Disclosure Details

Mary Bell Investigation - 111/12

Dated: 07 Jun 2011

Date of request: 26/01/2012

Date of response: 20/02/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 26 January 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: 

I am a photography student at Photography Studies College (http://www.psc.edu.au/).  For this semester’s folio, I have decided to re-create crime scenes from murders committed by children using dolls. This project is an attempt to create awareness amongst parents about the consequences of child neglect and abuse.
My research has led me to a "famous" case, the 1968 murders committed in Scotswood by Mary Bell: 3-year-old Brian Howe and 4-year-old Martin Brown.
I am now writing to request access to descriptions and pictures (drawings) of the crime scenes to help me achieve my folio, I hope these are covered under the freedom of information act.

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 of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police however will not be disclosed as the following exemption applies.

As the information you have requested is accessible by other means I have not provided you with a copy of the information and will rely on Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  You should therefore consider this a refusal for your request.

I have provided an explanation to this exemption below.

Section 21 (1) - Information accessible by other means

Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant is exempt information.

Information regarding this case is already in the public domain and freely available.

In order to assist I have proved a link below which may be of assistance, however other information is also available and can be found by doing simple searches via the internet or in publications regarding the case.


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.


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-28029