Disclosure Details

Begging - 507/14

Dated: 09 Jul 2014

Date of request:    19/06/2014

Date of response:  09/07/2014

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

Thank you for your email dated 19 June 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) A breakdown of the number and nationality of people arrested for begging for each of the last five financial years, ie 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14.
2) In relation to the above, please also identify the number who were homeless for each category, ie UK 50 arrests, 15 homeless. In terms of recording, it is perhaps likely these are recorded as 'No Fixed Abode'.
3) Please provide a breakdown for each year of the outcome/disposal for the arrests, ie number charged, cautioned, no further action or any other recorded outcome. Ideally these should also be linked to the number for each nationality, ie UK 50 arrests, 15 homeless, 20 charged, 20 cautioned, 10 no further action.

Please consider the priority of information to be in question order, ie 1,2 and then 3. However, I would hope the coding of information/data in force records would allow relatively straightforward searches to be carried out for each question.

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 Strategy and Performance Unit of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I have today decided 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 may 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.

The information provided is based on the number of people who have been arrested for begging offences  for the following years, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14. The offences used are 'Causing child or young person to be in street to beg' 'Begging'

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
FOI 507-14._tcm4-96881