Disclosure Details

Unsolved Gun Crime - 51/12

Dated: 07 Jun 2011

Date of request: 13/01/2012

Date of response: 10/02/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 13 January 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: 

How many unsolved gun crimes do you currently have on file for your area between the year 2007 - 2011. This request is for general information only (I.e. Number of unsolved crimes only). No request is being made for personal or detailed information. No request is being made in regards to specific investigations. The request is only for the amount of unsolved gun crime in your area.

Refusal to answer this simple request will be taken as confirmation that your force has a high number of unsolved gun crime and that  your force is embarrassed for this fact to be known.

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.

I have decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.

The figure we have provided is based on a search of all undetected ‘firearms’ crimes that were created between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2011 and checked to see which crimes are undetected.  The data provided is for ‘firearms offences’.

A firearm has been taken to be involved in an offence if it is fired, used as a blunt instrument against a person, or used as a threat.  Firearm possession offences, where the firearm has not been used, have not been included.  It also does not include criminal damage involving the use of air weapons.

The data is based on a search of crimes where either a ‘Firearms Used’ marker is present or where the ‘Weapons Used’ field contains one (or more) of the following:

Rifle / Toy gun / Bullet / Pellet / Pellet gun / Firearm / Shotgun cartridge / Gun / Sawn off shot gun / BB gun / Taser / Stun gun / Handgun / Imitation firearm / Supposed firearm / Revolver / Paintball gun / Paintball / Replica handgun / Pistol / Air weapon / Shotgun / CS gas / CS gun

Included within the figures are crimes where the victim or witness believes the offender had a firearm with them.  Following the subsequent investigation into these particular incidents we have not been able to confirm the presence of a firearm however in the interest of transparency they are included.

There are also offences included where injury has been caused by air weapons and damage caused by ball bearings believed discharged from a firearm. Again, these have been included in the interest of transparency.

With the above in mind I can confirm that for the period specified there are 187 crimes that are undetected (as of 18 January 2012).

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.


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-28029