Weapons in Schools - 882/12
Dated: 08 Jan 2013
Date of request: 07/11/2012
Date of response: 27/11/2012
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 7 November 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.
I am seeking information under the Freedom of Information Act that you may hold in relation to the seizure/confiscation of weapons from schools and colleges in your area.
Number of weapons confiscated from schools and colleges (both inside and outside the premises) in each of the last five years. Please provide total for each year.
Please provide details of the type of weapon seized and the age of the pupil/student involved in each case. Note, if this is too much information to provide, please provide a breakdown for the latest year only.
If possible, please provide details of action taken against pupils/students in relation to each case (ie. no action, caution or arrest) and the outcome of any prosecution.
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police however can not be disclosed as the following exemption applies.
As responses to similar requests are accessible by other means I have not provided you with a copy of the information and will rely on Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. You should therefore consider this a refusal for your request.
I have provided an explanation to this exemption below.
Section 21 (1) - Information accessible by other means
Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant is exempt information.
The information you have requested has been asked for previously, the responses to which are published via the Disclosure Log on the Northumbria Police website, FOI 852/12 being the most recent.
I can confirm that the Sec. 12 refusal applied in those requests due to the time/cost implications under the Acts legislation also applies in this case.
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 as follows:
The number of crimes in schools where weapons had been involved since 2008.
Broken down into the the age of the offender.
You should note that the application of any relevant exemptions would not be discounted.
If this would be acceptable you may wish to define and resubmit your request accordingly.
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 crime data. For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.
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 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.