Facebook - 222/12
Dated: 07 Jun 2011
Date of request: 22/02/2012
Date of response: 13/03/2012
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 22 February 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.
The number of recorded incidents of harassment and threats (see definition below) where the following is mentioned in the MO Notes:
c. Either Facebook or Twitter (if technically possible)
Incidents of harassment and threats include: breach of restraining order; causing intentional harassment/alarm/distress; putting people in fear of violence; racially/religiously aggravated harassment with fear of violence; racially/religiously aggravated harassment without violence; threats to damage property; threats to kill.
We need this data over two timeframes:
a. 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010
b. 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011
If the data on recorded incidents is unavailable (or the MO not searchable) then please provide data on recorded offences instead.
If it is impossible to respond to the entire request on cost grounds then please provide data for the most recent year only (1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011).
If it is impossible to search the MO Notes for Facebook/Twitter/Both either on cost grounds or for technical reasons the please just conduct a single search for the word Facebook.
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 Corporate Development Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.
However, the information requested with regards to 'incidents' can not be provided for the following reason.
To provide information which meets the criteria of your request, in relation to 'incidents', would entail a member of staff manually searching over 4,000 records. Even at a conservative estimate of 1 minutes per incident, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 66, 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.
As part of your request would exceed the prescribed limit, as defined by the Act, there is no requirement for Northumbria Police to provide a response to the remaining parts of your request. However, in order to provide you with some assistance, under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, an initial assessment of the information that may be provided within the time constraints would be questions regarding the number of 'crimes', simply based a search of crime MO fields for the keywords 'Facebook' or 'Twitter' and whether they met your definition of 'harassment and threats'.
However you should be aware that exemptions to withhold some of the information requested are likely to be applied.
You may wish to define and resubmit your request accordingly.
You may also wish, in the first instance, to visit the Disclosure Log on the Northumbria Police website, where similar requests submitted under the Act can be found.
In order to aid and assist you I have provided the relevant link below.
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.