Barred Mobile Phones - 353/11
Dated: 26 May 2011
Date of request: 12/05/2011
Date of response: 26/05/2011
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
Thank you for your email dated 12 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.
Does your force bar mobile phones from making 999 calls after a certain number of false/malicious calls from the same number? - If so, how many false/malicious calls trigger a phone being barred?
Does your force bar landline phones from making 999 calls after a certain number of false/malicious calls from the same number? - If so, how many false/malicious calls trigger a phone being barred?
For each of the last five financial years (2006/7, 2007/8, 2008/9, 2009/10 and 2010/11):
How many phones has your force barred from making 999 calls? - Please give the number of landlines and the number of mobile phones.
How many 999 calls were received by the force? - Please give the number of calls made from landlines, and the number from mobile phones.
How many 999 calls required the urgent and immediate attention of the police? - Please give the number of calls made from landlines, and the number from mobile phones.
How many 999 calls were deemed as nuisance, false, malicious or hoax calls, etc? If possible, please break these figures down into any subcategories that you record (eg. hoax; nuisance; malicious, etc). - Please give the number of calls made from landlines, and the number from mobile phones.
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 and Crime Departments of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held, in part, by Northumbria Police.
We are unable to supply all the information requested. The information you have requested at question 3 is not held centrally not in an easily retrievable format. To provide information which meets the criteria of question 3 would entail members of staff from the Crime and Communications Departments interrogating potentially thousands of incident logs to ascertain how many number were barred. Unfortunately there is not a unique code or text phrase that we are able to search on, therefore each log would have to be read. 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 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.
1. Yes, Northumbria Police bars mobile phone from making 999 calls after a number of false/malicious calls. Subject to assessment, an application to bar may be submitted after 3 malicious calls.
2. No, Northumbria Police does not bar landline phones from making 999 calls after a number of false/malicious calls.
4. The total number of 999 calls received, regardless of answering performance and grade of response is as follows:-
2006/07 = 263,747
2007/08 = 270,072
2008/09 = 266,975
2009/10 = 244,907
2010/11 = 236,777
It is not possible to differentiate between landline and mobile calls.
5. The total number of 999 calls and incidents logs with a "grade 1" response (calls which are considered urgent enough to require immediate response, ie an emergency response):-
2006/07 = 11,081
2007/08 = 30,691
2008/09 = 37,430
2009/10 = 42,874
2010/11 = 43,439
Again, it is not possible to differentiate between landline and mobile calls.
6. The total number of hoax calls to Emergency Services:-
2006/07 = 2,290
2007/08 = 2,938
2008/09 = 3,310
2009/10 = 2,203
2010/11 = 1,337
ABS malicious calls:-
2006/07 = 3,356
2007/08 = 3,088
2008/09 = 2,841
2009/10 = 1,749
2010/11 = 1,182
As advised above, it is not possible to differentiate between landline and mobile calls.
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