Missing persons - 015/17
Dated: 24 Jan 2017
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
Thank you for your e mail dated 04 January 2017 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.
1. Please can you tell me how many currently unsolved missing persons cases you have on file, where the person has been missing for a year or more.
2. For each case, please tell me:
A) When the missing person first came to the attention of police - You clarified that you meant when the incident came to the a attention of the police.
B) The name and age of the missing person
C) A brief description of the case, for example the last sightings, any evidence as to why and how they went missing (can be kept short to stay within FOI time/cost restrictions)
E) If this case has been reclassified from a missing person case to a murder case: when was the person reported missing and when was the case reclassified
F) If this case is classified as a 'cold case' (or equivalent terminology):
when it was given this classification
G) If this case has been reopened: when it was reopened.
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 Safeguarding Department of 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.
2. A- C
With regards to these parts of the request the below exemption has been applied.
Section 40 (2) - Personal Information
Section 40(2) is a class based absolute exemption and as such legislators have identified that there would be harm in disclosure and there is no requirement to evidence this or consider the public interest test. However, as Section 40(2) is engaged and in order to make the exemption absolute we need to evidence that a data protection principle would be breached by disclosure. In this case it would not be fair to process information which could lead to the identification of an individual, therefore the first principle of the Data Protection Act would be breached.
Where appropriate, appeals are published on the Northumbria Police website to help locate people that are reported as missing from home. I have attached a link to the website below.
You should consider this to be a refusal under section 17 of the Act for that part of your request.
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.