Correspondence - 491/12
Dated: 31 Jul 2015
Date of request: 12/06/2012
Date of response: 04/07/2012
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 12 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.
For each of the financial years 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 please provide the number of (a) thank you letters and (b) letters of criticism your police force received. Please provide data for (a) and (b) separately.
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police however can not be disclosed for the following reasons.
The information you have requested is not held either centrally nor in an easily retrievable format. Firstly, I have to advise that such correspondence can be received in a variety of ways, ie letter, email, via the website or twitter, and may be sent to departments, area commands or individual staff members. Secondly, without being specific, 'letters of criticism' could encompass many things, including complaints against officers, policy and procedures, the format of our website etc. As each area command and department hold their own information this would entail members of staff interrogating a number of police systems to locate and extract any relevant information. As there are 6 area commands and 14 departments we have estimated that to extract this information would take over the prescribed 18 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. It should also be noted that some information may not even have been recorded.
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.
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.