Hoax Call - 80/12
Dated: 07 Jun 2011
Date of request: 18/01/2012
Date of response: 01/02/2012
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 18 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.
For the period 01/01/2010 to 01/01/2012 for the North Tyeneside area please provide the number of hoax calls made by children aged beween the years 4 to 9. Please also provide the number of genuine calls made by the same age group for the same time period.
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 Communications Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is not collated by Northumbria Police.
Without being able to trace the perpetrators of hoax calls we would not know the age rang of the callers.
With regards to genuine calls, the only way to establish any ages is to read through the log of each call to establish if this information had been recorded. With in excess of 560,000 calls for 2010 and in excess of 550,000 call for 2011 even at a conservative estimate of 30 seconds per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 4500 hours for a 1 year period alone, 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.
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.