Jimmy Savile - 822/12
Dated: 31 Jul 2015
Date of request: 19/10/2012
Date of response: 26/10/2012
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 19 October 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.
Without asking for specific details has your Force ever recorded local police intelligence about the late Sir Jimmy Savile re allegations of child abuse and was any of this ever disclosed under the terms of the Police Act 1997 or in any other circumstances?
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
Northumbria Police can neither confirm nor deny that any information is held relevant to your request as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply by virtue of the following exemptions:
Section 23(5) Information Supplied by or concerning certain Security Bodies
S30(3) (by virtue of S30(1) and(2)) Investigations and Proceedings Conducted by Public Authorities
Section 23 is an absolute class-based exemption and therefore there is no requirement to conduct a harm or public interest test.
Section 30 is a class based qualified exemption and consideration must be given as to whether there is a public interest in either confirming or denying the information exists.
Factors favouring confirmation or denial for S30 – This issue is currently a highly emotive subject area attracting high profile media and public interest. Confirmation or denial that information exists could provide reassurance to the general public that the investigations of these accusations are conducted appropriately.
Factors against confirmation or denial for S30 – By confirming or denying whether any information is held regarding Jimmy Savile would hinder the prevention or detection of crime and undermine any current investigations. By disclosing the requested information in this case would mean that criminal investigations would be less effective and the small benefit in increased public awareness would not be adequate compensation for such an impact.
The Police Service is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime and protecting the communities we serve. The Police service will not divulge whether information is or is not held if to do so would hinder any investigations. Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations and providing assurance that the police service is appropriately and effectively conducting enquiries,there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding both law enforcement and the integrity of police investigations and operations in this highly sensitive area. The Police service is tasked with protecting the community and solving crime and information is not considered for disclosure if it would jeopardise those important roles.
It is therefore our opinion that for these issues the balance lies in favour of neither confirming nor denying whether information is or is not held.
No inference can be taken from this refusal that the information you have requested does or does not exist.
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.