Disclosure Details

Skimming Devices - 172/12

Dated: 07 Jun 2011

Date of request: 08/02/2012

Date of response: 24/02/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 8th 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: 

For you force area, for the period spanning the last four calendar years (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011), could I please have details for the following:

  1. How many skimming devices have been reported to police that have been found on cash points (a month-by-month breakdown will suffice)

  2. The location where each reported skimming device was found (eg cash point, on Grainger Street, Newcastle)

  3. The number of reports of skimming devices found on machines that were NOT cash points.

  4. What were these machines.

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 by Northumbria Police however can not be disclosed for the following reason.

This information is not held in an easily retrievable format.  Initial searches  made using keywords such as Atm, Cash Machine, Cash Point, Cashpoint, Cash Trap, Card Trap, False Front, False Card Slot, Lebanese (As In Lebanese Loop),Transylvanian Trap, Skim produced in excess of 2,300 incidents.  These would then require a manual viewing to establish whether a device had actually been found or used. 
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 190 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.

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.


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