle, in that it would be both unlawful and unfair

Section 31 of the Act (Law Enforcement) states that information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to prejudice:

(a) The prevention or detection of crime

(b) The apprehension or prosecution of offenders

(c)  The administration of justice

This exemption is a qualified and prejudice based exemption and therefore the legislators accept that there may be harm if released into the public domain. The authority has to consider and describe the harm that would occur if the information were released and carry out a public interest test.  In accordance with best practice, I detail the harm first.

Harm

To disclose information at this point  could cause subsequent harm to the Police service’s ability to protect the public it serves and could prejudice its ability to perform core functions such as the prevention and detection of crime. Clearly by releasing such information policing will be undermined as anyone wishing to avoid coming to the attention of the police could use the information provided in the release of such detail to use that information to their advantage.

Disclosing this information will therefore prejudice the prevention and detection of crime.

Factors favouring disclosure

The release of the information would demonstrate the openness of the organisation to make public such matters and disclosure would contribute to the accuracy and quality of public debate.

Factors favouring non disclosure

Video or photographic evidence of the offences will not be released into the public domain as it serves no useful purpose and could hinder the prevention or detection of crime

the apprehension or prosecution of offenders and the administration of justice

The disclosure of information which is likely to undermine the Police service’s ability to serve the public in preventing and detecting crime can only be considered as being harmful to the public. Additionally this could also be seen by some as a ‘goal’ by some individuals to achieve higher speeds and therefore public safety would be put at further risk

Having considered both sides of the public interest, it is considered that the balance favours non disclosure of the information requested.  Whilst this information may be of interest to the public, it is not in the public interest to increase the risk of such activity and such disclosures would always be resisted.

You should consider this to be a refusal notice under section 17 of the Act for your request.

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