Disclosure Details

Counterefeit Currency - 532/12

Dated: 31 Jul 2015

Date of request:   25/06/2012

Date of response:   16/07/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 25 June 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. Pounds Sterling 
    a.  From 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 
    b.  From 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011 
    c.  From 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012

  2. Euro 
    a.  From 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 
    b.  From 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011 
    c.  From 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012

  3. US Dollar 
    a.  From 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 
    b.  From 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011 
    c.  From 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012

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 and Gateshead Area Command 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 reasons.

Information regarding counterfeit currency is not held centrally nor in an easily retrievable format. Each Area Command, of which we have 6 would record such information via 'Property other than found property' (POFP) on their recording systems.  This information would be recorded as 'cash' on the 'item type' field.  To establish which records relate to money of a counterfeit nature, each POFP record in the force for the time period specified would have be looked at individually.  To add to the complication of any search, money may not be recorded by currency type, ie Sterling, Dollar etc.

To put this into perspective further, an example of the amount of 'cash' property that would require scrutiny was requested from one Area Command.  This resulted in 1,381 examples from 2009 - 2012.  Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 69 hours for one Area Command alone.  Taking this as typical of what responses may be extracted from the 5 remaining Area Commands, it would take in excess of 345 hours to locate and extract the information relevant to this request, 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 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 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_tcm4-28029