Disclosure Details

Domestic homicides - 361/14

Dated: 03 Sep 2013

Date of request:    25/04/2014

Date of response:  27/05/2014

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

Thank you for your email dated  25 April 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: 

I am now carrying out a small piece of research into the preventability of domestic homicide. The numbers of women being killed by former or current partners seems to be a constant average of two per week. Based on some scant data, I have formed the hypothesis that many of the men committing these very serious crimes are not known to the police before hand – or on any kind of ‘watch’ list / risk register. And I need your help to find out if there is any basis to my hypothesis. Consequently, I would be most grateful if you could answer the following questions:
1. How many domestic homicides has your force dealt with over the last five years? A total figure is fine, or if you wish, break it down year by year. In this context, I am defining a ‘domestic homicide’ as being when a person is found guilty of killing a partner/former – murder or manslaughter. I am excluding other tragic cases of where parents kill themselves and/or their children etc.
2. How many of these persons (the ones convicted of killing) had any kind of prior criminal record ranging from low level crime to more serious acts of violence, cautions to imprisonment etc?
3. And how many of these people were on any kind of watch list / high risk assessment register / or similar?
Please note that if you cannot answer one of these questions (due to a FoI exclusion etc), please do still answer the other questions that you can

To clarify I mean financial/planning years.

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

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 Crime Department 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.

1. Over the last five financial years Northumbria Police has dealt with eight domestic homicides, as defined by your request

2. Six of these offenders had convictions or cautions prior to the homicide

3. We can advise that two of these offenders were managed within the MAPPA arrangements at the time of the homicide

Northumbria Police can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any other information relevant to this part of the request, as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply by virtue of the following exemptions:
Section 31(3) Law Enforcement
Evidence of Harm
Modern-day policing is intelligence led. The National Intelligence Model is adhered to by all police forces across England and Wales.  It is a business process with an intention to provide focus to operational policing and to achieve a disproportionately greater impact from the resources applied to any problem.  It is dependant on a clear framework of analysis of information and intelligence allowing a problem solving approach to law enforcement crime prevention techniques.  To confirm whether or not Northumbria Police use any other covert methods as an investigative tool would undermine any ongoing covert operation by revealing tactical capability and intelligence within this area. The prevention and detection of crime is the foundation upon which policing is built.  The Police Service has a clear responsibility to prevent crime and arrest those responsible for committing crime or those than plan to commit crime.  By confirming whether or not a specific tactic is used could directly influence the stages of that process, jeopardise current investigations and prejudice future law enforcement.  This in turn could lead to police officers being resourced away from the frontline in order to focus on catching the criminals involved within any undercover investigation. 
Factors Favouring Confirming Any Other Information is Held
By confirming or denying whether any other information is held relevant to your request would lead to better public awareness into how Northumbria Police tackle crime which may lead to more information being submitted from the public which may culminate in a reduction of crime. It will also enable the public to scrutinise the Police procedures in protecting the public from this type of vicious crime.
Factors Against Confirming Any Other Information is Held
The Police Service will not confirm whether or not it is involved in any other areas monitoring of offenders.  To do so would disclose information to the detriment of law enforcement techniques as evidenced within the above harm. 
Balance test
The Police Service is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime and protecting the communities we serve. Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations/ tactics and providing assurance that the police service is appropriately and effectively engaging with the threat posed by those with a criminal intent, there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding the integrity of police investigations and operations in this highly sensitive area. As much as there is public interest in knowing that policing activity is appropriate and balanced, this will only be overridden in exceptional circumstances. It is therefore our opinion that for these issues the balance lies in favour of neither confirming or denying that any other information is held relevant to the request.

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