Money spent on doctors

Martin Green made this Freedom of Information request to Essex Police

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

The request was partially successful.

Dear Essex Police,

I recently read an article in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus on how much money was spent on calling doctors to tend to people in custody: http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/ne.... I am interested to know how much Essex Police has spent in each of the past three years on this?

Yours faithfully,

Martin Green

data foi, Essex Police

Classification: NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED


Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above
reference.

Under the Freedom of Information Act we are required to reply within 20
working days but given the current very high number of requests being
received this may not be possible.

We will reply as soon as possible and please accept our apologies for
the inconvenience any delay may cause.

Steve Grayton
Information Officer
Data Protection & Freedom of Information Information Management
Strategic Change Management Department (formally Corporate Development
Department) Essex Police Headquarters PO Box 2, Springfield, Chelmsford,
CM2 6DA
Tel: 0300 333 4444 Ext 54551
Fax: 01245 452256
Email : data[Essex Police request email]
Personal email: [email address]
Website: www.essex.police.uk
Hours of work : Mon - Thurs 7:30 to 15:30
Fri 7:30 to 15:00

The Corporate Development Department (CDD) is currently in the process
of internal restructure, to be known from now on as the Strategic Change
Management Department (SCMD). This will not change any of the services
you currently receive from SCMD but further information on the aims and
objectives of the SCMD will be published on the force intranet in the
near future.

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Dear data foi,

My response has been delayed. By law, the authority should normally have responded promptly and by 22 July.

Yours sincerely,

Martin Green

Nigel Amos, Essex Police

Classification: NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Information Requests to Essex Police

Dear Mr Green,

I am in receipt of your recent communications concerning a number of
requests you have recently submitted under the Freedom of Information Act
2000.  I am conscious that you have not thus far received responses to
your queries and I have been asked to respond. 

On the 24^th June Essex Police received 5 requests from you, each
separately routed via the whatdotheyknow.com public website.  This is a
useful public forum for Freedom of Information requests as it is a sound
principle that any information released under the Act is effectively
disclosed into the public domain.  Requests answered via this means are
therefore in actuality published into the public domain and so this is
literally true in these cases.  However, while there are some advantages
to this method of processing requests, it also forces authorities
receiving such requests to communicate directly with the applicant in a
public medium when discussing requests, and this can cause some
difficulties in terms of limiting the effectiveness of communication. 
Furthermore, as each request effectively requires a separate response this
can to a limited extent increase the administrative burden upon the
authority.

The Freedom of Information Act fees regulations do impose a limit on the
amount of effort in terms of time and resources that a public authority is
expected to invest in responding to a single request.  It also provides
for the aggregation of costs in relation to requests that concern
essentially the same subject matter, or where it is felt that persons may
be acting in concert to avoid the fees limit.

No limit has ever been set upon the amount of requests that an authority
should have to deal with, from a single applicant or in general. 
However, public resources are not limitless and the abovementioned
regulations do to an extent recognise that there must be a reasonable
limit in terms of the amount of resources that an authority should have to
allocate to servicing the requirements of a single individual applicant.

The Essex Police Information Management Unit is responsible for dealing
with enquiries from the public under the Freedom of Information Act and
the Data Protection Act, as well as providing information for Court Orders
and Civil proceedings.  The unit processes several hundred requests for
information per month, some 60 of which are requests under FOI.  In
recent months, staffing difficulties have resulted in some delays in
responding to requests, and I apologise if these delays have
inconvenienced you in any way.

Each request will require contacting various parts of the organisation who
may deal with the area of business involved.  This can often abstract
staff from important duties.  While Essex Police are committed to
openness and accountability, the cornerstones of the Freedom of
information legislation, such openness comes at a price to the public
purse and particularly at this difficult time for the economy, we must be
circumspect as regards our use of resources.

