Disclosure Details

Injuries Whilst In Police Care - 892/12

Dated: 31 Jul 2015

Date of request:   13/11/2012

Date of response:   22/11/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 13 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.

You asked: 

The request relates to injuries caused to members of the public either while being arrested or in police care over the last four years and any subsequent compensation awarded.

For the last four calendar years, (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) could you please provide me with the following information:

  1. How much compensation has been awarded to members of the public for any injuries caused by the force or while in the care of the force (a year-by-year break down will suffice)

  2. What was the nature of each injury where compensation was awarded (eg dog bite, fall etc) and what were the injuries caused.

  3. How many officers, if any, have been disciplined or dismissed as a result of an injury caused to a member of the public.

  4. How much compensation has been awarded to members of the public for wrongful arrest (a year-by-year breakdown will suffice)

  5. How many incidents of wrongful arrest have been recorded within the force (a year-by-year breakdown will suffice)

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 both the Legal and Professional Standards Departments of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police however due to the time limits of the Acts legislation  can not be disclosed for the following reasons.

Whilst Northumbria Police holds information in relation to your request, there is currently no facility to easily access all of the information that you require, within the cost threshold. The information which considers compensation alone, ie questions 1, 2 and 4 would exceed the permitted 18 hours. This is as to provide a response specifically to your query would require a manual search of 662 paper based Civil Claim records which have been finalised over the last four calendar years to establish if any relate to your queries.  Some files are  archived in an outside storage facility which would also involve retrieval fees.  Even at a conservative estimate of 30 minutes per record, which has been  considered as reasonable,  it has been estimated that to locate and extract the information requested at these parts alone 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 those parts of your request.

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 question  3, How many officers, if any, have been disciplined or dismissed as a result of an injury caused to a member of the public, and question 4 could be answered down to  complaints relating to wrongful arrest under the category of unlawful/unnecessary arrest or detention only. We would only have this information for people who had actually made a complaint.  Initial assessment is that both these questions could be answered for the 4 year period as originally requested by you.

If the above would be useful 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:-

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_tcm4-67103