Disclosure Details

Case Reviews and Category A Incidents - 408/12

Dated: 31 Jul 2015

Date of request:   05/05/2012

Date of response:   06/06/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 5 May 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: 

I note from following FOIA request – Unsolved Murders; http://www.northumbria.police.uk/Images/FOI%20566-10_tcm4-46155.pdf) that Northumbria Police have stated within that reply that; "In response to question 5 "Unsolved murders and cases of that importance are never closed and are periodically reviewed, if new information is received or there are new forensic developments these are acted upon."

Under the Freedom of Information Act I am requesting all recorded information you hold concerning the following;

  1. How often would such cases be ‘periodically reviewed’?

  2. Number of times the Stephen Sweeney case has been ‘periodically reviewed’ during the past 14 years?

  3. Regards 2 above, who carried out those reviews, i.e. the SIO, cold case team etc.?

  4. I have just been informed that there is a national procedure for the review of category A incidents. Do Northumbria Police follow the national procedure for the review of category A incidents?

  5. Regards 4 above, please supply me with all recorded information you hold concerning national procedure for category A incidents and also your policy on same.

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 Crime 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.

  1. We shall not be disclosing the information at these points as you have previously asked similar questions on this subject and have been provided with information which answers these parts in your request, our reference FOI 999/11 - Review of Investigation refers, therefore the following exemption applies.

    As the information you have requested is 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.

    This information has been provided to your previously, and is freely available via the whatdotheyknow website, your reference 'request-97037-8d99c698@whatdotheyknow.com'.

  2. This case was subject to full review in 1998 and further reassessed in 2006.  Periodic assessments have taken place since that time in line with review criteria.

  3. 1998 - Head of Crime 
    2006 - Senior Investigating Officer

  4. As per our response to 1 above.

  5. As per our response to 1 above.



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