Dear South Yorkshire Police,

I am a MSc student studying Forensic Science and Criminal Justice with the University of Leicester. I am currently completing my dissertation which seeks to look at the impact Forensic Archaeology has on unsolved homicide cases within the UK. I would be grateful if the following questions could be answered as outlined in the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Definition of terms for clarity:

Homicide – The unlawful killing of a person, to include murder and all categories of manslaughter.
Detected homicide case – a solved homicide case whereby a person(s) has been charged or has died prior to charges being brought.
Undetected homicide case – a currently unsolved homicide case.
Undetected homicide case review – the review of all evidence in relation to an undetected homicide case.

Freedom of Information Questions:

Q1. How many reported undetected homicide cases are there within your jurisdiction currently?
Q2. Do you currently have a team solely responsible for the review of undetected homicides?
Q3. What is the current standard undetected homicide case review frequency within your jurisdiction?
Q4. During the years 2011 – 2014 (inclusive), how many undetected homicide cases were reviewed within your jurisdiction?
Q5. During the years 2011 – 2014 (inclusive), how many undetected homicide cases were detected within your jurisdiction?
Q6. Does your jurisdiction currently have a Forensic Archaeologist to be called upon as required?
Q7. During the years 2011 – 2014 (inclusive), how many undetected homicide case reviews utilised Forensic Archaeology?
Q8. During the years 2011 – 2014 (inclusive), how many undetected homicide cases were detected as a result of Forensic Archaeology?
I would like to thank you in advance for taking the time to answer these questions. Should you require me to refine or clarify any part of my request, please do not hesitate to contact me under your section 16 duty.

Kindest regards

Charlotte Jones
BHSPT, Nat.Cert.Sci, BSc(hons)

FOI, South Yorkshire Police

3 Attachments

Dear Ms Jones

 

Re your request (reference number above):

 

Q1.  How many reported undetected homicide cases are there within your
jurisdiction currently?

Q2.  Do you currently have a team solely responsible for the review of
undetected homicides?

Q3.  What is the current standard undetected homicide case review
frequency within your jurisdiction?

Q4. During the years 2011 – 2014 (inclusive), how many undetected homicide
cases were reviewed within your jurisdiction?

Q5. During the years 2011 – 2014 (inclusive), how many undetected homicide
cases were detected within your jurisdiction?

Q6.  Does your jurisdiction currently have a Forensic Archaeologist to be
called upon as required?

Q7. During the years 2011 – 2014 (inclusive), how many undetected homicide
case reviews utilised Forensic Archaeology?

Q8. During the years 2011 – 2014 (inclusive), how many undetected homicide
cases were detected as a result of Forensic Archaeology?

 

 

Please could you clarify the following point(s): -

 

South Yorkshire Police has received a number of similar requests to yours
in the past. All such requests and responses are published on the Force
Disclosure Log, which can be found on the South Yorkshire Police website
at: -

 

[1]https://www.southyorkshire.police.uk/fin...

 

 

You may find that research of the Log may be worthwhile prior to
submitting future requests as this may well result in the information
being available immediately rather than any delay resulting from the
process of responding to a request under the Act. In particular, we would
draw your attention to the following entries: -

 

[2]https://www.southyorkshire.police.uk/fin...

 

Please also be aware that FOI concerns requests for recorded information.
There is no specific system or category within our Crime Systems which we
could search to establish if forensic archaeology were used to assist with
an investigation.  The only way of establishing if anything is recorded
 would be to carry an in depth manual review of all the case files and
notes for each investigation.  As the case files are likely to be
extensive due to the nature of the investigation, it is my opinion that
this element of the request would exceed the 18 hour cost threshold.  

 

It would be helpful if you could review the above entries and compare the
responses to your particular requirement for information. We appreciate
that people have different reasons for requesting information and those
differences often lead to slight but important variations in the wording
of requests. We are concerned to avoid misinterpreting these subtle
variations and issuing an unnecessary or erroneous refusal to release
information under Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act
(Information available to the applicant by other means). We also
understand that information changes with the passage of time and previous
responses may not always cover the date or time parameters of your
request.

If our previous responses do not completely satisfy your requirements it
would be appreciated if you could refine your request in order to elicit
that information not already published on our website. So, for instance,
where your requirement involves information from particular date
parameters, and we have only released information for part of that time
frame, it would be helpful if you could refine your request so as to
prompt the release of information relating to the dates not already
published.

As a general point concerning the setting of date parameters: The use of
terms such as “for the last year” or “over the last five years” is often
not precise enough to ensure the accurate location, retrieval and
extraction of information (unfortunately our computers simply do not have
the linguistic ability to interpret these phrases!). The use of terms such
as ‘financial year’ or ‘calendar year’ is more helpful, but the use of
exact dates between, or from which information is required is most likely
to achieve accurate results. 

 

 

Please forward your clarification to South Yorkshire Police as this
request will be ‘stopped’ on our database until this has been received.

 

Once we have received clarification, your request be considered and you
will receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days
as defined by the Act, subject to the information not being exempt or
containing a reference to a third party. In some circumstances South
Yorkshire Police may be unable to achieve this deadline. If this is likely
you will be informed and given a revised time-scale at the earliest
opportunity.

 

There may be a fee payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of
the information you request. If this is the case you will be informed and
the 20 working day timescale will be suspended until we receive payment
from you. If you choose not to make a payment then your request will
remain unanswered.

 

Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to
another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest
possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Lucy Moore

 

South Yorkshire Police

Information Compliance Unit

Performance & Governance

Unit 20

Churchill Way

Sheffield

S35 2PY

 

T: 0114 2921788 (ext: 711788)

 

Website address - southyorks.police.uk
[3]cid:8EA20BE1-8E6B-44D8-9B2E-0783F0793F6C  [4]cid:181718A5-1E5E-49CC-A81B-CD103A70BBD2  [5]cid:20AD02D5-DF01-4595-851A-0E8AD78810C0

 

 

 

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Dear FOI,

Unfortunately the information I am seeking is not something that has been published on the link you have provided. As such, I would like to continue with my original request please. To clarify and for ease, where I request data from a time period, this will be calendar years.

Yours sincerely,

Charlotte Jones

Dear FOI,

Many thanks for the acknowledgement of my request. As this request is now delayed, could you please advise as to the likely timescale in which I can expect your response.

Yours sincerely,

Charlotte Jones

FOI, South Yorkshire Police

1 Attachment

 

 

From: FOI
Sent: 31 October 2019 07:28
To: 'Charlotte Jones <[FOI #602505 email]>'
Subject: 20192014 - Freedom of Information Request

 

Dear Ms Jones

 

Please find attached our response to your Freedom of Information request.

 

Regards

 

 

Lucy Moore 

 

South Yorkshire Police

Information Compliance Unit

Professional Standards Department

Unit 20 Sheffield 35A Business Park

Churchill Way

Sheffield

S35 2PY

 

Email - [1][email address]

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