Disclosure Details

Weapons - 1393/16

Dated: 09 Feb 2017

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

Thank you for your e mail dated 22  December 2016 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 at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions. 

You asked:

How many weapons and/or explosives have been seized over the last three years whereby the location was ‘school.’

I would be grateful if you could use the words ‘school,’ ‘educational establishment,’ or any other keywords you think would locate crimes within the vicinity of schools. 

Please list the weapons seized – including improvised weapons. 

I would like this information broken down in calendar years for 2014, 2015 and 2016.


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 Corporate Development Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held in part by Northumbria Police, however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.

The information requested is not held in a format that allows its extraction within the permitted time constraints of the Act.

Force Property systems would require a manual review to establish if any weapons were recorded as being seized from a school. Initial searches for a one year period and searching for 'knife' brought back over 1500 instances of knives recorded in the force system.  Each of these would require manual review to establish if any were recorded as being seized from a school.  Even at a conservative estimate of 1 minute per record, which we have considered as reasonable,  we have estimated that to extract this information alone, ie one weapon type and for a one year period, would take over 25 hours, therefore Section 12(1) 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 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  a search for the number of crimes and / or arrests for the two following HO codes,

008/27- possess knife blade or sharp pointed article in school

008/28 - possess offensive weapon on school premises."  

If that would be useful you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly. 

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.