De-arrest statistics

Paul Perrin made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Cambridgeshire Constabulary

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Cambridgeshire Constabulary.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I have noticed a number of reports in the press regarding people
being arrested and then later de-arrested.

In some of these cases the impression given is that the police are
using arrest/de-arrest as a 'convenient' and simple way of
temporarily removing people from a location and detaining them for
a time with out genuine due cause.

I would like details of de-arrests nationally over the past (say)
year, showing the time, police officer, geographic location and
reason for the original arrest and the time, location and
justification of the de-arrest. Can you tell me what information
you hold that could assist me with this?

Also any information that you have collated yourselves regarding
the use of de-arrests.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Perrin

Cambridgeshire Constabulary

Dear Paul

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO: 0148/09

We acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information (FOI) request which
was received by Cambridgeshire Constabulary on 12/03/09

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. You will receive a response within the statutory
timescale of twenty working days as defined by the Act. In some
circumstances, we may be unable to achieve this deadline. If this is the
case, you will be informed and given a revised time-scale at the earliest
opportunity.

If we require any further clarification regarding this request, you will be
notified.

We would advise you that the nature of certain requests may involve payment
of a fee. If this is the case, you will be notified.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
telephone on 0845 456 456 4 asking for the Information Access Office or
email [Cambridgeshire Constabulary request email]

Regards

Donna Anderson
Information Access Office
Cambridgeshire Constabulary

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Cambridgeshire Constabulary

1 Atodiad

Dear Paul

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO: 0148/09

In reply to your request for information under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000, received 12/03/09.

Request

I have noticed a number of reports in the press regarding people
being arrested and then later de-arrested.

In some of these cases the impression given is that the police are
using arrest/de-arrest as a 'convenient' and simple way of
temporarily removing people from a location and detaining them for
a time with out genuine due cause.

I would like details of de-arrests nationally over the past (say)
year, showing the time, police officer, geographic location and
reason for the original arrest and the time, location and
justification of the de-arrest. Can you tell me what information
you hold that could assist me with this?

Also any information that you have collated yourselves regarding
the use of de-arrests.

Response

Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act states that a public
authority is not obliged to comply with a request for information if the
authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request would
exceed the “appropriate limit”. For Police forces in the UK, the
"appropriate limit" is considered to be up to 18 hours of work on one
request. This information is given in the Freedom of Information (Fees and
Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004.

This information is not recorded as a matter of course, when someone is
arrested and then de-arrested, a note would most likely be made in an
officers pocket note book.

We currently have 1429 officers, they will all have at least one pocket
note book, most will have more than one pocket note book. Each pocket note
book contains 100 pages which would all have to be read to see if any
entrys regarding arrests and de arrests have been made.,

It is estimated that it will take a minimum of 4287 hours to view just 1429
pocket note books at a cost of £25 an hour to provide an answer to this
request whcih is above the 18 hour cost limit.

If you wish to appeal our decisions, please see the attachment below, which
sets out your rights to appeal.

(See attached file: Complaint Rights.pdf)

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact the Information Access Office on telephone number 0845 456 456 4
extension 8165.

Regards
Donna Anderson
Information Access Office
Cambridgeshire Constabulary

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am rather surprised that there is no oversight of de-arrests, as it would seem that my initial concern (that it appears that this may be being abused) could well be true, and no one would be aware of the fact.

However thank you for your response.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Perrin

Gadawodd Paul Perrin anodiad ()

De-arrest stats are only recorded in officers pocket books, searching these would exceed the budget allowed for a FoI request, so the request is refused.

Gadawodd Richard Taylor anodiad ()

I am very concerned by the lack of oversight of the use of powers of arrest in Cambridgeshire revealed by the response to this request.

I find it hard to believe that there is no central record, particularly of those who are arrested and taken to a police station before they are de-arrested. What about those who even have their DNA taken before being de-arrested?

I have been concerned by the apparently excessive use of powers of arrest in Cambridge. The Chief Constable has publicly approved of a policy of her officers arresting everyone when they turn up at an incident; only asking questions and finding out what went on later(1). Additionally there have recently been number of recently publicised incidents which I view as mis-use of the power of arrest, a couple of which have involved the same officer. I expect I will have seen some of the same reports referred to by the requester.

Ideas for possible more targeted FOI requests which ought be trivial for the police to comply with include:

i/ Asking for information relating to individuals who were de-arrested after having been "booked in" to the custody suit at Parkside Police Station, Cambridge.

ii/ Asking for de-arrest information from a couple of specific officers' notebooks.

I don't view a mistaken arrest, and rapid de-arrest on the street as a major problem. However once someone has been moved, or detained for more than a couple of minutes I think a formal record ought be kept. Cambridgeshire ought (but don't) keep a record of all "Stop and Account" interactions, but do, I have been told, keep "Stop and Search" records. An arrest and de-arrest is much more significant either of those so I am shocked there is no central record.

1. This was in 2007 in answering a question from a caller on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire who had called the police about an incident only to be arrested himself when the police turned up.

--

Richard Taylor

Cambridge

http://www.rtaylor.co.uk

Gadawodd Richard Taylor anodiad ()

There has been a case of de-arrest after arrival at a police station:
"The Muslim cleric Abu Hamza is no longer being questioned by UK authorities on alleged terror offences after being de-arrested today.

But he remains detained at the high-security Belmarsh prison, where he has been since May following an extradition request from the United States.

Hamza was arrested at the prison in south-east London on Thursday under the Terrorism Act 2000 and taken to Paddington Green police station for questioning on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/cri...

It does look as if this is the exception though, and de-arrest ought only occur before arrival at a police station.

At least two forces require a central record to be kept of de-arrests:

1. City of London Police:
"Officers have a responsibility to record all the details of the arrest/de-arrest in either an IRB/Pocket note book, pass the details to the custody officer to create a custody record for monitoring purposes."

http://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/NR/rdo...

2. Derbyshire Police:
"The arresting officer will also ensure that an entry is made on Form 928 in the Custody Suite covering the place of arrest. The custody record number allocated will be endorsed in the officer's pocket book adjacent to the entry giving details of the de-arrest."
http://www.derbyshire.police.uk/sei/s/86...

The requester has already asked for information from the City of London Police:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/de...