Disclosure Details

Alcohol Related Disorder & ASB - 352/12

Dated: 07 Jun 2011

Date of request:  09/04/2012

Date of response:   25/04/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated  9 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. Is there a mandatory reporting field on the police crime database for all officers, for reporting alcohol related youth disorder?

  2. Please provide details of the process followed to report alcohol related anti-social behaviour, where a young person (under 16) is involved. Please include an estimate of the average time spent on reporting each such incident by an officer, including time taken off the beat to complete Child Protection and Support Services paperwork. Please include a figure for how many such incidents occurred in Northumberland in 2011.

  3. How much money was spent in 2011, by Northumbria Police, managing city centres and town centres during peak drinking times on Friday and Saturday nights? This should include the value of policing activities where it is not possible to identify actual expenditure.

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 Corporate Development and Finance Departments of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police however can not be disclosed for the following reasons. 

This information is not held in an easily retrievable format.  Whilst there is a marker on Crimes to indicate whether alcohol had been a factor, the instances you refer to above are not recorded as Crimes, unless a crime has actually been committed, ie Criminal Damage etc.Reports of youths in a street drinking would not result in a recorded crime, so it is not possible to search for the alcohol MO marker that would be included in a crime, as no notifiable crime has actually occurred.  During 2011 there were almost 6000 incidents of youth related disorder or anti-social behaviour in the Northumberland area which may or may not have involved young persons under the age of 16, and may or may not have included alcohol.as there is no guarantee that the full details of the persons involved will be recorded within the computerised incident report, especially when the incident has involved larger groups of youths.

The only way to establish the full details that have been requested would be to fully read each individual incident report to establish the ages of the persons involved, and whether the incident involved alcohol.   Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable,  we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 500 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.

When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under Section 16 of the Act would normally entail that we contact you to determine whether it is possible to refine the scope of your request to bring it within the cost limits.  However, from the information we have outlined above I see no reasonable way in which we can do so.

Although excess cost removes Northumbria Police's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as a gesture of goodwill, I have supplied information below, relative to your request, retrieved or available before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded.  I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of your request.

I can inform you that we do not hold information regarding estimates of the average time spent on reporting each such incident by an officer, nor do we hold information regarding how much money was spent in 2011, by Northumbria Police, managing city centres and town centres during peak drinking times on Friday and Saturday nights.  These figures are not collated by Northumbria Police.

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.


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