Terrorism offences - 300/15
Dated: 15 Apr 2015
Date of request: 19/03/15
Date of response: 15/04/15
Provision of informati11 held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 19 March 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 to ask the following questions under the Freedom of Information Act.
How many complaints did your force receive from 1/1/14 until 1/1/15 in connection with Syria and Iraq-related terrorism offences?
By this I mean how many people in your force area were investigated over allegations that they were potential supporters of Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, or any similar Islamist jihadi groups operating in Iraq or Syria.
Of that total number -
1 - How many people were investigated for showing support for these groups or interest in them by purely UK-based activities (eg internet research, attendance at meetings, fundraising etc).
1a - How many of those from Q1 have been arrested. How many were subsequently convicted?
2 - How many people were investigated over fears that they were planning to travel to Syria or Iraq?
2a - How many of those from Q2 have been arrested. How many were subsequently convicted?
3 - How many were investigated because they had actually travelled to Syria or Iraq to join Islamic State or similar groups?
3a - How many of those from Q3 were men?
3b - How many of those from Q3 were women?
3c - How many men have returned to the UK and of those who have returned how many have been arrested. How many were subsequently convicted?
3d - How many women have returned to the UK and of those who have returned how many have been arrested. How many were subsequently convicted?
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 that 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(2) 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 you have requested, if held, is not held in an easily retrievable format.
To establish if any infomation at point one alone of your request is held would entail all police officers and staff being contacted to see if any individuals were being investigated for showing interest or support, or as being potential supporters of ISIS/ISIL. This would not be achievable within the time limits of the Act. Futher time would then be required to offer responses to the remainder of your request, which would be equally time consuming to establish.
When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under Section 16 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.
You should note that has S12 not been applicable to your request other exemptions would have been considered and applied where appropiate. The security of the country is of paramount importance and Northumbria Police will not divulge whether information is or is not held if to do so would place the safety of an individual at risk or undermine national security.
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/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.