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. Can you tell me how many applications to remove indefinite notification requirements of a sex offender this force has received from 01/09/2012 to 20/03/2018 (both dates inclusive)? Please can you break this down into the following periods:
2012 (01/09/12 - 31/12/12)
2013 calendar year
2014 calendar year
2015 calendar year
2016 calendar year
2017 calendar year
2018 (01/01/18 - 23/3/18)
2. How many of these applications were approved? Please could you break this information down into calendar years.
3. How many of the approved applications were from women sex offenders?
4. In the case of each approved application, please indicate the offence that the offender committed.
5. Out of the approved applications, please can you specify the number of cases that involved a victim under the age of 16.
6. Has any offender who successfully applied for indefinite notification requirements to be removed, to your knowledge subsequently gone on to be convicted of a sexual offence?
7. Where an offender has received a subsequent conviction, please can you specify:
• The offence that the offender was originally given indefinite notification requirements for.
• The nature of the subsequent offence that they were convicted of.
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 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.
The information at question 4 and 5, is not held in a format that can be retrieved within the permitted time allowed. For question 4 we would have to check the records of 107 offenders by accessing each record to obtain the information and then document them to see what offence that the offender had committed. An estimate of 15 minutes per record would take in excess of 26 hours. In relation to question 5, there were 89 approved applications for removal. A search would have to be carried out on each record to see if the victim was under the age of 16. At 15 minutes per record we estimate this will take over 22 hours. Additionally with regards to question 1, prior to 2016, this information was not collated via a computer, but via a national return from a paper record. We are only able to advise from the national form collated since 2015 which provided totals between 2012 and 2018, and is carried out every 6 months, but we cannot break down the specific years between 2012 and 2015. This would also be applicable to question 2 of your request. As we have estimated that your request would take over the permitted 18 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 that part of your request.
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, an initial assessment of the information that may be provided within the time constraints would be the following.
- Between 1st September 2012 – 28th February 2018
a) The total number of eligible applications received?
b) Of the number at ‘1a’, the breakdown into adult (18 and over) and juvenile (17 and under) at the time of conviction?
c) The total number of successful application (therefore leading to removal of need to notify)?
- How many of these applications were approved, accepted and currently on-going. 2016, 2017 and 01/01/2018 to 23/03/2018?
- How many of the approved applications were from women sex offenders?
- In the case of each approved application, please indicate the offence that the offender committed for 2017 and so far in 2018?
- Out of the approved applications, please can you specify the number of cases that involved a victim under the age of 16, in 2017 and so far in 2018?
- Has any offender who successfully applied for indefinite notification requirements to be removed, to your knowledge subsequently gone on to be convicted of a sexual offence?
- Where an offender has received a subsequent conviction, please can you specify?
a) The offence that the offender was originally given indefinite notification requirements for?
b) The nature of the subsequent offence that they were convicted of?