Arrests for Sexual Offences (405A/21)
1) how many people have been arrested for a sexual offence, including rape, in your region since March 2016
2) a breakdown of what exactly the offender was arrested for (e.g. sexual harrassment, indecent exposure, rape since March 2016 and when
3) a breakdown of where (which borough) these people were arrested in (each individual arrest) since March 2016
4) a breakdown of what the consequences were for each of these individuals (were they released without charge, cautioned, charged and then sentenced, or charged and then released)
5) a breakdown of the ages of each of these offenders – including any under-18s
Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. With regard to question 3, the location field on our arrest database is a free text field which means the entries are usually vague or localised locations (e.g. “outside John’s chippy” or “M6”). As a result, identifying the borough in which the arrest took place would require manually reviewing the individual arrest records. Such a search, however, would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).
This means that the cost of providing you with the information is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds the ‘appropriate level’ as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004.
In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice for this part of the request and if one part of a request exceeds the fees limit then S12 of the Act applies to the whole request.
However, in accordance with Section 16 of the Act I have a duty to provide advice and assistance in relation to your request, therefore in relation to question 3 we can provide arrests broken down by custody station – please note however that this will not be indicative of the location in which the arrest took place because arrests are taken to the nearest custody block that has availability. We can also provide the information requested for the remaining questions. Please find this attached.
This should not be taken as a precedent that additional information would be supplied outside of the time/fees legislation for any subsequent requests.
Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here:
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.
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.