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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

How we are working to keep our FOI Requests running during COVID-19

Coronavirus – Fines & Arrests (167A/20)

Request

  1. Can you please tell me the amount of fines issued for social gatherings from February 1st upto and including 10th May 2020, please provide a breakdown for the following cities

Birmingham,

Coventry,

Wolverhampton

  1. Can you also provide the number of arrests made for breaking of social gathering laws, please provide a breakdown for the following cities

Birmingham,

Coventry,

Wolverhampton

Response

Q1. This information is not held by West Midlands Police. When information for a Fixed Penalty Notice is recorded the force then provides the information by individual return (each officer) to ACRO (https://www.acro.police.uk/ ), as it is ACRO that administrates the fines. The force does not hold information in relation to how many fines, or the details of these fines, that were subsequently issued to an offender by ACRO. The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) collate the data nationally, and information in relation to this is available on their website https://news.npcc.police.uk/releases/police-chiefs-welcome-positive-start-to-recruitment-drive . You may therefore wish to contact the NPCC directly for information in relation to Fines.

Q2. Our data are not organised in a centrally retrievable format to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

Individuals would be arrested for the substantive offence rather than failing to comply with the requirements imposed under the Coronavirus Act (for example Breach of the peace). Therefore each arrest record would need to located and retrieved for this time period and the summary read to see if it contains mention of the Coronavirus Act. Such a search however 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:

https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-content/information-management/freedom-of-information/#fees-and-charges

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