Disclosure Details

Allegations of Racism - 346/12

Dated: 07 Jun 2011

Date of request:  07/04/2012

Date of response:   23/04/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated  7 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: 

Full details of allegations of racism made against force employees in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available.  I would like the response to include, for each year during the period,

  1. The number of allegations made

  2. The nature of each allegation

  3. The rank of the employee facing the allegation

  4. The method of  resolving the complaint – ie by preliminary inquiry,  internal or external investigation, etc

  5. the judgement made – ie guilty or otherwise and

  6. the penalty imposed, where relevant.

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 Department 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 reason.

Information is only required to  be held for a 7 year period, therefore anything prior to 2005 may not be held. 
The remainder of the information requested is not held in an easily retrievable format, as such allegations could be made under the headings 'incivility' 'discriminatory behaviour' 'respect and courtesy' as well as other types of conduct and misconduct cases.
These would then require manual review to establish which were allegations of racism.  Initial searches for a 1 year period for 'incivility' cases have produced 191 allegations. We have estimated that to locate and extract the information specific to your request for the remaining 6 year period would take 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 consider this to be a refusal notice under Section 17 of the Act for that part of your request.

As parts 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 extracted and provided within the time constraints would be information specific to your request for a 3 year period only,  ie data for January 2009 - December 2012

If that 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.


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-28029