The theft of a dog is a particularly nasty offence and as you will know, is a growing problem in this country with many dogs never reunited with their owners.
I wondered if you would be able to let me know how your force deals with this issue, for example
1) How serious is the problem in your Force area
2) How do you collate the figures
3) Could you provide me with the numbers for dog thefts in the past five years
4) I understand that many thefts are simply recorded as lost animals rather than stolen, do you issue any guidance to your officers in relation to this point as to how they differentiate between dog theft and other types of thefts?
5) Could I have the contact details of any officer allocated to oversee this crime?
6) I would also be interested to know how successful you are at getting dogs back to their owners and
7) How many cases reach the courts?
Any statistics, information and anecdotal evidence you can give me on this issue will go a long way to giving me a clear picture of the problem throughout England and Wales. This will enable me to raise the issue in parliament and hopefully help eradicate this offence.
Unfortunately our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all of this information.
Please note that researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12 (1)).
Therefore, the cost of compliance with your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond, i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12 of the Freedom of information Act 2000. For West Midlands Police, the appropriate limit is set at £450, as prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, S.I. 3244.
A public authority which, in relation to any request for information, is relying on a claim that section 12 or section 14 applies must, within the time for complying with Section 1(1), give the applicant a notice stating that fact. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a refusal notice.
Although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information, relative to your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see attached)
I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of the request.