Disclosure Details

Metal Theft - 234/12

Dated: 07 Jun 2011

Date of request:   27/ 02/2012

Date of response:  22 /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  27 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: 

I would like to know, since Dec 1 2011:-

  1. how many raids have been made by your officers/in your police service area on scrap metal yards in connection with searches for stolen metal.

  2. Please also provide details of the premises/business subject to the operation;

  3. the number of arrests made;

  4.  the result of the arrests (eg what charges brought) and the current status of those arrests (eg on bail, awaiting trial etc);

  5. the number of police officers involved in the operation;

  6. what other agencies and organisations were involved in the operation (Eg Network Rail, Environment Agency etc).

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 Crime Department of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held, in part, by Northumbria Police.

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

  1. A total of 21 raids have been made on scrap metal yards in connection with searches for stolen metal.

  2. Each Area Command was asked to record the number of yards visited, but not the details of each one visited.  However, some information is accessible by other means, therefore 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 that 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 from the Northumbria Police website, via a recent news article.  In order to aid and assist you further I have supplied the relevant link below:-


  3. A total of 21 arrests were made.

  4. All 21 are currently on police bail.

  5. No information held - The number of police officers involved in the operation was allocated as part of day-to-day duties and not recorded separately.

  6. The other agencies and organisations involved in the operation were the Local Authority Licensing Departments, Trading Standards, Health & Safety Executive, BT, Environment Agency, BTP, VOSA and HMRC.

Northumbria Police can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any other information relevant to your request as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply, by virtue of the following exemption:

Section 23(5) Information relating to the Security bodies

Section 23 is an absolute class-based exemption and therefore there is no requirement to conduct a harm or public interest test

You may also be interested to know that Northumbria Police routinely publish information that has been disclosed by Northumbria Police in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 via the Disclosure Log.  The aim of the Disclosure Log is to promote openness and transparency by voluntarily placing information into the public arena.

Whilst it is not possible to publish all responses we will endeavour to publish those where we feel that the information disclosed is in the public interest.  The Disclosure Log will be updated once responses have been sent to the requester.  I have provided the relevant link below:-


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.


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-28029