Disclosure Details

Police Officers & PCSOs - 585/12

Dated: 07 Jun 2011

Date of request:      16/07/2012

Date of response:   06/08/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 16th July 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: 

Please could you tell me if ANY currently serving police officers and PCSOs (if you have them) have EVER served time in prison (whether before they joined the force or after)? And if so, how many?
 
If the answer is yes, please specify what crimes they were inprisoned for, what their rank is (if relevant), what time they served and state whether this was before or after entering the force, as well as what further disciplinary action was taken by your force (if any).
 
If officers have spent time in prison, please give me as much detail as possible about them and who they are without breaching Data Protection Laws.

 

In response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Professional Standards Department of Northumbria Police.  We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidelines state that:
A public authority must confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit.  I can neither confirm nor deny than the information you require is held by Northumbria Police as to actually determine if it is held would exceed the permitted 18 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.

 I have set out the reasons for this below.

The information is not held in an easily retrievable format.  Any information held would be  contained within each individuals file.
Electronic systems used are not  capable of searching on individual criteria and therefore searches would have to be done manually by a member of staff.
The Vetting Unit hold a total of 19,000 records that would require  manual viewing to identify the 2005 officers and staff that  have been accepted for vetting  since 2006.  Even at a conservative estimate of 20 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable,  we have estimated that to locate and extract this information would take over 650 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.

When applying S12 exemption our duty to assist under S16 of the Act would normally entail that we contact you to determine whether it is possible to refine the scope of your request to bring it within the cost limits.  However, from the information we have outlined above I see no reasonable way in which we can do so.

I can advise that the ACPO National Vetting Policy applies and states offences which resulted in a prison sentence including custodial, suspended or deferred and sentences served at a young offenders institution or community home should result in rejection. 

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