Child abduction - 827/15
Dated: 29 Sep 2015
Date of request: 13/09/15
Date of response: 29/09/15
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 13 September 2015 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 by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
I wish to be provided with details of all child abduction reports from April 2013 to the present date.
Could details of each report please include a date, divisional location, the age of the child and brief details of the circumstances of the report. Could each also include details of what, if any, arrests, charges and convictions were brought as a result.
I am after reported incidents but am also looking for a brief description of the outcome of any investigation and this can include whether an incident was NFA or mis-reported
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 however cannot be disclosed within the time limits of the Act for the following reasons.
As you specified you wanted information relating to all incidentsour response below reflects that.
To establish if an incident related to a child abduction report, we would need to manually read each incident report for the period requested.
Since April 2015 alone there have been 236,796 reported incidents recorded. Searching for key words such as 'abduction' could be misleading as sometimes this is only used in the description of the offence if the incident is actually subsequently recorded as a crime and would therefore not return an accurate response to the request.
Even at a conservative estimate of 2 minutes per record, which we have considered as a reasonable minimum, we have estimated that to extract this information since April 2015 alone would take over 7,893 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 do so based on incidents recorded.
If your request was resubmitted for actual recorded crimes of child abduction then Home Office codes 013/01 and 013/02 for child abduction could be used and a response provided, taking into consideration any exemptions that may be applicable.
If that would be useful you may wish to resubmit your request accordingly.
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.
How to complain
If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: www.northumbria.police.uk/freedom_of_information/disclosure_log/foi_complaint_rights/
If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.