Hoax Calls - 820/12
Dated: 06 Nov 2012
Date of request: 19/10/2012
Date of response: 30/10/2012
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 19 October 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.
How many hoax/malicious calls have been received by Northumbria Police this year, from January 2012 onwards?
Can you give a brief description of the types of calls made?
How many people have been arrested, charged, cautioned and prosecuted for making hoax calls to Northumbria Police during the same period?
Can you send separate figures relating to hoax/malicious calls for 2011 and 2010?
How much does it cost the force to deal with a hoax call.
How much did hoax calls cost overall in 2010, 2011 and in 2012 so far?
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 both the Communications and Corporate Development Departments of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held, in part, by Northumbria Police, however can not be disclosed for the following reasons:-
We are unable to supply the information requested. To provide information which meets the criteria of your request, particularly at question 3 would entail a member of staff manually searching over 1,710 incident logs that have been created for hoax/malicious calls to emergency services, to locate, extract and collate the information which meets the criteria of your request. Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 85 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.
As part of your request would exceed the prescribed limit, as defined by the Act, there is no requirement for Northumbria Police to provide a response to the remaining parts of your request. However, in order to provide you with some assistance, under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, an initial assessment of the information that may be provided within the time constraints would be question 1, 2 and 4.
You may wish to define and resubmit your request accordingly.
Although excess cost removes Northumbria Police's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as a gesture of goodwill outside of the Act I have supplied information below, relative to your request, retrieved or available before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded. 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.
5-6. No information held. Time taken to attend and deal with any incident is part of an officers normal working hours and is not costed or recorded separately.
Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another. Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the crime data. For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.
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.