Self Harm - 326/12
Dated: 07 Jun 2011
Date of request: 28/03/2012
Date of response: 17/04/2012
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 28 March 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.
The number of reported self harm cases, with-in age group 18-24 years old between 2007-2011 inclusive broken down into each year.
What was the predominate gender ?. ( with-in age group 18-24 years old) for each year
A geographic break down of boroughs with-in Northumbria’s Force area, showing the number of cases, between 2007-2011 with-in the age group 18-24 years old, also gender type.
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidelines state that:
A public authority must confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit. I can neither confirm nor deny than the information you require is held by Northumbria Police as to actually determine if it is held would exceed the permitted 18 hours 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.
I have set out the reasons for this below.
The information specific to your request is not held in an easily retrievable format as systems used are not designed to be interrogated in a way which would extract the information you are seeking.
Incidents reported as potential self-harm are grouped within incidents which are recorded using an 'opening code' which includes the following - Collapse, illness, injury, persons trapped and self harm. There is no way to distinguish the nature of an individual incident within these incidents without having to read the full incident report, especially as a self harm incident may have first been reported as a collapse, illness or injury etc.
During 2007 alone there were more that 55,000 incidents recorded within this category, which would have to be read to capture the incidents and data that has been requested. Even at a conservative estimate of 4 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate and extract this information would take over 3,600 hours for a 1 year period alone.
When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under Section 16 of the Act would normally entail that we contact you to determine whether it is possible to refine the scope of your request to bring it within the cost limits. However, from the information we have outlined above I see no reasonable way in which we can do so.
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 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.