Disclosure Details

Crime Figures - 227/12

Dated: 07 Jun 2011

Date of request:   25/02/2012

Date of response:   14/03/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 25 February 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: 

Under the Freedom of Information Act I would like to know how many crimes reported last year went unsolved in the Northumbria Police force area last year?  With a break-down of the sort of crimes unsolved.
 
How many crimes were reported to the police last year?
 
And the same information for this year so far please - how many crimes have gone unsolved, a break-down of the type of crimes and the number of crimes reported.

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

We shall not be disclosing the requested information and by doing so we rely on the following exemptions.

With regards to the information for the period 2010/11

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.

Police forces in the United Kingdom are routinely required to provide crime statistics to government bodies.  Information regarding this part of your request is freely available on the Home Office website.

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, in this case 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.

In order to assist I have provide a link to the website below

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crime/

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