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.
1) How many people were registered on the sex offender register in your police force area in December 2018? (End of December preferable)
2) How many people were registered on the sex offender register in your police force area in December 2017? (End of December preferable)
3) How many people were registered on the sex offender register in your police force area in December 2016? (End of December preferable)
After we sought clarity you responded that you wanted the figures as of 31 Dec for each year.
We then advised that this information was already published and available in financial years, and we provided the relevant link to you where they could be found. We also advise that to recalculate the figures to your specific dates may exceed the 18 hour threshold. You then stated ‘Thanks for this but I need the specific dates as requested if possible please. ‘
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Safeguarding Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.
As per our comments to you earlier, this information is published for each financial year and we provided the link to those figures to you. To calculate the figures to suit the timescale of this request cannot be achieved within the 18 hour threshold. This exercise would require a manual review of both existing RSOs and those removed from the register to ascertain the numbers specifically for December 31st each year. This would far exceed the 18 hours for a one year period alone. As we have estimated to extract this information would take over 18 hours, Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act applies. 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 Section 16 of the Act would normally entail that we contact you to determine whether it is possible to refine the scope of your request to bring it within the cost limits. However, from the information we have outlined above I see no reasonable way in which we can do so.