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Drone Incidents (20924/19)


I would like to know how many reported incidents or offences there were in the West Midlands regarding nuisance/suspicious/antisocial drone activity between April 2018 and March 2019.


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.

Offence information is recorded on Police systems as per the Home Office Counting Rules for recorded crime (HOCR), governed by the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) and incident information is recorded as per the National Standard for Incident Recording (NSIR). Retrieval of information is therefore subject to these recording categories. However, there is no recording category for ‘nuisance/suspicious/antisocial drone activity’ and because of this, we are unable to easily search force recording systems for this information.

Therefore, in order to determine the total number of cases relevant to your request, we would need to conduct a manual trawl of all incidents and crimes recorded in the past financial year. 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:

However, in order to assist in providing you with information that may be of use, we have conducted a search of our incident database for all logs created during the period 01 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, that contained either of the keywords ‘drone’ or ‘drones’ in the ‘initial brief incident detail’ field and broken these down by Final Classification as per The National Standards For Incident Recording (please see attached 20924_19_attachment.pdf) I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for this request.

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.