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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

Covid Tests and Crimes (401A/21)

Request

I am looking at policing during the pandemic and how it has affected your force.

I would like your help under the FOIA for the following.

  1. How many incidents have you had of suspects assaulting frontline officers causing them to be tested for Covid e.g. officers who have been spat at?
  2. In terms of crime, please supply the number of incidents you have recorded e.g. homicides, offensive weapons, controlled drugs, sexual offences etc. during 1 Jan 2019 to 31 December 2019; 1 Jan 2020 to 31 December 2020; 1 Jan 2021 to 28 Feb 2021.
  3. I would like these broken down into months for the respective years e.g. Jan, Feb, March…December 2019 and the offence categories e.g. homicides, offensive weapons, controlled drugs, sexual offences etc. or whichever way to categorise the collection of crime data.
  4. Please provide documents issued regarding anything that was sent to officers about how they were expected to police during lockdown and keep safe.

Please supply the data on an excel spread sheet xlsx.

Response

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. With regard to question 1, this is not all stored in a centrally collated format; though we record assaults against officers, we would not be able to advise whether all of the officers subsequently went for Covid testing unless it was mentioned in the description. Similarly, information relevant to question 4 is not stored in a centrally collated format. Information has been given to officers from numerous sources throughout the period of Covid, however, to locate and retrieve this would require separately approaching each Neighbourhood Policing Unit and department. To conduct these manual searches 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.

  1. 298 assaults (involving biting/spitting etc) have been recorded by our Health and Safety department since the start of 2020
  2. Please see attached document (401A_Attachment)
  3. Please see attached document (401A_Attachment)

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:

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

Attachments

401A_Attachment