Hate crime - 440/16
Dated: 22 Apr 2016
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
Thank you for your e mail dated 2 April 2016 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 at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
Could you search for non-criminal incidents and crimes which are flagged as having a racial or religious element using the following keywords.
The keywords are:
In your response, please advise which keywords you were able to include, and for the totality of your search, please advise in each month of 2014 and 2015:
1. The total number of non-criminal incidents recorded;
2. The total number of crimes recorded;
3. The total number of crimes involving violence against the person that were recorded; and
4. The total number of crimes that resulted in charges being brought.
Ideally, please provide a table with the following headings:
Number of incidents reported
Number of crimes recorded
Number of crimes involving allegations of violence
Number of crimes resulting in charges being brought
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
As per our response to your previous request, we are unable to search for keywords due to the number of returns this generates and the inconsistencies with the data, ie not all incidents where 'Jew' is mentioned are anti-Semitic. In addition to this, the Information Commissioners Officer (ICO) have recently advised that such requests could be considered as not being valid under Section 8(1)(c), and could additionally be considered as part of a 'fishing' expedition and therefore may also attract the exemption outined in Section 14(1) of the Act and be classed as vexatious.
However, in order to assist I can advise that from initial results of searches made, there have been 623 reported non criminal incidents marked as either 'faith hate' or 'race hate', and 1788 recorded offences marked as 'faith hate' or 'race hate'. Each of these 2411 reported instances would require manual review to establish which were anti Semitic. Even at a conservative estimate of 2 minute per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract the information requested would take over 80 hours, therefore Section 12(1) 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, and in the spirit of the Act, I have supplied information below, regarding 'faith hate' incidents and crimes, 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.
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 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.
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.