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Drug Arrests (65A/20)

Request

Please would you let me know how many arrests were made by West Midlands Police for drug and drug related offences between 1 Jan-31 Dec 2018, 1 Jan-31 Dec 2019 and 1 Jan-31 March 2020?

I would like the figures broken down into:

  1. age group e.g. 0-10; 11-17; 18-30; 31-50; 51-70; over 70s or whichever way your service breaks down the age groups.
  2. gender.
  3. racial/ethnicity of suspects e.g. white; Asian; African-Caribbean or whichever way your service breaks down the racial/ethnic groups.
  4. The class of drug.
  5. An overall estimate street value of the drugs seized or whichever way you record the value of seizures.

I would also like to know how many ended up being charged and sent to court as a result of your investigations and how many were resolved without court action. I am happy for you to supply the raw data in an excel spreadsheet which I can analyse.

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 (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).

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). 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.

REASON FOR DECISION

Please note that researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).  In order to answer question 5, we would need to conduct a manual search of all relevant records, this would exceed the FOI time limit.

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

Attachments

65A_ATTACHMENT_01