Disclosure Details

Complaints - 1124/16

Dated: 22 Nov 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 12 October 2016 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 at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions. 

You asked:

I would like to request the following information: 

1. In the last three financial years, how many persons have made a complaint of discrimination against your force under the Equalities Act 2010? This also includes sexual harassment. Please break down by financial year for 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16. 

2. How many of these individuals put forward a legal claim? For each claim made, please state:

a. Whether the individual was a member of the public or an employee at your force (including both officers and staff)

b. The nature of the discrimination (e.g. sexual harassment, sex discrimination, disability discrimination, transgender discrimination etc.)

c. Whether or not the claim went to tribunal (if applicable)

d. The outcome (if applicable) and the amount of compensation paid (if applicable) 

3. In the last three years, how much money has been paid out following discrimination claims?  This information is separate to the above, as it may refer to claims from previous years.

Please provide this information broken down by the financial years above.

If possible, please separate by cases relating to employees, and cases relating to members of the public. 

I would be grateful if for each year, you could also list the amounts your force has paid in legal fees for these cases, broken down by legal firm. 

If this information is only available in calendar years and not financial years as requested, please provide it in calendar years instead for 2013, 2014, and 2015.

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 Legal and Professional Standards Departments 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. 

Due to the low numbers involved in this subject area, this information has been provided in such a way as to avoid exemptions being applied to the whole request. Particularly the exemption outlined in Section 40 of the Act would become fully applicable should there be a real risk of individuals being identifiable through the release of information in response to a Freedom of Information request. In this case, should the full detail be supplied, it is clear from the information held that the individuals involved would quite easily be identified if a complete response was to be released into the public domain. The information below is supplied in the spirit of the Act. Please note that this disclosure will be taken into consideration should any further requests be submitted on this subject.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

1. The information below shows the number of complaint and conduct cases recorded within the Professional Standards Department with an allegation attached that falls under the Equalities Act 2010.  The information provided has been extracted from a ‘live’ database and may be subject to the addition and deletion of complaints, complainants and subjects after the initial extraction of data used for the purposes of this request.

Data has been checked for allegations recorded between 01/04/2013 and 31/03/2016 for complaint and conduct matters relating to discrimination under the Equalities Act 2010. All allegations recorded under the allegation type "discriminatory behaviour" were checked as well as any allegation summaries that included the words "sexism", "sexist", "sexual", "ageist", "ageism", "equality", "race", "racist", "disability" and "discrimination". 

The answers below relates to Complaints recorded with an allegation type that fits the above criteria used.

2013/14 - 20

2014/15 - 40

2015/16 - 43 

2. In  financial  year 2013/14,  there were 2 complaints under the Equality Act 2010 (EA) made to an Employment Tribunal. Both were police officers and the protected characteristic was disability.

In  financial  year 2014-15,  there were 3 complaints under the EA made to an Employment Tribunal. 2 were from police officers and 1 was from a police staff member. Police Officer 1 claimed disability discrimination. Police officer 2 claimed disability and sex discrimination. The police staff member claimed disability and sex discrimination.

In  financial  year 2015-16,  there was 1 complaint under the EA made to an Employment Tribunal. It was from a police staff member. The protected characteristic was disability.

One claim led to compensation of £11,500.00. One claim led to compensation of £6,000.00. One claim led to compensation of £7,940.05. 

3. In the last three years two civil claims for discrimination were brought against the Force by members of the public.  No compensation was paid and there were no external legal costs paid in relation to these two claims.  The only costs incurred in relation to these two civil claims were internal fees of £5,510. 

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.