Date Responded 28 March 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 number of motorists charged with driving under the influence of drugs in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 to date, broken down by year.
  2. If possible, please provide a breakdown of the categories for the drug type that motorists were caught using while driving in the years 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 to date, broken down by year. (e.g. illegal, prescription, over-the-counter etc.)
  3. If possible, please further breakdown these different substances/drugs that motorists were caught using while driving in the years 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 to date, broken down by year. (e.g. cannabis, cocaine, etc.)

In Response:

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 by Northumbria Police however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.

The information requested is not held in a format that allows its extraction within the permitted time constraints, particularly at points 2 and 3.  To establish a response as to the categories of drugs and then further break down to types  of drugs would require reviewing in excess of 900 records.  Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 75 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 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 provide a response to those points.

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 question 1

If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.

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