Disclosure Details

Vehicle Recovery Fees - 534/12

Dated: 31 Jul 2015

Date of request:   25/06/2012

Date of response:   11/07/2012

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 June 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. Does Northumbria Police receive a referral fee, administration fee or any other kind of remuneration when it refers crashed, broken down or abandoned vehicles to external recovery companies?

  2. If yes, how much is the fee charged? Please provide details and estimates if the fee varies.

  3. How many referrals to recovery companies did Northumbria Police make: 
    a.  From 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010? 
    b.  From 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011? 
    c.  From 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012?

  4. What is the revenue generated from referrals to recovery companies for the above years?

Please provide figures for calendar years (Jan-Dec) if figures for financial years are unavailable.

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 (enter Department/s Area Commands) 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.

  1. The Chief Constable receives the statutory charge as prescribed in the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and secondary legislation.  Further information regarding these charges can be found on the below link.


  2. As per our response to 1 above.

  3. a. From 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 – 7,984 statutory recoveries 
    b. From 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011 – 4,962 statutory recoveries 
    c. From 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 – 5,259 statutory recoveries

  4. The retained portion amounts to the sum of £413,859.  It should be noted that this is not 'revenue generating' but merely to cover the costs of performing the administrative function necessarily retained by the force as prescribed within Acts of Parliament i.e. the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 to ensure the safety of other road users is not compromised.

You may also wish to view an open letter which is available in the public domain which was circulated in June 2011 by Chief Constable Phil Gormley.  This letter was circulated in response to allegations within the press in relation to the police service ‘cashing in’ on the victims of car crashes for profit.

In order to aid and assist you further I have provided the relevant link below.


If you decide to write an article/use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted above so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

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 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. 


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-28029