Big Cat Sightings (4396)

Further to your email, received 26th November 2013 Please accept my apologies for the delay in providing this response.

Please note that these data are the closest we hold to your request. They should not be interpreted as representing anything other than as described in this response.

Request

I am writing to you to request information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
I wish to know how many reports of ‘big cats’ have been made to your force over the last three years. Where possible, please include details of these reports. I am not interested in personal details of who made the report, I just wish to know what they claim to have seen eg a large black cat and details of whereabouts it was seen, eg a garden, a woodland et

Response

Please find enclosed our response.

Please note that these data should be interpreted with caution. Comparing numbers of crimes can be misleading and does not necessarily indicate the likelihood of someone being a victim of crime. In addition, the number of incidents/crimes recorded in an area over a period of time can be influenced by a number of factors. Consequently statistics on incidents/crimes for one period may not necessarily be a good indicator of future incidents in that area.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

Number of reports received in relation to Big / Large / Wild Cats – Between 01 January 2010 till 30th November 2013

Date

OCU / LPU Incident Detail

Jul-11

Birmingham South Wild Cat / possibly Lion   – a car park

Jul-10

Coventry  Large Cat / Like Panther  –  a road

Mar-12

Walsall Wild Cat –  a road

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

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:

www.west-midlands.police.uk/advice-centre/accessing-information/freedom-of-information/review-and-appeals

Please note that such an appeal must be received within 40 working days of the date of this correspondence.

As recommended as good practice by the Information Commissioner’s Office a version of this response may be published on the West Midlands Police website.

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