Taser - 833/12
Dated: 09 Nov 2012
Date of request: 24/10/2012
Date of response: 08/11/2012
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 24 October 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.
Can I have the number of instances that an individual has been hit in the chest area with a TASER in the financial year 2011/2012.
Can I have the number of times a TASER has been discharged for more than 5 seconds on one particular individual from in the financial year 2011/ 2012.
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
As advised earlier, this request has been aggregated with your previous request, FOI 775/12, due to the cost and time implications as it refers to the same subject area.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Operations Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held, in part, by Northumbria Police, however can not be disclosed for the following reasons.
Whilst undertaking the research into this request it has become apparent that the information is not routinely clearly recorded to the level of detail that would allow us to respond fully to the questions posed. As the information is not currently held in a recorded format, an attempt to retrieve the information would involve research with each of the Officers involved in such deployments. This, when added to the time undertaken on researching your previous request (FOI 775/12), would take over 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
Although excess cost removes Northumbria Police's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as a gesture of goodwill outside of the Act 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. From the taser deployment forms held by the Operations Department we can advised that in the financial year 2011/12 tasers were discharged 15 times. Of those 15, where it is clearly recorded, it is apparent that 5 cases were tasers to the chest area.
2. No information held. This information is currently not recorded.
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 crime 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.
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.