Missing Persons - 389/11
Dated: 07 Jun 2011
Date of request: 24/05/2011
Date of response: 06/06/2011
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
Thank you for your email dated 24 May 2011 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.
How many people have been reported to the police as missing/absconding/failing to return from the Bede Wing Medical Centre, South Tyneside District Hospital in South Tyneside during:
a) April 1, 2009 - March 31, 2010
b) April 1, 2010 - March 31, 2011
In how many of the above cases was India 99/RAF helicopter called to assist in the search.
In how many of the above cases was the Coastguard called to assist in the search.
What are the time scales for each person reported missing, during the above periods, until they are found.
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 Communications Department of 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 reason.
This information is not held in an easily retrievable format. To provide information which meets the criteria of your request would entail a member of staff manually searching returns for the specific footbeat of the hospital concerned, and then narrowing down to the individual unit of the hospital for all reports of missing/absconding/failing to returns. We have estimated that to extract this information 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
You should consider this to be a refusal notice under section 17 of the Act for 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, down to hospital level only, 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.
If you decide to write an article/use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.
Please note the times indicated on the spreadsheet below are the times the person was reported as missing and reported as found to the police.
With the above in mind please see the document attached below which answers your request.
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.
Data Protection and Disclosure Advisor
Direct Dial: 01661 868347
DownloadsFOI Complaint Policy
FOI 389-11 Missing Persons