Disclosure Details

Sex Offenders - 601/12

Dated: 30 Jul 2015

Date of request:   25/07/2012

Date of response:   08/08/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 25 July 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. How many sex offenders have been investigated and found to have changed their names in the past three years?  
      
    In this response please specify how they changed their names, how long a period it was before they were discovered for having changed names and what happened to them after they were discovered.   
      
    If possible, please name the sex offender (name before and after)

  2. How many sex offenders have been investigated by your force for trying to take on new identities in the past three years?  

    In this response please tell me what they did to take on a new identity and how long a period it was before they were discovered for having changed identity.

*Please also confirm the total number who had successfully assumed new names and/or identities and how/if they did it without the police force realising.

In response:

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

Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidelines state that:

A public authority must confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit.  I can neither confirm nor deny than the information you require is held by Northumbria Police as to actually determine if it is held would exceed the permitted 18 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.

I have set out the reasons for this below.

We do not hold statistics which would enable us to respond to this request.

To establish what if any information was held would require a member of staff manually researching every sex offender for the past 3 years.  We have in excess of 4,000 people, each of which would require viewing to establish what, if any, information was held specific to your request.  Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate and extract any information would take over 330 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.

When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under Section 16 of the Act would normally entail that we contact you to determine whether it is possible to refine the scope of your request to bring it within the cost limits.  However, from the information we have outlined above I see no reasonable way in which we can do so.

I have to advise however that such information would not be considered suitable to be put into the public arena and exemptions to withhold would be applied if the information could be retrieved within the time limits under the Acts legislation.

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:-

http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/index.asp

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. 

Downloads

FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-28029