FAQ Details

Outstanding Arrest Warrants - 96/12

Dated: 07 Jun 2011

Date of request: 23/01/2012

Date of response: 20/02/2012

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 23 January 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.

You asked: 

Further to your response to FOI 1003/11.

In order to assist you focus your investigations, I would be grateful if you would consider the following:

A. the release of the names of the individuals for whom the 10 oldest arrest warrants are outstanding.

B. the release of the names of the individuals for whom the following warrants are outstanding:
i)    05/10/1999 - rape
ii)   01/11/1994 - rape
iii)  06/04/1999 - rape
iv)  21/11/2006 - murder, conspiracy and theft

C. please also consider the disclosure of the names which are already in the public domain and are on the remainder of the list.

I would like to base my appeal on the following arguments:
- there is an overwhelming public interest in apprehending suspects so that the authorities can bring those guilty of crimes to justice. 
- the public would be assured that the police are exhausting all methods to apprehend these individuals.

In response:

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 1003/12 - Outstanding Arrest Warrants, due to cost and time implications as it refers to the same subject area.

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Criminal Justice, Legal and Corporate Communications Departments of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police, however will not be disclosed for the following reason.

To fully provide the information which meets the criteria of your request at point C, would entail a member of staff manually searching each of the remaining 241 individual names, as this information is not recorded separately, on the press information system and cross referencing what information was released into the public domain.  We have estimated that to extract this information would take 10-15 minutes per name (40-60 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.

A. The names of the 10 oldest 'Fail to Appear' warrants which are outstanding:

i) 03/10/1986  -  Conspiracy
ii) 12/09/1993  -  Burglary
iii) 15/05/1993  -  Wounding
iv) 17/12/1993  -  False Imprisonment, Threats To Kill
v) 01/11/1994  -  Rape
vi) 09/06/1997  -  Theft High Value
vii) 24/03/1998  -  Pervert The Course Of Justice, Dangerous Driving
viii) 19/01/1999  -  Indecent Assault 

The names of the individuals subject to the above have not been released previously into the public domain and therefore will not be disclosed.  In withholding this information we will rely on the following exemption

Section 40 (2) - Personal Information

Section 40 (2) is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement to consider the public interest in disclosure.  That being said where Section 40(2) is engaged in order to make the exemption absolute there needs to be evidence that a data protection principle would be breached by disclosure.  In this case it would not be fair to disclose information which identifies an individual.  Therefore, the first principle of the Data Protection Act would be breached.

In a previous decision notice issued by the Information Commissioner to Sussex Police relating to disclosing an individual’s personal conviction data the ICO stated:
 “… to reveal to the whole public whether someone was subject to a court case would be unfair.  He does not feel that releasing sensitive personal data into the public domain will be fair unless there are exceptional circumstances.  He considers that there is a general and reasonable expectation that if someone was to appear in court that the information would not be released to the public domain…”

You should consider this to be a refusal under section 17 of the Act for those parts of your request.

However, the following names, whom fall within the scope of the '10 oldest', have previously been released into the public domain, and in order to aid and assist you I have also provided a link below:-

ix) 06/04/1999  -  Rape  -  Galeotti/Vincent
x) 13/09/1999  -  Deception  -  Quarcoo/Amos
http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north-east-news/evening-chronicle-news/2009/03/04/your-help-needed-to-catch-on-the-run-criminals-72703-23062022/

B. The names of those individuals subject to the following 'Fail to Appear' warrants which are outstanding are as follows, again where available a link has been provided:-

i) 05/10/1999  -  Rape  -  Mazzeo/Guiseppe - Link as per that supplied in A ix) and A x) above.

ii) 01/11/1994  -  Rape  -  As per A v) above.

iii) 06/04/1999  -  Rape  -  As per A ix) above.

iv) 21/11/2006  -  Murder, Conspiracy and Theft  -  Foster/Allan
http://www.sundaysun.co.uk/news/north-east-news/2011/01/16/480-dangerous-fugitives-on-run-from-the-law-79310-27993627/

C. Further to the Section 12 notice provided above, you will note from the link supplied in A ix) and A x) above, that the following individuals names have been released in to the public domain also.  I have included below details of the outstanding warrant and the date to which they refer.

24/03/2000  -  Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH)  -  Muda/Ilirian
13/03/2003  -  Burglary  -  Howe/Walter Brian
24/10/2005  -  Counterfeit Notes  -  Mclaughlin/Stephen John
11/09/2006  -  Assault  -  Tams/John Graham

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.

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