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Date Responded 01 July 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. How many road fatalities did police forensic collision investigators (or an equivalent position) from your police force investigate in 2018, 2017 and 2016?
  2. Of the fatalities investigated, how many were wearing a seat belt?
  3. How many were not wearing a seat belt?
  4. In how many cases was seat belt status not known?

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with 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 reason:

The information requested particularly at points 2 – 4 is not held statistically nor is it held in a retrievable format.  Each file would need to be located and manually reviewed to establish if seatbelts had or had not been worn.  This has been estimated to exceed the 18 hour threshold and 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 do so.

Although excess cost removes Northumbria Police's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information below, relative to point 1 of your request, retrieved or available before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded.  I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of your request.

1.

YEAR

No. of Fatalities

2016

35

2017

45

2018

39

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