Taser use - 573/15
Dated: 05 Feb 2016
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
Thank you for your e mail dated 10 June 2015 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.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, please can you provide data on the number of times tasers have been used against children aged under 18 in each of the local authorities covered by the police force in each of the past two years (2013 and 2014).
Please provide the data broken down by categories of use: Drawn, Aimed, Arced, Red Dotted, Drive Stun, Angled Drive Stun and Fired.
Please could you also provide information on the youngest person a taser was used against in either of these two years (age, category of use).
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 Firearm Support Unit of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.
I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.
Regarding the information requested about taser use against children aged under 18 in 2013, broken down by category of use.
As the information you have requested is accessible by other means I have not provided you with a copy of the information and will rely on Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. You should therefore consider this a refusal for that part of your request.
I have provided an explanation to this exemption below.
Section 21 (1) - Information accessible by other means
Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant is exempt information.
This information has been provided to you in response to your previous request FOI 222/14.
We can advise that the incident in 2013, referred to in your previous request, took place in Newcastle Local Authority
In 2014 there were three Taser incidents involving under 18years:
Age 17 Taser was drawn, in South Tyneside Local Authority.
Age 17 Taser was fired, in South Tyneside Local Authority.
Age 14 Taser was drawn, in Newcastle Local Authority.
Therefore over 2013/2014 the youngest person for whom a taser was deployed is 14 years.
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 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.
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.