1. For crimes closed in each year (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021) with the outcome “investigation complete (no suspect identified)”, how long on average did the investigation last from the time the crime was recorded to the point the investigation closed. Please give the breakdown for the following crimes:
a) Residential burglary
b) Business burglary
c) Theft from the person
d) Bicycle theft
e) Theft of a vehicle
f) Theft from a vehicle
2. For the crime of residential burglary, how many crimes included a visit to the property which was reported to have been burgled. Please supply the data for 2017-2021 inclusive and the overall number of residential burglaries reported in each year.
Q1. This information is not held.
Q2. 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 (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 attached file 792A_22_attachment.pdf). 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.
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.
REASON FOR DECISION
Although we have been able to provide the requested information for question 2 from March 2020 (see attached), this was because of the introduction of a new recording system at that time, which allows us to extract this information with an automated search. In order to determine the same information prior to this time though (i.e. 2017 to March 2020) ,we would need to manually review all crime incidents. This however would involve a trawl of thousands of 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: