Disclosure Details

Discrimination - 920/14

Dated: 26 Nov 2014

Date of request:      05/11/14

Date of response:   26/11/14

Provision of informati11 held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 5 November 2014 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) The number of allegations of homophobic discrimination made by members of the public against staff and officers of your police force each year going back to 2008 inclusive, broken down by calendar year. Please include 2014 to date.

2) Of those, the number of allegations of homophobic discrimination each year that were a) Unsubstantiated/Not upheld b) Locally Resolved c) Withdrawn d) Dispensed or discontinued e) Substantiated or upheld.

3) For each those allegations that were substantiated or upheld, please provide the year of the allegation, a short summary of the allegation, whether any misconduct meeting or hearing was held, and details of any disciplinary sanction that was imposed.

N.B. Please do not include allegations made by police staff or officers in your figures. If you cannot exclude internal allegations from your figures, then please state this clearly in your response.


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 by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

The following information 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 with subject attached between 01/01/2008 and 06/11/2014 for complaint matters relating to homophobic discrimination by Police Officers and Police Staff.  Please note this does not include Special Constables.

The ‘Allegation sub type’ field was checked for allegations categorised as ‘Homophobic’ and a keyword search was conducted within the ‘Allegation summary’ field for the words ‘homophobic’, ‘homophobia’ ‘prejudiced’, ‘discriminatory’, ‘discrimination’, ‘gay’, ‘lesbian’ and ‘sexuality’.  Each complaint the searches returned was then read to ascertain if it related to this type of conduct.  Each case is investigated and the outcome is dependent upon the issues identified following that investigation. 

1) From 01/01/2008 - 06/11/2014 there have been 10 homophobic discrimination allegations made by members of the public which have been finalised. 

These are broken down by year as follows;

2008 - 3 allegations
2009 - 1 allegation
2010 - 3 allegations
2011 - 1 allegation
2012 - 0 allegations
2013 - 1 allegation
2014 to 06/11/14 - 1 allegation

All allegations are thoroughly investigated. It is essential that police officers and staff are impartial in order to retain the trust and confidence of the public. Should any member of staff be found to have made a discriminatory comment or action then disciplinary action will follow.

2) These 10 allegations were finalised as follows;
All 3 allegations were unsubstantiated.

This allegation was locally resolved.

2 allegations were locally resolved and 1 was unsubstantiated.

This allegation was withdrawn.

There were no homophobic allegations recorded during this year.

This allegation was withdrawn.

2014 to 06/11/14
1 allegation has been withdrawn.

3) Of the 10 allegations which are finalised none were substantiated or upheld.


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 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_tcm4-67103