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.
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act relating to reports human defecation and/or urination since the start of the 2014/15 financial year.
For each year, up to and including as much data as is available for the the current financial year, please provide details of:
- Any reports of human defecation or urination in public places (including date, time, location and any relevant details - e.g. whether the incident involved defecation, urination, or both)
- Whether the report resulted in a charge, caution, fine or other police action and relevant details of this
- Whether the report led to a conviction/punishment and what that was
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.
The information requested is not held in a format that would allow its extraction within the permitted 18 hour threshold.
In an attempt to answer this submission searches were made for any incident where either defecate , urinate any or other slang term has been reported to the force as a incident. Those searches returned in excess of 1100 incidents. To establish which related to human defecation or urination would require each of those incidents to be manually reviewed. Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 55 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.
When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under As part 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, we suggest you limit your query to arrests made for defecation or urination in public places, and whether those arrests resulted in charge, caution or fine.
If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.