Forensic Archaeology and Undetected Homicide Cases

The request was partially successful.

Dear West Midlands 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)

Freedom of Information,

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Freedom of Information,

5 Attachments

Dear Ms Jones

 

FOI Request Reference: 015604/19

 

Thank you for your request for information, received 09/09/2019

 

REQUEST

 

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 year’s 2011 - 2014 (inclusive), how many undetected
homicide cases were reviewed within your jurisdiction?

Q5. During the year’s 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 year’s 2011 -2014 (inclusive), how many undetected homicide
case reviews utilised Forensic Archaeology?

Q8. During the year’s 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.

 

RESPONSE

 

Please be advised that the information that you have requested is not
available in a readily retrievable format. In relation Question 7 and 8.
Would require us to re-visit every single case to see if information
contained within the case file showed that we had utilised Forensic
Archaeology, to complete such a task would exceed the cost threshold under
the Freedom of Information Act.

 

 

 Therefore the cost of providing you with the information is above the
amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of
locating and retrieving the information exceeds the ‘appropriate level’ as
stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit)
Regulations 2004.

 

 In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts
as a Refusal Notice for this part of the request and if one part of a
request exceeds the fees limit then S12 of the Act applies to the whole
request

 

 However, In accordance with Section 16 of the Act I have a duty to
provide advice and assistance in relation to your request and can provide
information in relation to  Question 1/2/3/6/. In relation to Question 4
and 5, we are only able to provide information for murders which have been
detected as a result of the review.

 

This should not be taken as a precedent that additional information would
be supplied outside of the time/fees legislation for any subsequent
requests

 

Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here:

 

[1]https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-co...

 

RIGHT OF APPEAL

 

Your attention is drawn to your right to request a re-examination of your
case under West Midlands Police review procedure, which can be found at:

 

[2]http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/revie...

 

Please note that such an appeal must be received within 40 working days of
the date of this correspondence. Any such request received after this time
will only be considered at the discretion of the FOI Unit.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Michelle Richardson | Freedom of Information
Corporate Communications | West Midlands Police
T: 101 (ext. 801 2068)

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This email is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged
or confidential information. If received in error, please notify the
originator immediately. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. Views or opinions
expressed in this email do not necessarily represent those of West
Midlands Police. All West Midlands Police email activity is monitored for
virus, racist, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate activity. No
responsibility is accepted by West Midlands Police for any loss or damage
arising in any way from the receipt or use of this email.

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