Disclosure Details

Equipment Issued - 120/12

Dated: 07 Jun 2011

Date of request: 27/01/2012

Date of response: 20/02/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 27 January 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: 

Since Jan 2007, how many items of clothing or equipment have been provided to police officers in your force which have been specially adapted or specially requested? These should include any piece of equipment or clothing which has been altered to cater to the officer's needs or non-standard items provided to suit their needs, for example shoes with raised heels to gain height.

Please provide a description and cost for each item as well as the reason they were supplied. 

If looking back five years means the request exceeds the FOI cost limit, please anticipate that I would ask for this time period to be reduced so the request could be answered.

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

A central record of this information is not held.  To provide information which meets the criteria of your request would entail a member of staff manually searching all invoices where clothing had been requested.  We have estimated that to extract the information you have requested would take over the prescribed 18 hours, even for a 1 year period,  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 your request.

Additionally we employ two seamstresses who carry out in-house alterations to clothing.  The cases where the seamstress alters clothing will be just done and there will be nothing on record at all.

In order to provide you with something I can advise that our Procurement Manager can recall that there are a small number of officers who have been supplied with non standard clothing because of allergies, specially lined trousers, shirts and jumpers.  A special body armour vest has been supplied to officers that have back problems.  The vest allows equipment to be carried on the torso instead of on the waist which has been found to alleviate some back problems.


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.


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