Civil Orders (1291A/23)
I am writing to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request the following information from your force:
- The total number of civil orders issued by your force broken by year from 2018 to the most recent data available. If possible, I would appreciate it if this could be broken down by type of civil order issued.
- The total number of complaints that were logged against officers at your force by year from 2018 to the most recent data available, if feasible, broken down by the nature of category of the complaint.
- A breakdown of the outcomes of those complaints – i.e. how many led to, say, misconduct hearings or criminal prosecutions, how many led to investigations or how many had no further action taken – similarly broken down by year, as above.
- The total number of both ‘mandatory’ and ‘voluntary’ referrals to the IOPC of cases involving officers or staff from your force broken by year from 2018 to the most recent data available. In the case of ‘voluntary’ referrals, if possible, a wider breakdown of the outcomes of those referrals would be appreciated (i.e. how many led IOPC to launch its own investigation, how many led to the IOPC to supervise a force professional standards investigation or how many cases where the IOPC declined to have input into the case in question)
Clarification received 22/08/2023:
I wanted to clarify that ideally I was hoping for the request to cover all types of civil order notices, but if that is not possible it would be acceptable to limit the response to focus just on civil injunctions, community protection notices and criminal behaviour orders. I also have no preference between orders issued by the force or those actually made – ideally would love to see figures for both – but if one is infeasible then I am happy to go with whichever allows the request to stay workable within the limits of the act.
Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. In relation to question 1, civil orders are held by different departments, therefore in order to determine all the different types of orders and which departments hold the information for these we would need to separately approach each individual department across the force. In relation to questions 2 – 4, this information is not all held in a centrally collated format. New regulations were introduced in 2020 which changed our Professional Standards Department’s processes in recording and assessing cases. However, information held prior to 2020 was collated in different formats and locations, and with varying levels of detail. Therefore, retrieving information prior to 2020 would require manual searches and cross-referencing multiple locations in respect of thousands of case files. To conduct these separate searches, 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 and can provide relevant information for the remainder of your request as this was retrieved during our initial research. Please find this information attached (1291A_Attachment).
In addition to the attached response, please be advised that we want our officers to uphold the highest of standards so the public has the utmost confidence in them.
It is important to note the force operates under the Police Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Behaviour. This includes challenging any inappropriate behaviour or action which would discredit the police service or undermine public confidence in policing.
Our Professional Standards department take a robust stance and are committed to rooting out abuse of power, criminality and corruption whenever we find evidence of it. This is done by carrying out thorough investigations, offering support and dealing appropriately with anyone found to be acting in an inappropriate manner.
We must do everything we can to maintain public confidence and trust in policing. This will provide reassurance to the public that we mean it when we say we’ll do all we can to preserve and rebuild trust.
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.
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: