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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

COVID-19 Ticket App (523A/20)

Request

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act for information regarding your force’s use of the COVID-19 Ticket app for the issuing of Fixed Penalty Notices.

Please provide the following information about your force’s use of the COVID-19 Ticket app for the period between March 2020 and the end of June 2020; if you do not hold this information for the whole length of the period stated above, please provide it for the period starting from the date you began recording the information:

  1. The number of times the COVID-19 Ticket app has been used.
  2. The number of times the COVID-19 Ticket app has been used in conjunction with the mobile biometrics fingerprint scanners and app.
  3. The following information about each search: which database was searched (Police [IDENT1] or Immigration [IABS]) or both, date, reason for fingerprinting, officer defined ethnicity, self defined ethnicity, PNC search location, response (i.e. whether the search returned a record. If so, please specify which database the record was returned from).
  4. How many times was Command & Control contacted following a search.

Response

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 for part a, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see as follows). 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:

  1. The number of times the COVID-19 Ticket app has been used.

The use of the App to record a Direction To Leave – 3,795 times.

The use of the App to record a Fixed Penalty Notice (Ticket) – 496 times.

REASON FOR DECISION

Although we have been able to provide information for the number of times the COVID-19 Ticket app was used (part a), we are unable to locate and retrieve information for the remainder of your request (parts b, c and d) without manually reviewing each case. 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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