Disclosure Details

Crime - 641/12

Dated: 07 Jun 2011

Date of request:      10/08/2012

Date of response:   10/09/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated  10 August 2012 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.

You asked: 

  1. What percentage of crimes reported to Northumbria Police were investigated in 2008/2009; 2009/10; 2010/11 and 2011/12? Or as many additional years as possible without incurring disproportionate cost. 
      

  2. Of the total number of crimes reported to Northumbria Police in 2010/11 and 2011/12, how many came under each category of crime reported? (i.e how many burglaries etc were there in the total figure).

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 with the Corporate Development and Crime Departments of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I have decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.

  1. Northumbria Police investigate 100% of recorded crime.

  2. As the information you have requested for 2010/11 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 this part of 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.

    This information is freely available via the Home Office website as they publish these figures each year in the Crime in England and Wales publication.  In order to aid and assist you further I have provided the relevant link below:- 
     
    http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/crime-research/hosb1011/ 

    The information you seek regarding 2011/12, will not be provided and we will rely on the following exemption for this point of your request:-

    Section 22 Information Intended for future publication

    (1) Information is exempt information if -
    (a) the information is held by the public authority with a view to its publication, by the authority or any other person, at some future date (whether determined or not),
    (b) the information was already held with a view to such publication at the time the request for information was made, and
    (c) it is reasonable in all circumstances that the information should be withheld from disclosure until the date referred to in paragraph.

    This exemption requires us to apply a Public Interest Test to decide if the information you require should be released ahead of the scheduled report.

Public Interest Test

Factors Favouring Disclosure:-

Accountability, Public Awareness & Debate 

Disclosure of information would enable the public to be better informed of information surrounding crime demonstrating continued and ongoing awareness and showing transparency by the force.  This would enhance public knowledge of the subject, by providing current information that may better inform public debate.

Factors Favouring Non-Disclosure:-

Existing Procedures and Force Efficiency

The exemption engaged in this case specifically requires us to simply look at the public interest in delaying the release of information that will automatically be disclosed in the future.  As it is know that this information will be published at a later date, to gather the information prior to the requirement to do so for the next scheduled publication, in order to answer this request would not be an efficient use of resources and finance as it would divert staff from their core duties and would involve a disproportionate use of resources, particularly at this time of economic concerns.

Balance Test

Police forces in the United Kingdom are routinely required to provide crime statistics to government bodies.  It is acknowledged that both accountability and public awareness are enhanced by the disclosure of this type of information.  However, this will be achieved through the publication of the intended report.

The Section 21 and Section 22 exemptions were specifically laid down by parliament to benefit those authorities who proactively publish information.  To constantly produce new and up to date elements of currently published or information intended for future publication in an attempt to satisfy an additional need outside of the annual schedule would render these exemptions less effective and remove the benefits of proactive publication.  For this reason it would be an inappropriate use of resources to carry out further research to satisfy this part of your request.

You should consider this to be a refusal notice under Section 17 of the Act for your request.

Please note that statistics for 2011/12 onwards will not appear on Home Office website, as from 1 April this year responsibility for the compilation and publication of crime statistics transferred to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and these will be published in 2013.  In order to aid and assist you further I have provided a couple of links to the ONS website below:-

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/index.html

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/hub/index.html

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: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

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.

Downloads

FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-28029