Twitter - 171/11
Dated: 23 Mar 2011
Date of request: 03/03/2011
Date of response: 23/03/2011
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
Thank you for your email dated 3 March 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.
As your request relates to two different subject matters we have addressed your response accordingly below.
How much money has been spent on Twitter and social networking workshops in the last financial year? (April 2010 – current)
How many staff have been on such workshops? If possible, please could you break down into type of staff e.g. serving officers, communications workers etc.?
How many workshops there have been in the last financial year?
How long do these workshops last?
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with all Departments and Area Commands. I can confirm that the information you have requested is not held by Northumbria Police.
1-4. No information held. No workshops outside the below definition have been taken by Northumbria Police.
Northumbria Police can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any further information with regard to an exempt body as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply by virtue of the following exemption:
Section 23(5) Information Supplied by, or concerning, certain Security Bodies
Section 23 is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement to consider the public interest in this area. Confirming or denying the existence of whether any other information is held which relates to an exempt body would damage the efficient and effective conduct of The Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre (CEOP) by providing intelligence to criminals with regard to CEOP activity.
It has been formally acknowledged that the Police are to be trained in the tracking of suspects via social networking sites, such as Facebook, as part of a new training initiative incorporated within the National Policing Improvement Agency's (NPIA) Initial Crime Investigators Development Programme, see below link:
The CEOPs website publishes details about their workshops which focuses on protecting young people using social networking sites in their report, ‘Understanding Online Social Network Services and Risks to Youth’, see the below link. It does not identify whether or which police forces attended but it does acknowledge that law enforcement agencies attended, which would include police forces.
CEOPs delivers a multi-agency service dedicated to tackling the exploitation of children and derives its statutory powers from the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 and is affiliated to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). However they would not be the only organisation to provide courses as there are other courses, as detailed within the first link above, provided to forces.
Some forces, including ourselves, use Facebook openly for communication purposes, see below links:
Facebook is also used as a law enforcement tool, see below links:
5. How much money has been spent supplying staff with smartphone handsets such as Blackberries in the last financial year?
6. How much money has been spent on Blackberries in the last five years?
7. How many members of staff own Blackberries? If possible, please could you break this down into type of staff?
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 all Departments and Area Commands. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held, in part, by Northumbria Police, however we are unable to supply for the following reason.
Information relating to Blackberrys is not held separately from other devices and to provide information which meets the criteria of your request, particularly at questions 5 and 6, would entail a member of staff manually searching through invoices and other records to establish which costs related to Blackberrys and to ascertain which staff members had Blackberrys allocated. Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over the prescribed 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 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.
7. For the purpose of this request, we will assume that you mean how many staff are allocated a force Blackberry as opposed to how many 'own' one personally. I can confirm that we currently have 391 Blackberrys in use by officers and staff as part of their role.
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