Sexual offence reports

J O'Riordan 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 refused by Essex Police.

Dear Essex Police,

I would be obliged if you could inform me for the last 3 years (by reporting period,per year) how many reports/accusations of sexual assault (of all nature) have been received where the perpetrator was described as a Taxi,private hire/Minicab driver

Yours faithfully,

J O'Riordan

Data FOI Essex,

1 Attachment

Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above reference 12882.

Under the Freedom of Information Act we are required to reply within 20 working days. The Act does not specify a limit to the number of information requests a public authority may receive or the number of requests or questions an applicant may submit. However, there are exemptions in the Act that can apply and these include where the cost of complying with the request would extend beyond the reasonable cost limit, (currently 18 hours or £450), or if the request is otherwise manifestly unreasonable in its scope or nature.

Requests that ask a great many questions, or a number of detailed requests submitted at the same time, may make it necessary for Essex Police to refuse the requests wholly or in part. The exemption at s14 may be engaged if the burden on the authority is increased through multiple requests on differing subjects

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has responsibility for providing oversight and guidance for the legislation and they have produced advice for applicants on submitting effective requests. Further information can be found on the Commissioner’s website at www.ico.gov.uk specific information relating to submitting a request can be found at: https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/offici...

While we process your request, please take the time to consider the ICO’s advice and whether you feel it may be beneficial to amend or refine your request. Our team is happy to discuss your request with you and will be able to provide advice as to what kind of information will be available from Essex Police.

Kind regards,

Information Rights Team
Information Management Department
Strategic Change Directorate
E-Mail: [email address]

If you require further information or wish to submit a request, please refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s website regarding submission of effective requests https://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/of...

Your right to complain

If you feel your request has not been properly handled, or you are otherwise dissatisfied with the outcome of your request you have the right to complain.

Complaints should be submitted within 20 working days from the date of this response and should be addressed to the Senior Information Officer at the above address or by email to: [Essex Police request email]

We will conduct a review to investigate your complaint and endeavour to reply within 20 working days.

Please explain which aspect of the reply you are not satisfied with, and if your complaint concerns the decision to apply an exemption it would assist the review if you would outline why you believe the exemption does not apply.

If you are still dissatisfied following our review, you have the right under section 50 of the Act to complain directly to the Information Commissioner. Before considering your complaint, the Information Commissioner would normally expect you to have exhausted the complaints procedures provided by Essex Police

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF or via https://ico.org.uk/

show quoted sections

Data FOI Essex,

1 Attachment

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

Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) places two duties on public authorities. Unless exemptions apply, the first duty at Section 1(1)(a) is to confirm or deny whether the information specified in a request is held. The second duty at Section 1(1)(b) is to disclose information that has been confirmed as being held. Where exemptions are relied upon Section 17 of the FOIA requires that we provide the applicant with a notice which: a) states that fact b) specifies the exemption(s) in question and c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.

In respect of your enquiry:

I would be obliged if you could inform me for the last 3 years (by reporting period,per year) how many reports/accusations of sexual assault (of all nature) have been received where the perpetrator was described as a Taxi,private hire/Minicab driver

Having completed enquiries within Essex Police in respect of Section 1(1)(a), Essex Police does hold information relating to your request, however, the obligation of Section 1(1)(b) cannot be met as Essex Police does not hold all the information requested in a format that allows it to be retrieved within the time and cost limits of FOI.

When responding to a request for information under the terms of the FOIA, a public authority is not obliged to provide information if the authority estimates that the cost of the retrieval of the information requested would be in excess of £450 (equivalent to 18 hours work). The costs criteria relates to a request in its entirety, which means that if we cannot retrieve all of the information requested within the costs limit, we are not obliged to retrieve any of the information requested.

Section 12(1) of the FOIA 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.”

The following explanation outlines the difficulty Essex Police has in answering your request:

Essex Police are unable to accurately extract the level of detail in relation to how many reports/accusations of sexual assault (of all nature) where the perpetrator was described as a Taxi/Private Hire/Minicab driver as there is a known system issue regarding the current occupation of individuals. Essex Police are unable to provide crime data by occupation due to system constraints . Occupations are not currently returned in an accurate format and in addition the occupation at the time of the crime cannot be identified if the occupation has changed. Essex Police systems are designed primarily for the management of individual cases and not primarily for the production of statistical information. This request would entail manually extracting the requested data in relation to sexual assaults and reviewing each record one by one to establish the occupation at that point in time. This process would exceed the time and cost limits under the FOIA and would also qualify as the creation of data as the results cannot be processed by means of purely sorting or filtering data sources or running a database query tool. There is no requirement under the act to create data purely to answer FOI requests.

Consequently, and to this extent, Essex Police are exempt from the duty to provide information you have requested under the provisions of Section 12(1) of the FOIA. Therefore, and in accordance with Section 17(1) of the FOIA, this communication must act as a refusal notice to provide all of the information that could be interpreted as being captured by this part of your request.

Section 16 (1) of the FOIA provides that a public authority is required to provide advice and assistance, Essex Police can confirm that we can provide data based on the home office counting rules regarding Sexual Assault offences if of use. These offences are more likely to be extracted from our systems together with outcomes and age/gender if required. Please see the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

Thank you for your interest in Essex Police and we are sorry that we have not been able to provide the information you have requested on this occasion. If you do require further information a new request will need to be submitted and the request will be dealt with accordingly.

Kind regards

Information Rights Team
Information Management Department
Strategic Change Directorate
Direct Dial: 01245 452647
E-Mail: [Essex Police request email]

Please note, if you require further information or wish to resubmit a request please refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s website regarding submission of effective requests https://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/of...

Your right to complain

If you feel your request has not been properly handled, or you are otherwise dissatisfied with the outcome of your request you have the right to complain.

Complaints should be submitted within 20 working days from the date of this response and should be addressed to the Senior Information Officer at the above address or by email to: [Essex Police request email]

We will conduct a review to investigate your complaint and endeavour to reply within 20 working days.

Please explain which aspect of the reply you are not satisfied with, and if your complaint concerns the decision to apply an exemption it would assist the review if you would outline why you believe the exemption does not apply.

If you are still dissatisfied following our review, you have the right under Section 50 of the Act to complain directly to the Information Commissioner. Before considering your complaint, the Information Commissioner would normally expect you to have exhausted the complaints procedures provided by Essex Police

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF or via https://ico.org.uk/

show quoted sections