Speeding & traffic establishment - 137/18

Date Responded 15 February 2018

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. Please release the total number of officers in your Roads Police Unit for each of the following calendar years

- 2012

- 2013

- 2014

- 2015

- 2016

- 2017/present 

2. Please release the total number of people pulled over (I mean stopped by a motor patrol/traffic officer or roads policing unit) for speeding for each of the following calendar years

- 2012

- 2013

- 2014

- 2015

- 2016

- 2017/present 

3. Please release the total number of speed cameras in the county

4. How many of those are active. 

In Response:

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 within 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 reasons. 

The information requested at question 2 is not held centrally nor is it held in a format that allows its retrieval within the permitted cost threshold.  To explain.  Motor Patrols officers/Traffic Officers/Roads Policing Units, often deal with offenders at the roadside, sometimes they are dealt with by words of advice and sometimes they can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Summons.  If they are dealt with by words of advice, the information may only be recorded in the Officers pocket note book.  This would involve contacting each Officer and asking them to scrutinise their PNB for the past 6 plus years and provide the statistics.  This alone would take us over the permitted 18 hours.  Likewise if they had been issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Summons, each one would have to be manually reviewed to see if they had been stopped for speeding. We have estimated that to extract this information would take well 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. 

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. 

However, 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 your request, which was 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. 

Question 1.

- 2012 : 165.70 FTE (15.00 SGTs and 150.70 PCs)

- 2013 : 140.70 FTE (14.00 SGTs and 126.70 PCs)

- 2014 : 128.00 FTE (13.00 SGTs and 115.00 PCs)

- 2015 : 124.00 FTE (10.00 SGTs and 114.00 PCs)

- 2016 : 118.00 FTE (11.00 SGTs and 107.00 PCs)

- 2017: 112.00 FTE (12.00 SGTs and 100.00 PCs)

- Present: 93.11 FTE (11.00 SGTs and 82.11 PCs) 

Question 3. Northumbria Police has more than one county in its policing area.  We therefore consider that you require the total number in our ‘Force’ area and therefore the following exemption applies. 

As the information you have requested is accessible by other means I have not provided you with a copy of the information and will rely on Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  You should therefore consider this a refusal for your request. 

I have provided an explanation to this exemption below. 

Section 21 (1) - Information accessible by other means 

Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant is exempt information. 

All camera locations are already in the public domain and can be accessed via the Safe Speed for Life website.  The link to this is as follows.  http://www.safespeedforlife.co.uk/ 

Question 4.  As of 1st February 2018 we  have 13 “Speed” cameras in use, these are physical cameras which are rotated around the force area and placed in the fixed roadside speed camera locations . 

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