Disclosure Details

Shoplifting - 540/14

Dated: 10 Oct 2014

Date of request:    01/07/14

Date of response:  17/07/14

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

Thank you for your email dated 1 July 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: 

1. Can you please provide the number of shoplifting incidents reported in Sunderland Area Command in the last three years
2. and the top 10 most targeted shops along with figures. Please provide name and location of these shops.

To clarify can I please have the number of crimes of shoplifting in the last three calendar years and the top 10 most targeted shops along with figures?

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 Strategy and Performance 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. There were 6017 shoplifting crimes recorded in the Sunderland Area Command over the period of Jan 2011 - Dec 2013.

2011 2120
2012 1953
2013 1944


2. This information will not be disclosed and in doing so I will rely on the following exemption.

Section 31 (1) law enforcement

Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would or would be likely to, prejudice-

a) the prevention and detection of crime

b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders

c) the administration of justice

(2) the purposes referred to in subsections a,b, and c are

a)  the purpose of ascertaining whether any person has failed to comply with the law,

b) the purpose of ascertaining whether any person is responsible for any conduct which is improper

c) the purpose of ascertaining whether circumstances which would justify regulatory action in pursuance of any enactment exists or may arise

Section 31 is a qualified exemption and requires the application of a Harm and public interest test which I have set out below.

Harm Test

The disclosure of information relating to the most targeted shops in Sunderland Area Command for shoplifting may provide an individual who is intent on shoplifting with information which may assist them commit crime within the community. This would lead to increased levels of criminal activity within the community.

Identifying those shops may have an impact upon the public as they may be less confident that Northumbria Police are proactive in their approach to shoplifting.


Public interest Test

Considerations which favour disclosure

Public awareness

To disclose the information requested would demonstrate to the public that the force are able to cope with the demands made on them by the pressures of modern policing. This in turn supports the operations of officers on the ground.

Public debate

Disclosure of the information would lead to informed public debate .


Considerations favouring non-disclosure


Effective and efficient conduct of the force

Release of the information may lead to more offenders targeting those shops leading to increased criminal activity. This in turn would mean more officers being deployed to those areas, leaving other areas with less resources.
 

Public safety

Public safety could be compromised by disproportionately high demands being placed on available resources. 


Balancing Test
In this case the Public Interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.  It is not sufficient that information will be of interest to the public; its release must be beneficial to the community as a whole.The risk of an increase in crime can not be seen to be in the public interest.

You should consider this to be a refusal under section 17 of the Act for the information requested in question 2.

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.

You may be interested to know we have a campaign ongoing at the moment, Operation Soundwave, aimed at tackling opportunist thieves and burglars across the force.
I have attached the links below which may be of interest to you.

http://www.northumbria.police.uk/news_and_events/media_centre/news_releases/details.asp?id=81320

https://www.northumbria.police.uk/news_and_events/news/details.asp?id=81348

http://www.northumbria.police.uk/news_and_events/news/details.asp?id=96855

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.

Downloads

FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-67103