Boarding Up Costs (146A/23)
a) Please could I request the total amount spent by the force on boarding up in the last three completed financial years?
b) If possible, please could you detail how much of this spending was linked to forced entry into properties.
Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all of this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).
However, 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 ‘Boarding Up Costs’ below). 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.
Boarding Up Costs:
19/20 = £153,251.15
20/21 = £223,322.84
21/22 = £240,519.09
Total = £617,093.08
REASON FOR DECISION
Regarding part b of your request (forced entry), it is not possible to determine this information without manually going into each invoice. This however would require an examination of more than 8,000 records and such a search would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).
This means that 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.
Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here: