Payments Made - 687/12
Dated: 31 Jul 2015
Date of request: 12/09/2012
Date of response: 21/09/2012
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 12 September 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.
Please can you tell me if any of your police officers, who have been convicted and jailed (if any) were paid during any of their prison sentence.
Recently a force admitted that an officer who was convicted and imprisoned earlier this year is still employed by the force and therefore still being paid. The reason that they gave was that the officer's misconduct proceedings have not yet been completed.
What I am trying to find out through this FOI is whether jailed police officers have continued to on paper be 'employed' and therefore be receiving pay during the beginning of their sentence - due to delays in internal misconduct processes.
I would therefore have thought it would not require a manual search of all officers - as you could just search those you know have been convicted and jailed, as I'm sure there aren't that many? Is there not a list of officers who have been jailed (if there are any)?
I hope this makes sense, and sorry to ask again - but I'd have thought given the small number of jailed officers, it shouldn't be difficult to find out if they received any pay while in prison.
However, if there has to be a time-limit - please can you make it at least ten years.
Has the same thing ever happened with your force, where an officer has been jailed for a serious crime and still received pay during any of the time he was in prison?
If so, how long was he/she paid for? I.e. how many weeks/months/years did he or she still receive pay while in prison?
Please give as much detail as possible as to why the officer/s continued to receive pay (if they did) and why it took so long? was it down to police systems or government requirements?
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 Professional Standards 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 reasons.
Information regarding jailed officers is not held separately from other cases. All cases would need to be viewed to establish which met the criteria of your request. It should also be noted that information for the 10 year period requested is not held in an easily retrievable format. Whilst information from 2005 onwards is held electronically, cases prior to this date are not and may be held in storage in paper based files. Retrieval fees for files that have to be retrieved from storage facilities would also be required to be costed in to any estimate. With approximately 600 complaint cases per year, even at a conservative estimate of 10 minutes per file, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract just the information from 2003 to 2005 would take over 300 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 your questions as outlined above for the period 2005 -2012 only.
If this would be useful you may wish to define and resubmit your request accordingly.
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.