During a four week period we received fourteen separate requests from you,
each routed via whatdotheyknow.com as follows (reference numbers are
ours):

2866-2970       - 5 requests received 24^th June 2010
2879-2880       - 2 requests received on 30^th June
2915-2920       - 6 further requests all received on 14^th July
2938            - Further request received 20^th July 2010
       

I note that these requests are among some 66 requests submitted by you to
various public authorities in the last month or so.

Some of these requests concern the same subject matter and could be
aggregated for the purposes of costs estimation.  However, most of the
requests concern unrelated and varied subject matter.  Taken in
isolation, each of these requests are sound and valid requests under the
Freedom of Information Act that clearly identify the information
requested.  However, the unit does not have the resources to satisfy all
of your requests within their respective statutory time limits and it is
my feeling that to seek to do so would unfairly disadvantage other
applicants.  Although the Act sets no limit, should we feel that we are
receiving an unreasonable number of requests from a single applicant at
any given time it may be necessary to consider the exemption at section 14
of the Act, which relates to vexatious or unreasonable requests. 

I note that previously to the requests I refer to in this letter you have
only submitted two requests to Essex Police, one in February of this year
and one in March, both of which received responses.  That being the case,
I consider that it is likely that you have not realised the impact that an
influx of requests at any one time could cause.  Therefore I do not
believe that it would be reasonable for us to consider the above exemption
at this time.  It may interest you to know that some national journalists
who are regular and prolific users of FOI recognise that resources are
limited and for this reason choose to submit only two or three requests at
any given time. 

Having read my explanation above, you may wish to reconsider your requests
and focus our efforts upon those in which you have an immediate interest,
while others may be resubmitted at an appropriate later date.  However,
in the meantime, I have researched some of your requests to determine
whether previous requests by other applicants have covered, at least in
part, the subject matters in which you have shown interest, and also
highlighted where I feel that to attempt to answer a request would be
problematic.  Wherever possible I have answered your request with new
information, such as those related to police accidents and outstanding
warrants.

At this time, this letter is not intended as a formal refusal notice for
any of your requests as set out under section 17 of the Act.  It is my
hope that you will appreciate the issues I have raised and also that the
information I have provided below can provide extra context to your
questions which may assist you in refining and defining your requests.

Many of your questions ask for figures for the Central Division of Essex
Police.  While some information is available from a database query that
can differentiate between divisions, in most cases this will not be
possible and to attempt to identify figures for a single division would
require the manual examination of individual incidents or occurrences that
would make extracting the information overly expensive, thereby engaging
the costs exemption at Section 12 of the Act.  To explain in more general
terms, the force is not required to provide information if to do so would
take more than 18 hours or cost more than £450.

CUSTODY DOCTORS

2866 - Cost of providing doctors to prisoners in custody in Essex Police

[FOI #39322 email]

I am interested to know how much Essex Police has spent in each of the
past three years on calling doctors to tend to people in custody.

2869 - Cost of providing doctors to prisoners in Central Division

[email address]
    
I am interested to know how much Essex Police's Central Division has spent
in each of the past three years on providing doctors to prisoners in
custody

Essex Police pay an annual fee for medical service provision, which is
split into 12 monthly payments. This payment covers Nurses, Paramedics and
Doctors who are used for a variety of purposes and is not split up to
allow us to extract the information specifically for doctors called in to
custody.  To this extent the information is not held and it would be very
likely to extend beyond the cost limit to attempt to extract it.

2867 - Number of attacks on Essex Police officers

[email address]

I would like to know the number of attacks on Essex police officers that
took place in the past year, and details of each.

    
I am particularly interested in Central Division, so could you please:
give details of where the attacks took place, OR give a separate list for
solely Central Division?

2918 - Injuries to officers and staff in Central Division in each of the
past two years,

[email address]

 1. Details of all injuries suffered by Essex Police officers.
    
2. Details of all injuries suffered by Essex Police PCSOs.
    
3. Details of all injuries suffered by the force's civilian staff.
    
By details, I mean - injury suffered and how they received it (e.g. broken
jaw - punched, or cut arm - bitten by dog, or cut leg - bitten by human).

