Can you please disclose under Freedom of Information laws:
– The number of reports/allegations made by males claiming they were drugged and raped in the three years from January 2017.
– Details held of all those allegations
– The number of arrests in cases of this nature and the number of charges
– All incidents/reports/allegations logged containing the word GHB and the nature of the complaint -ages of those charged
The cost of compliance with the whole of 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(1) of the FOI 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.
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. 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.
Please find attached (277_20 attachment) our response.
Please note that these data should be interpreted with caution. Comparing numbers of incidents/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.
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.
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.
We can confirm that some relevant information is held by West Midlands Police. However, we are withholding that information since it is exempt by virtue of the following exemptions. The threshold to do a manual search of all crime reports for the word or phrase “GHB” (as it may have been in MO as gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid) would exceed cost. The MO search “keyword GHB has bought back no results. So potentially we may have the information but not in a retrievable format. It may need the evaluation of booked in drugs from each crime to identify what drug it was.
Section 40 (2) Personal Data
Section 40 (2) allows for personal data to be withheld where release would breach the third party’s data protection rights. It would be unfair to release this information where any person could be identified from the data and in this case the right to privacy outweighs any public interest in release. Section 40 is an absolute and class based exemption, and to reveal further detail regarding these incidents could potentially identify an individual and is therefore exempt by section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act.
Section 30(1) Investigation and proceedings conducted by the public authority
These exemptions and explanatory notes are shown here:
In line with the above, I am required to complete a Prejudice Test/Public Interest Test (PIT) on disclosure. Please find this PIT attached (277_20 PIT)