Ethnicity recorded on witness statements

M. Nah. made this Freedom of Information request to Northumbria Police as part of a batch sent to 41 authorities

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The request was refused by Northumbria Police.

Dear Northumbria Police,

I would like to submit a Freedom of Information request to obtain the following information about the personal details that are recorded by our officers when witnesses complete a witness form (MG11):

1) Please state the number of cases where contact details forms associated with witness statements have the self-defined ethnicity recorded as "NS not stated" and also include a police defined ethnicity code.

2) For the cases in 1), please list the number cases with a break down of the ethnic codes assigned by the police, e.g.

Year 20XX
Number; Ethnicity (identity code)
11 ; IC1
22; IC2
33; IC3
44 ; IC4

and so on....

Please provide data from the last ten years.

Yours faithfully,

M. Nah.

Freedom of Information Mailbox, Northumbria Police

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)
 
Thank you for your email received today in which you make a request for
information that Northumbria Police may hold in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.
 
We are in the process of dealing with your request and a response should
be provided to you by 10 September 2020 which is in accordance with the
legislation.
 
Although every effort will be made to ensure a response is provided within
statutory deadlines, due to current circumstances delays may be
unavoidable.  We apologise for any inconvenience and will endeavour to
process your request as quickly as is practicable.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Information Management Unit
[1]www.northumbria.police.uk | [2]www.northumbria-pcc.gov.uk

'Northumbria Police will be outstanding in the service we provide'

'We will do this through protecting the Vulnerable, delivering quality
Investigations and applying Problem solving to everything we do to protect
the communities we serve.'
 
 

show quoted sections

Freedom of Information Mailbox, Northumbria Police

1 Attachment

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

 

Thank you for your email dated 11 August 2020 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.

 

You asked:

 

I would like to submit a Freedom of Information request to obtain the
following information about the personal details that are recorded by our
officers when witnesses complete a witness form (MG11):

 

1) Please state the number of cases where contact details forms associated
with witness statements have the self-defined ethnicity recorded as "NS
not stated" and also include a police defined ethnicity code.

 

2) For the cases in 1), please list the number cases with a break down of
the ethnic codes assigned by the police, e.g.

 

Year 20XX

Number;          Ethnicity (identity code)

11 ;                  IC1

22;                    IC2

33;                    IC3

44 ;                  IC4

 

and so on....

 

Please provide data from the last ten years.

 

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
Criminal Justice Department of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the
information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police, however
cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.

 

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within
Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested
is held by Northumbria Police, however cannot be disclosed for the
following reasons.

 

There is no facility to extract this information electronically, therefore
to establish a response to your request for a one year period alone would
require approximately 93,000 witness statements (MG11 forms) for victim
related crimes, to be located and manually reviewed to extract the data
specified by your request.  Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes
per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that
to extract this information would take over 4,650 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.  There are
also witness statements for non-victim crime which would also need to be
manually reviewed, timed by the 10 years’ worth of information requested
would obviously add to the time estimated above.  Therefore Section 12 is
applicable.

 

You should consider this to be a refusal notice under Section 17 of the
Act for your request.

 

When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under Section 16 of
the Act would normally entail that we contact you to determine whether it
is possible to refine the scope of your request to bring it within the
cost limits.  However, from the information we have outlined above I see
no reasonable way in which we can do so.

 

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.

 

You may be interested to know that Northumbria Police routinely publish
information via the Disclosure Log. The aim of the Disclosure Log is to
promote openness and transparency by voluntarily placing information into
the public arena.

 

The Disclosure Log contains copies of some of the information that has
been disclosed by Northumbria Police in response to requests made under
the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

Whilst it is not possible to publish all responses we will endeavour to
publish those where we feel that the information disclosed is in the wider
public interest.

 

The Disclosure Log will be updated once responses have been sent to the
requester.

 

I have provided the relevant link below.

 

[1]https://beta.northumbria.police.uk/about...

 

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, attached.

 

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.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Michael Cleugh

Data Protection and Disclosure Advisor

 

[NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED]

 

'Northumbria Police will be outstanding in the service we provide'

'We will do this through protecting the Vulnerable, delivering quality
Investigations and applying Problem solving to everything we do to protect
the communities we serve.'

 

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