2919 - Injuries to all Essex Police officers and staff

[email address]

1. Details of all injuries suffered by Essex Police officers.
    
2. Details of all injuries suffered by Essex Police PCSOs.
    
3. Details of all injuries suffered by the force's civilian staff.
    
By details, I mean - injury suffered and how they received it (e.g. broken
jaw - punched, or cut arm - bitten by dog, or cut leg - bitten by human).

            
In relation to your question regarding attacks on police officers, this is
a complex area that could potentially cover a number of scenarios as
officers will naturally become involved in contacts with the public
involving the need to make and arrest and sometimes to use reasonable
force.  In some of these cases, the officer may be perceived as having
been attacked, but not sustain injury.  Also, at the discretion of the
officer the person involved may or may not be arrested for an assault,
depending upon the circumstances.

The Home Office publishes statistics related to this area and they can be
viewed via the following links:
 
[1]http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs08/...
[2]http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs09/...

2868 - Number of youths under 18 found to be carrying a weapon in Essex
Police Area

[email address]

I would like details of each time Essex Police officers caught an under 18
carrying a weapon in the past two years. How old was the child and what
was the weapon?    

I would also like to know which of these were in Central Division.

It may be possible to run a database query that established how many
persons under 18 had been arrested for being in possession of an offensive
weapon. This would not cover children under 10 who cannot be arrested or
charged for an offence.  It would be possible to break this down further
by age, and possibly by division.  However, further information such as
the weapon involved would require a manual examination of each case, which
would be highly likely to extend the request beyond costs.

2870 [email address]

Details of prolific and priority offenders

I would like to know details of everybody in Essex who fits into the PPO
category. I would like to know their age, where in Essex they are from,
how many times has each one been arrested, how many times has each one
been convicted, and - if it is known - whether each one is currently in
prison or not. An identical request was recently granted by Suffolk
Police.

This is an interesting request that we have not encountered before.  The
determination that a person is a PPO is likely to be held upon their
individual file and should that be the case to extract the information you
have asked may extend beyond costs.  I note that Sussex Police may have
been able to provide some of this information but this may be due to
differing recording procedures on our systems.  At this time I cannot
confirm that this is the case and so if you would like to pursue this
request at some point please advise.

2879 - Speeding offences in Essex

[email address]

How many speeding offences were recorded by Essex Police over the past 12
months.  
What was the fastest speed clocked, where and by which make of
car?    
Drivers of which make of car (e.g. BMW) are most likely to be caught
speeding?

2880 - Speeding offences in Central Division

[email address]

In Central Division, how many speeding offences were recorded by Essex
Police over the past 12 months?
Of these occasions, what was the fastest speed clocked, where and by which
make of car?
In Central Division, drivers of which make of car (e.g. BMW) are most
likely to be caught speeding?

Information concerning most speeding offences would by processed by the
Central Ticket Office, who issue and process fixed penalty notices and
where appropriate, summons for such offences.   The CTO would be able to
provide statistics for the numbers of drivers prosecuted for speeding
offences. 

However, a vehicle driving at highly excessive speed may be prosecuted for
dangerous driving, rather than excess speed, and such a case is likely to
bypass the above process, resulting in arrest and direct summons to
court.  The speed of the vehicle and the make and model would be recorded
in the individual case file.  In order to identify if a case of dangerous
driving involved excess speed, it would be necessary to manually examine
every case of dangerous driving. To this extent, to attempt to answer the
remainder of your question would require us to compare separate records in
order to determine the fastest speed recorded.  This would qualify as the
creation of new information, and the Force is not required to do this
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act. 

2915 - Lost items handed in by members of the public in Central Division.

[email address]

In Central Division in the past year, details of all "lost" items handed
into Essex Police stations by members of the public.

2916 - Lost items handed in by members of the public in Essex.

[email address]

In the past year, details of all "lost" items handed into Essex Police
stations by members of the public.

