Disclosure Details

Confiscated Items - 709/12

Dated: 31 Jul 2015

Date of request:   07/09/2012

Date of response:   24/09/2012 

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

Thank you for your email dated 7 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.

You asked: 

"I would like a list of items that have been confiscated by the police within the past three years. Whether this is contraband, alcohol, weapons or any otyher miscellaneous items."

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 Corporate Development 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.

On average for the last 6 months this Northumbria Police has created 3,400 property records per week for property that has been seized for an assortment of reasons.  Therefore for the 3 year time period specified by your request it is possible that this force may have created approximately 530,400 property records.  Each record would require a manual viewing to establish what the property was, and as this record does not state if the property has been seized as it is 'contraband', it may then be necessary to read other incident records to establish the reasons for the seizure of the property.  Additionally it may also be necessary to consult the individual officers who dealt with those seizures to establish if the property was seized as it was believed to be contraband.  Even at an estimate of 1 minute per record (not including the time taken to speak with officers), we have estimated that to extract the information to the level specified for a 1 week period alone would take in excess of 56 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 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, even for a considerably shorter time period.

It should also be noted that there are more than 7,000 different descriptions of items in the property tables and it would be impossible to decide which of those were considered 'miscellaneous items'.

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