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.
Can you provide the following information please, from 1 Jan 2019 up until 31 Dec 2019.
- How many ‘close pass’ cycling incidents have been reported to this force in 2019?
- Of those incidents in point 1 how many have resulted in the driver of the vehicle being prosecuted for a close pass?
- Of those incidents in point 1 how many went to court with an unsuccessful prosecution for a close pass?
- Of those incidents in point 1 that didn’t receive a prosecution, how many were because there were no independent witnesses?
- Of those incidents in point 1 how many were dismissed as ‘acceptable pass’?
Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidelines state that:
A public authority must confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit.
I can neither confirm nor deny that the information you require is held by Northumbria Police as to actually determine if it is held would exceed the permitted 18 hours therefore Section 12(2) 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.
I have set out the reasons for this below.
The information requested, if held, at point 1 is not held in a format that allows its retrieval within the permitted time threshold. There is no method of identifying ‘close pass’ cycling incidents from recording systems used. All road related offences for the time period requested would need to be manually reviewed to establish if any related to the specifics of this request. Initial searches show that this would entail in excess of 10,500 records that would need to be reviewed. This cannot be achieved within the permitted 18 hours and has been assessed as exceeding 500 hours to establish a response to point 1 alone. Section 12 is therefore appropriate.
As the remaining questions are reliant on point 1 being extracted, we are unable to offer a response to any part of your submission.