Disclosure Details

Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIPA) Act - 704/12

Dated: 31 Jul 2015

Date of request:   05/09/2012

Date of response:   27/09/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 5 September 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: 

  1. The total number of requests your force has made under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) for three separate periods: August 2011 - August 2012; August 2010 - August 2011, and August 2000 - August 2001.

  2. For each of the three requested time periods I would also like a breakdown as follows: how many of the total requests involved interception of a communication, how many involved use of communications data, how many involved directed surveillance and how many involved intrusive surveillance.

  3. For each of the three requested time periods I would also like a breakdown of which category of crime was involved for each request under RIPA i.e. violent crime, terrorism, public safety, etc. If it is possible to be more specific and detail the exact crime, that would be appreciated.

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 Crime Department of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police however will not be disclosed for the following reasons.  On average Northumbria Police make approximately 3000 such requests per year.   Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable,  we have estimated that to extract the information specific to your request would take over 250 hours for a one year period alone, 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 that part of your request.

As part of your request would exceed the prescribed limit, as defined by the Act, there is no requirement for Northumbria Police to provide a response to the remaining parts of your request.  However, in order to provide you with some assistance, under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, an initial assessment of the information that may be provided within the time constraints would be question 1  for financial year only.   

You may wish to define and resubmit your request accordingly.

If however you are able to redefine your request to a more manageable degree, we must emphasise that this does not mean that the we have ascertained whether all of the information  is disclosable. Some of the information you seek is in a sensitive area and under the Act it is possible that we will rely on our right to neither confirm nor deny its existence or place other exemptions on it.

You may be interested to know that Northumbria Police routinely publish information that has been disclosed by Northumbria Police in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 via the Disclosure Log.  The aim of the Disclosure Log is to promote openness and transparency by voluntarily placing information into the public arena.

Whilst it is not possible to publish all responses we will endeavour to publish those where we feel that the information disclosed is in the public interest.  The Disclosure Log will be updated once responses have been sent to the requester.  I have provided the relevant link below:-


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 underour 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_tcm4-28029