Fraud - 916/13
Dated: 03 Sep 2013
Date of request: 27/11/2013
Date of response: 11/12/2013
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 27 November 2013 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.
For each of the past five financial years how many reports have you received from people that they have fallen victim to the following crimes;
A doorstep selling scams/fraud
B. cold call (telephone) scams/frauds
C. scams/fraud on the internet.
For each of the past five financial years, how many charges have been brought for
A. doorstep selling scams/frauds,
B. cold call (telephone) scams/fraud and
C. fraud on the internet.
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 Strategy and Performance Unit of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police however can not be disclosed for the following reasons.
The information you have requested is not held in a format that allows extraction within the prescribed time limits of the Acts legislation.
For instance a search of incidents (reports) for 2012/13 alone with the key words "cold call", "scam" or "fraud" has brought back in excess of 4,780 incidents that would need to be viewed to extract the data you have requested.
Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as a reasonable minimum, we have estimated that to extract this information, for the 1 year period alone, would take over 239 hours, therefore Section 12 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.
As parts of your request would exceed the prescribed limit, as defined by the Act, there is no requirement for Northumbria Police to provide a response to the remaining parts of your request. However, in order to provide you with some assistance, under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, an initial assessment of the information that may be provided within the time constraints would be for searches made on the Home Office code for 'Fraud by false representation' and for a two year period only.
If that would be useful you may wish to refine and 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: 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.