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Cocaine Possession (48A/23)


For each of the past five financial years 2017/18, 18/19, 19/20, 20/21, 21/22 can I request the following information:

  1. The number of arrests for cocaine possession.
  2. The age and gender of each suspect
  3. The exact offence (possession, possession with intent etc…)
  4. The outcome (charge, caution etc…)


Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all of this information within the appropriate (cost) limit of 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 48A_23_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.


It has not been possible to retrieve outcome data from our electronic crime recording system for the 2020/2021 financial year. Therefore in order to determine this information, we would need to manually go into each offence. This however would require an examination of nearly 600 cases 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: