Police Information Notices - 099/15
Dated: 15 Jun 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 29 January 2015 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.
"I ask that you provide me with the following documents and information.
1. Any specific policy guidance or written descriptions of good practice, used by your own force on the issuance of PINs (whether published or not)
2. Details of your forces local procedure for ensuring that the views of the potential recipients are taken into account before PINs are issued to them.
3. Details of the methods of issuing PINs that are permitted by your force.
4. Details of your forces local procedure (if one exists) which enables a PIN to be amended in the event that there exists a dispute of evidence and how many have been amended using this procedure over the last two years.
5. Details of the procedure by which your force invites representatives from the recipient of a PIN before the PIN or the fact of its issuance is disclosed to a third party, such as the Criminal Records Bureau.
6. Statistics of how many PINs were issued over the last two years
7. Statistics of complaints regarding the issue of PINs where inadequate or lack of information has been given on PINs, for example undated, no reference or log number or clarification of time scale that the PIN is valid.
To clarify at point 5, I mean I require the procedure by which Northumbria Police seek the views of the recipient of a PIN before its existence is disclosed to a third party through a DBS disclosure"
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 in part by Northumbria Police, however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.
The information requested, particularly at point 6 is not held in a format that can be extracted within the time limits of the Act. To establish how many notices have been issued would involve contacting all police officers to search their pocket note books for references made to the issue of such notices. With around 3500 police officers in force even at a conservative estimate of 15 minutes per notebook, which we have considered as a reasonable minimum, we have estimated that to extract this information alone would take over 875 hours, therefore Section 12(1) 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 that part of your request.
Although excess cost removes Northumbria Police's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information below, relative to your request, retrieved or available before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded. I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of your request.
1. The policy and procedure regarding the serving and good practice around the use of PIN,s is located within the current Stalking and Harassment policy and procedure. In order to assist I have provided the extracted relevant parts in relation to your request, see below attached .
2. No information held. The force does not have any policy and procedure around getting the recipients views prior to issuing a PIN
3. This is given in the document in question 1.
4. No information held. The force does not have a system which allows the amendment of the PIN if the facts are disputed.
5. No information held. There is no specific information held regarding seeking representations from the recipient of a PIN prior to information being disclosed through the DBS process.
I can advise that there is guidance available in the public domain regarding representations.
7. There have been five allegations contained in five different cases in relation to complaints about the issue of PINs where inadequate or lack of information has been given
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.