Hospital staff assaults - 166/16
Dated: 26 Feb 2015
Date of request: 13/02/15
Date of response: 25/02/15
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 Febuary 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 would like the number of assaults against hospital and clinic staff across all the districts your area of operations from, and including, 1/1/2005 to 1/2/2015. Please can this be provided in a month-to-month and year-by-year template.
Also, can you provide the names of the hospitals and clinics in the template.
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 for the following reasons.
The information is not held in an easily retrievable format that allows us to retrieve within the prescribed time under the Act.
For the period 01/04/2005 (information prior to this date is held on different systems would add significantly to the time) and 01/02/15 there are a total of 1483 crimes of assault where the location is recorded at either a 'hospital', 'clinic', 'drop-in centre' or 'health centre'. To then establish if the victim were a member of staff would require each of those reports to be viewed. It should also be noted that the occupation may not be recorded.
Even at a conservative estimate of 2 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate, extract and compile this information would take over 49 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 that part of your request.
As part 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 the questions as set out in your request but for a 4 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/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.