Disclosure Details

Corporate Communications - 385/14

Dated: 10 Jun 2014

Date of request:    7/05/2014

Date of response:  10/06/2014

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 May 2014  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 would like to request the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
1)      Is there a dedicated corporate communications / press department in this police force? If not, does your police force share or are in collaboration with another police force?
2)      What is the name of the department(s) that deals with public relations, the press and social media in this police force? And have there been any previous names that this department was known by?
3)      When was this department first established?
4)      Who has operational control of the department – the Chief Constable or PCC? And is this likely to change in the next year?
5)      How many people currently work in this department?
6)      How many people worked in this department in 2004 and 1994?
7)      What is the yearly budget for this department from 2000-2014?
8)      Which social media / networking websites does your police force use? How many official Twitter accounts and Facebook pages are there for this police force?
9)      Does your police force have a Press/Media policy? If so, when was the earliest policy first introduced and where can I find a copy of the latest policy?
10)   Does your police force have a digital media / social networking policy? If so, when was the earliest policy first introduced and where can I find a copy of the latest policy?

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 Corporate Communications Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I have today decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1)   The Strategic Corporate Communications Department provides a service for Northumbria Police and the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner.

2)   As above It was previously known as Media Services
3)      The name of the department changed in September 2008.
Media Services was a not a stand alone department it sat historically as part of a Corporate Department as a section. 

4)      The Chief Constable has operational responsibility for the department. This is not scheduled to change

5)   There are currently 24 FTE roles that provide the following areas of service: Media & PR, E Communications, Internal Communications, Creative Services (design, audio visual, training design and printing) as well as marketing and events.
This is currently under review.

6)     No information held.  This information is not retained.

7)   See below for information from 2008/09.  Information is not retained for the years prior to this.  In line with HMRC guidelines an organisation is not obliged to retain financial records for longer than 6 years plus the current financial year.

Year  Corp Comms Annual budget

2008-09    901,574
2009-10 1,428,536
2010-11 1.580,294
2011-12 1,229,349
2012-13 1,200,408
2013-14 1,173,754
2014-15 1,054,628

8)      We use, or have used, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube Flickr, Pinterest and Audioboo.

We currently have eleven official Twitter accounts and nine official Facebook Pages.

9)     "Maximising Positive Media Relations" is the current media policy, introduced  in April 2006 but has been revised on a number of times since then.  The latest copy can be found on the Northumbria Police website. 

10)  The latest policy - "On-line Communication and Engagement via Forums, Blogs and Social Media" -  can be found on the Northumbria Police website.
This was initially published in July 2012.

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 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_tcm4-67103