Disclosure Details

Arrests - 782/16

Dated: 27 Jul 2016

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

Thank you for your e mail dated 5 July  2016 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police 

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 police call outs have there been to UK airports over the following periods?

1 Jan 2013 to 31 Dec 2013

1 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2014

1 Jan 2015 to 31 Dec 2015

2, How many arrests have been made by police called out to UK airports over the following periods?

1 Jan 2013 to 31 Dec 2013

1 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2014

1 Jan 2015 to 31 Dec 2015

3, In relation to question 2, please provide a list of the alleged crime that led to the arrest. (ie – suspicion of terrorism, assault, drunk and disorderly)

On 06/07/16 you clarified

In relation to question 1 - please could you provide stats on the number of incidents attended and separate figures on the number of crimes attended by the force.

In relation to question 2 - I mean commercial airports

In relation to this FOI - could you also please specify which airport the figures relate to.


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 Corporate Development Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police. 

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

To note - the information provided are the number of reports, not the number of actual attendences by officers.  To provide this would have exceeded the prescribed time limits and therefore your request would have been exempt from disclosure.

With the above in mind please see the below relating to Newcastle International Airport, which answers your request.


        Incidents      Crimes:

2013 -   520           83

2014 - 476             72

2015 - 440             89


3. See below attached.

In addition to the above we can neither confirm nor deny any further information is held and by doing so we rely on the following exemptions: 

S24(2) National Security

S31(3) Law enforcement.


Overall Harm for Section 24 and Section 31

To confirm or deny that any other information is held, ie such a terrorism offences, would undermine individual forces policing capabilities which consequently would be detrimental to their ability to deal with the on-going terrorist threat we face. By proving the number of such arrests or incidents that may have been recorded at airports by an individual force would allow comparison between forces across the country and enable terrorists to build a picture of what resources are in place and where they are deployed. It is felt that confirmation or denial that this information is held would prejudice the effectiveness of the national counter terrorism effort and would allow inferences to be drawn about force level counter-terrorism activity and identify vulnerability around the country.

Public Interest Test

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for S24 

The public are entitled to know how public funds are spent and by confirming or denying that this information is held would allow the public to see where money is being spent and know that forces are doing as much as they can to combat terrorism.

Factors favouring neither confirming or denying for S24 

To confirm or deny that this information is held would render security measures less effective which would compromise ongoing or future operations to protect the security and infrastructure of the UK. The risk of harm to the public would be elevated if areas of the UK which appear vulnerable were identified which would also provide the opportunity for terrorist planning. Ongoing or future operations to protect the security and infrastructure of the UK would be compromised as terrorists could map the level of counter-terrorist activity in prisons across the country, providing them with the knowledge of individual force capability as well as valuable knowledge concerning the vulnerability of the prison population to radicalisation.

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for S31 

To confirm or deny that this information is held would make members of the public more aware of the threat of terrorism and allow them to take steps to protect themselves and families. Improved public awareness may lead to more intelligence being submitted to police about possible acts of terrorism as members of the public will be more observant to suspicious activity which in turn may result in a reduction of crime. The Home Office regularly publish national statistical data on terrorism arrests.

Factors favouring neither confirming or denying of S31 

To confirm or deny that the requested information is held could compromise law enforcement tactics which would hinder the Police force’s ability to prevent and detect terrorist crimes. The threat of terrorism will increase as more crimes are committed as a result of terrorists gaining knowledge about the capabilities of individual forces and therefore the public will be placed at a greater risk. A fear of crime will be realised as terrorists identify vulnerable areas and target and exploit these areas resulting in the public being in fear of more terrorist activity occurring. There would be an impact on police resources from confirming or denying that arrests have been made at airports relating to terrorism,  as vulnerable forces may need to increase their resources to reassure and protect the  surrounding community.

Balance Test

To confirm or deny that other information exists in  relation to terrorism breaks down the terrorism data to a refined force level which would start to indicate levels of policing activity at force level which could allow individuals to exploit what may be considered as less active or resourced areas, by assessing patterns of police activity and deployments over time, ultimately to avoid detection.

The security of the country is of paramount importance. The police will not divulge any information that would place the safety of an individual at risk or undermine national security. Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of policing, and in this case providing assurance that the police service is appropriately and effectively engaging with the threat posed by terrorist activity, there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding both national security and the integrity of police investigations and operations in the highly sensitive subject of terrorism.

As much as there is a public interest in knowing that policing activity is appropriate and balanced in matters of national security this will be overridden in exceptional circumstances. Police force’s capabilities of combating terrorism are sensitive issues of intelligence value to the terrorist and therefore it is our opinion that for these issues the balancing test for confirming or denying that this information is held, not made out.

However, this should not be taken as indicating that any such information exists or does not exist.


Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose. 



FOI 782-16 (1)