Disclosure Details

Records Management - 355/12

Dated: 07 Jun 2011

Date of request:  10/04/2012

Date of response:   20/04/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated  10 April  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:

  1. In the last 15 years, how many instances have been recorded within your police force of intelligence records being deleted from law enforcement databases either as a result of a mistake or as a result of a suspected unlawful or unethical action ?
    • Please state the date of the deletion;
    • Please state when the force became aware of the deletion;
    • Please provide any information about what was deleted;
    • Please state whether the deletion was considered accidental or the result of unlawful or unethical action.

  2. In the last 15 years, how many instances have been recorded within your police force of intelligence records  from law enforcement databases being incorrectly amended either as a result of a mistake or as a result of a suspected unlawful or unethical action ?
    • Please state the date of the incorrect amendment;
    • Please state when the force became aware of the incorrect amendment;
    • Please provide any information about what was incorrectly amended;
    • Please state whether the incorrect amendment was considered accidental or the result of unlawful or unethical action.
  3. In the last 15 years, How many employees of your police force (police officers and civilian staff) have been investigated for deleting intelligence records from law enforcement databases ?
    • Please state the rank or job role of the employee;
    • Please state the date of the suspected incident;
    • Please provide any information about what was deleted;
    • Please state the outcome of the investigation and any action taken.
  4. Are you aware of any criminal convictions relating to the deletion or incorrect amendment of intelligence records from law enforcement databases from within your police force?
    • How many convictions?
    • Please state the details and date of any convictions.
 
I would be grateful if you could provide the information in digital form and date order.

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 both the Crime and Professional Standards Departments (PSD) of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

We are unable to supply the information requested.  This information is not held in an easily retrievable format. Any investigations into such allegations would be investigated by PSD under a number of categories under the complaints or conduct procedures.  For the last financial year there were in excess of 200 complaints/conduct allegations.  Each allegation would then require a manual review to establish if any met the criteria of your request.  Whilst it is not possible to be accurate as to the time it would take to look at each record, as this would vary case to case, we have considered 3 minutes per record as reasonable.   We have therefore estimated that to extract this information would take well 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

You should also note that records may not be available for a 15 year period as we are only obliged to keep for 7 years.

You should consider this to be a refusal notice under Section 17 of the Act for 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 for a three year period only for all questions with the exception of information regarding what information was deleted as this is likely to attract exemptions under the Acts legislation.

If this would be useful you may wish to define and resubmit your request accordingly.

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