Disclosure Details

Facebook and Twitter Incidents - 403/12

Dated: 30 Jul 2015

Date of request:   03/05/2012

Date of response:   21/05/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 3 May 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. The number of recorded incidents where the following is mentioned in the MO notes: 
    a) Twitter, from April 1 2009 to present 
    b) Facebook, from April 1 2009 to present

  2. How many incidents resulting from Twitter and/or Facebook is the force investigating/has investigated since April 1 2009 to present

  3. How many complaints has the force received relating in some way to Twitter and/or Facebook since April 1 2009 to present?

  4. The number of arrests made involving Twitter and/or Facebook in some way, such as offensive tweets or retweets, since April 1 2009 to present?

  5. Details of the cases involving the use of Twitter and/or Facebook since April 1 2009 to present including when it happened, where, why they were arrested/charged, and what happened to the people involved in the case (victims and perpetrators) where applicable.

If it is not possible to search the notes for details of sites referred to above for cost grounds or technical reasons, please provide information of the incidents logged where Facebook and/or Twitter is cited.

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 Corporate Development Department 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.

To provide information which meets the criteria of your request would entail a member of staff manually searching 7,028 incidents where the keywords 'Facebook'. 'Face book' and 'Twitter' are contained with in the initial description of the incident.  Each of these incidents would need to be searched to establish in what contact the keywords have been used.  An incident could relate to general information re 'Facebook' and 'Twitter' rather than an incident which would lead to an investigation/crime etc.  Even at a conservative estimate of 1 minutes per incident, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 117 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.

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 1, 2. 4 and 5 regarding  the number of 'crimes' rather than 'incidents', simply based on a search of crime MO fields for the keywords 'Facebook' or 'Twitter'.

However you should be aware that exemptions to withhold some of the information requested may be applied.

If this would be useful you may wish to define and resubmit your request accordingly.

You may be interested to know that Northumbria Police routinely publish information that has been disclosed by Northumbria Police in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 via the Disclosure Log.  The aim of the Disclosure Log is to promote openness and transparency by voluntarily placing information into the public arena.

Whilst it is not possible to publish all responses we will endeavour to publish those where we feel that the information disclosed is in the public interest.  The Disclosure Log will be updated once responses have been sent to the requester.  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 underour 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_tcm4-28029