TASER Statistics Publication Schedule

Richard Taylor made this Freedom of Information request to Home Office

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 successful.

Could you please release the current schedule for publication of UK police TASER use statistics.

I am hoping the information released will let me find out how frequently the Home Office is currently proposing to release TASER use statistics, when future releases are to be expected, and what delay is intended between the end of the reporting period and publication of the data.

I note that historically TASER statistics have been published quarterly, but the latest release was an annual summary, though broken down by quarter, published a year after the end of the reporting period. I would have expected the change to have been accompanied by some recorded information detailing the change, the reasons for it, and the new schedule.

--

Richard Taylor
Cambridge
http://www.rtaylor.co.uk
http://www.taser.org.uk

Dear Home Office,

I note you have failed to respond within the timescale required by the Freedom of Information Act to my FOI request, dated 30th of September 2011, on the subject of UK police TASER use statistics.

Could you please let me know when I can expect a response?

A full record of the correspondence thread relating to this request can be viewed online at:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/87...

Regards,

--

Richard Taylor
Cambridge
http://www.rtaylor.co.uk
http://www.taser.org.uk

Public Enquiries (CD), Home Office

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Taylor

Please see the attached response to your enquiry.

Kind regards

Public Enquiries Desk

From: Richard Taylor [mailto:[FOI #87744 email]]
Sent: 29 October 2011 10:45
To: Public Enquiries (CD)
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - TASER Statistics
Publication Schedule

Dear Home Office,

I note you have failed to respond within the timescale required by
the Freedom of Information Act to my FOI request, dated 30th of
September 2011, on the subject of UK police TASER use statistics.

Could you please let me know when I can expect a response?

A full record of the correspondence thread relating to this request
can be viewed online at:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/87...

Regards,

--

Richard Taylor
Cambridge
http://www.rtaylor.co.uk
http://www.taser.org.uk



-------------------------------------------------------------------
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #87744 email]

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be
published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offic...

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your
web manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

The substantive element of the response states:

"The Home Office have moved to 6 monthly reporting, however data capture issues has meant that the most recent figures covered 12 months. The next publication will be in March 2012, which will include figures for March 2010 to date."

The statement that figures for March 2010 to date will be released in March 2012 is not consistent with a six monthly reporting period. I don't know what point in time "to-date" refers to, but there's no reason for "to-date" referring to September 2010 which would be the end of the next six month period for which statistics are due.

If the next release is in March 2012, when we get there some of the data in the release will be two years old.

The last dataset was released just over a year after the end of the reporting period.

So if in March 2012 they're going to release data for April-September 2010 that'll be 18 months after the reporting period.

Why has data collection and publication become so slow under the current government?

A cynic could suggest the delay is to prevent the figures from being as newsworthy/actionable when they are finally released. Anyone writing about or campaigning on the basis of such old figures may be faced with responses saying things have changed.

Dear Public Enquiries (CD),

Many thanks for your response to my FOI request Reference T16324/11

The substantive element of your response states:

"The Home Office have moved to 6 monthly reporting, however data capture issues has meant that the most recent figures covered 12 months. The next publication will be in March 2012, which will include figures for March 2010 to date."

Could you please clarify what date is being referred to by the phrase "to date" in your response.

I note you appear to have generated information in response to my request rather than simply releasing relevant information held by the Home Office. I suspect any recorded information may have been clearer than the statement released. In particular it is not obvious if a quarterly breakdown is to be produced in the future or if the phrase "6 monthly reporting" means it is not.

I further note that I did not request any TASER statistics, just details of the publication schedule for the statistics. I would also dispute your description of the statistics for the period to March 2010 as "current" though I understand they are the latest statistics published.

Regards,

--

Richard Taylor
Cambridge
http://www.rtaylor.co.uk
http://www.taser.org.uk

Home Office

1 Attachment

Reference : T18464/11

Thank you for your e-mail enquiry of 04/11/2011 3:53:36 AM

A reply is attached.

show quoted sections

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

The clarification states:

"As previously stated, the next publication for Taser statistics will be in March 2012. This will include figures from March 2010 to December 2011."

So the Home Office are planning a two year delay in reporting some UK Police TASER use statistics.

The inconsistency between what I have now been told is proposed and the six monthly reporting period has not been resolved. March 2010 to December 2011 is 21 months, not six.

Dear Home Office,

Re: FOI request Reference T16324/11

I am writing to request an internal review of the way my request has been handled.

I would like the review to consider:

1. The delay in responding.
2. If information has been created in response to my request, as opposed to information held being released.
3. The lack of clarity in the initial response.
4. The tone of responses, particularly in relation to the initial response pointing to information which had not been requested and the inference which could be drawn from the use of "As previously stated" in the clarifying response which could be taken to give the impression a clarification was not required.
5. The apparent internal inconsistency between the statement "The Home Office have moved to 6 monthly reporting" and the statement: "The next publication for Taser statistics will be in March 2012. This will include figures from March 2010 to December 2011".
6. If the response provides all the information currently held by the Home Office relating to the: "current schedule for publication of UK police TASER use statistics".

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ta...

Regards,

--

Richard Taylor
Cambridge
http://www.rtaylor.co.uk
http://www.taser.org.uk

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

Channel Four news have done their own survey via FOI for UK Police TASER usage statistics, presumably they had to do this because of the failure by the Home Office to produce their statistics in a timely manner:

http://www.rtaylor.co.uk/large-rise-in-u...

Home Office

1 Attachment

Reference : T19647/11

Thank you for your e-mail enquiry of 21/11/2011 6:37:54 PM

A reply is attached.

show quoted sections

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

The response states:

"Dear Mr Taylor,

Thank you for your recent correspondence. I would firstly like to apologise for the time it has taken to respond to all of your correspondence, for the lack of clarity and for the tone which I assure you was not intended to cause offence.

In respect of the Taser statistics, you are right to observe that the commitment for 6 monthly reporting does not match with the fact that the last statistics to be published covered the period up to March 2010 and the next set to be published in March 2012 will cover the period March 2010 to December 2011. This is because of data capture issues which are in the process of being resolved. After the March 2012 publication, the next publication will be September 2012, covering the period January 2012 to June 2012, followed by further reports every six months."

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

I have searched the UK Home Office website and cannot find the promised March 2012 publication of statistics.

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert has tweeted to say he's submitted a Parliamentary Question to find out where these promised statistics are:

http://twitter.com/#!/julianhuppert/stat...

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

Mr Huppert has tweeted:

"@RTaylorUK I just got answer about taser stats; publication expected end of may; 'data capture issues' took longer to resolve than expected"

http://twitter.com/#!/julianhuppert/stat...

The answer will presumably be published shortly.

If there are data capture issues, what does this say about the quality of the data? Are police officers being asked to return to forms they filled in in scruffy hand writing a couple of years ago and asked to decipher them?

Perhaps the police are opposing the record keeping surrounding TASER use, as they consider it "business as usual" (I have heard this view expressed in Cambridgeshire).

When the statistics eventually get released they'll be well out of date, reducing the chance they'll be considered news and be covered in the media.

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

Huppert's question (and response) are available at:

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=...

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

A more recent request, also by me, on this topic is at:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/st...