Disclosure Details

G4S - 639/12

Dated: 07 Jun 2011

Date of request:      07/08/2012

Date of response:   29/08/2012

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 August 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: 

For the last 3 years please provide:

  1. Complaints made by the public against G4S

  2. Complaints made by the police to G4S on outsourcing contract performance.

Please also provide brief details of each complaint received.

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 Professional Standards (PSD), Communications and Corporate Development  Departments (CDD) of Northumbria Police. 
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidelines state that:

A public authority must confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit.  I can neither confirm nor deny than the information you require is held by Northumbria Police as to actually determine if it is held would exceed the permitted 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

You should consider this to be a refusal notice under Section 17 of the Act for that part of your request.

I have set out the reasons for this below.

As there are no incident categories relevant to your question at point 1 there is no easy way to enable us to search for complaints made to Northumbria Police by the public against G4S. If a member of the public rang Northumbria Police  complaining about G4S, unless it was part of a report about something else at the same time, then we would be unlikely to have a log for it as our call takers  would simply redirect the caller to G4S.

The only way to establish with any certainty if there are any such records relative to your request would be to read each log of a reported incident.

With in excess of 559,090 incident logs  for 2011 alone even at a reasonable estimate of 1 minute per record, which we have considered as conservative,as incident logs can be many pages long, we have estimated that to confirm if any such information is actually held would take over 9000 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.

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.

Although excess cost removes Northumbria Police's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as a gesture of goodwill, I have supplied information below which may be useful.  I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of your request.

With regards to complaints made to our Professional Standards Department, which comes under part one of your request regarding complaints made, I can advise that as G4S are an external company, we would not record any complaints against them as their staff are employed by G4S not Northumbria Police.

With regards to part 2, I can advise that Northumbria Police have no outsourcing contracts with G4S and therefore no complaints

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.

Downloads

FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-28029