Disclosure Details

PCSO powers - 452/16

Dated: 22 Apr 2016

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

Thank you for your e mail dated 6 April  2016 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 at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

1) Have your PCSOs been enabled with any of the following additional powers?:

a) Powers to detain

b) Powers to search

c) Powers to use reasonable force against an individual ‘making off’ 

2) Have any of your PCSOs been equipped with any of the following?:

a) baton

b) handcuffs

c) Tazer

d) Body worn video

e) Incapacitant spray

f) Motor vehicles 

3) Within an given 12 months between 2014 and 2016 that you have records for how many people have been a) arrested and b) prosecuted for ‘making off’ when stopped by a PCSO? 

4) Within an given 12 months between 2014 and 2016 that you have records for how many people have been a) arrested and b) prosecuted for refusing to be searched by a PCSO?


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 within Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police. 

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows. 

With regards to points 1 and 2 the below exemption has been applied as relevant

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 is freely avalable and can be found via the Northumbria Police website within the procedure document below

Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Patrol Function

3&4 Searches made for the time period 01/01/15 - 31/12/16 on the Home Office codes below has brought back zero hits.  However it should be noted that if someone made off and was arrested, they would typically be arrested for a substantive offence (not the offence of making off), however we have no way of establishing how often this may occur.

138/03 Fail to give name and address to PCSO

138/04 Make off detained by CSO having given false name/address

138/06 Fail give name/address to PCSO Act in anti-social manner 

138/07 Make off whilst detained fail give name/address PCSO

138/08 Make off while accompany PCSO to Police Station ASBO


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 data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes. 

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.

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.