Khat - 531/15
Dated: 23 Jun 2015
Date of request: 31/05/15
Date of response: 23/06/15
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 31 May 2015 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.
My request relates to khat, which as you know, became a class C drug from 24 June 2014. I would like the following information from Northumbria Police, and please note that my request comes in three parts:
According to a Home Office factsheet
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/341917/Khat_leaflet_A4_v12__2_.pdf), from 24 June 2014, police will be able to use khat warnings and penalty notices for disorder (PND) for £60 to adults. I would like to know how many people, since 24 June 2014, have been:
1. issued a khat warning for the first possession offence
2. issued a PND for the second possession offence
I would also like to know, since 24 June 2014, the number of people who have been arrested on suspicion of:
3. producing of or being concerned in the production of khat
4. supplying or offering to supply or being concerned in supplying or offering to supply khat
5. possessing khat
6. possessing khat with an intent to supply khat
7. permitting premises to be used for the unlawful purpose of khat
8. importing or exporting khat
9. I would also like to know how many of those arrests led to being charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
10. I would then like to know how many of those charged led to convictions, and please provide a brief description of the details of the case resulting a conviction.
As I understand from a Home Office circular
(https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/322469/011_2014AnnexA.pdf), police forces are required to record seizures, therefore:
11. I would like to know how much khat has been seized by Northumbria Police since 24 June 2014.
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.
I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.
The information provided has been obtained by conducting searches of all arrests and crimes under the Home Office recording codes stated on the link to the Home Office factsheet, the MO descriptions for all crimes recorded since 24 June 2014 for the word "khat" and the text on all incidents since 24 June 2014 for the word "khat".
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.