Lost items which have been handed in would be manually recorded in each
station and not on any central database.  To answer this question would
require that every station examined their records to produce a list of
lost items handed in.  This would be a manual exercise that, across the
whole Force, would be likely to extend beyond costs, although it may be
possible for a single division.

However, further to this, we must also consider whether to disclose a list
of items handed in may encourage persons to spuriously claim items on that
list where ownership could not be easily proved or where the object may be
generally described.  Obviously, this would be contrary to the purposes
of Law Enforcement and we may therefore need to engage the exemption at
section 31 of the Act.   

2917 Accidents involving Essex Police vehicles

[email address]

How many accidents have taken place during each of the past three years
involving Essex Police vehicles?    
Of these, how many did Essex Police accept responsibility for?    
How much did Essex Police pay out to third parties for these accidents?

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2920 - Police Accidents in Central Division

[email address]

In Central Division, how many accidents have taken place during each of
the past three years involving Essex Police vehicles?

    
Of these, how many did Essex Police accept responsibility for?
    
How much did Essex Police pay out to third parties for these accidents?

We are able to provide details of the number of accidents involving police
vehicles, and the total costs of those accidents.  However, these figures
include all police vehicle accidents and not only those involving other
vehicles; for example, where a wall has been struck by a police vehicle
causing damage.  Also, the costs do not represent the amount of money
paid out to third parties for civil claims following accidents, although
these costs are included, but contain all costs following accidents
including Third Party claims and Essex Police costs, such as repairs to
vehicles.

We have been able to identify the numbers of accidents for which Essex
Police have accepted responsibility.  Once again these will include
damage-only impacts with walls, stationary vehicles etc that have occurred
during police activities such as pursuits etc.

To provide further detail, or to identify which accidents related to
Central Division would once again require the manual examination of
individual records, and this would still uncover further complexities,
such as where a Central Division vehicle is involved in an accident
outside of the Central area, or vice versa.  Such an exercise would
inevitably extend beyond the cost limitations and engage section 12(1) of
the Act.

Costs of Accidents involving Essex Police Vehicles in last three years

Year 1  05.08.07 - 04.08.08

Number of accidents:     253
Number Essex Police accept responsibility for: 110
Amount paid out: £256,600.33

Year 2  05.08.08 - 04.08.09

Number of accidents:     630
Number Essex Police accept responsibility for: 154
Amount paid out:  £428,780.62

Year 3  05.08.09 - 04.08.10

Number of accidents:     692
Number Essex Police accept responsibility for: 107
Amount paid out: £151,825.18

2938 - Outstanding Arrest Warrants

[email address]

How many people have outstanding arrest warrants with Essex Police.

I would also like to know which categories (A,B,C) these people fall into.

The number of outstanding warrants is a constantly changing figure. 
However, our Criminal Justice Division have advised that at midday on the
5^th August 2010, Essex Police had the following numbers of outstanding
warrants.

42 Cat A warrants
385 Cat B Warrants
603 Cat C Warrants

These include `1st instance' warrants, Bench warrants, Breach warrants and
Fail to Appear warrants.
Thank you for your interest in Essex Police.  If you have any further
queries regarding your request, or the application of the Freedom of
Information Act in general, please do not hesitate to contact the
Information Management Unit, who will be happy to assist.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your
original request and should be addressed to the Information Management
Unit at Essex Police Headquarters.  Should you remain unsatisfied
following an internal review, then you retain the right to apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely,
Nigel Amos
Senior Information Officer

Information Management, Strategic Change Management Department
Essex Police PO Box 2, Springfield, Chelmsford CM2 6DA
Direct dial: 01245 452408
email: [3]data[Essex Police request email]
To find out what is happening in your neighbourhood and all about your
local neighbourhood policing team visit [4]www.essex.police.uk

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs08/...
2. http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs09/...
3. mailto:data[Essex Police request email]
4. http://www.essex.police.uk/