Disclosure Details

Shoplifting - 876/12

Dated: 30 Jul 2015

Date of request:   07/11/2012

Date of response:   12/11/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 7 November 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: 

  1. How many people were arrested for shoplifting on an annual basis on Shields Road for 2009/2010/2011 and so far this year?

  2. How many of these people were convicted?

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 Newcastle Area Command of Northumbria Police. 

I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police however there is currently no facility to easily access all of the information that you require, within the cost threshold, particularly with  regards to question 2. Searches would need to  be carried out on the specific policing area that incorporates Shields Road, the results of which would then need to be manually examined to extract the offences of shoplifting relevant to that particularly road. Initial searches have indicated in excess of 1300 offences which would require further research. Each of these would then require further interrogation to establish if an offender was attached to the offence and whether the offender had been convicted of  shoplifting.  Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable,  we have estimated that to locate and extract  this information would take over 108 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 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 question 1 only.    

You may wish to define and resubmit your request accordingly.

You may also find of interest information, freely available via Police.uk website, where you can enter a postcode, town or street name to get street-level crime data for information on for all crimes, anti-social behaviour, burglary, criminal damage and arson, drugs, other crime, other theft, public order and possession of weapons, robbery, shoplifting, vehicle crime and violent crime as provided by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).


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 crime data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

You may 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 underour 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_tcm4-67103