Excess Vehicle Noise/Quad Bike Seizure (1032A/23)
- For the last twelve months, how many verbal warnings did West Midlands Police issue to motorists stopped for excessively loud exhausts?
- For the last twelve months, how many non-endorseable fixed penalty notices were issued for the offence of Silencer/ exhaust system altered to increase noise (RC86068)?
- For the last twelve months, how many non-endorseable fixed penalty notices were issued for the offence of Avoidance of excessive noise (RC86092)?
- For the last twelve months, how many quad bikes were seized as a result of illegal use? And how many arrests were made and what proportion of these led to a successful prosecution?
*If the data can be supplied for Birmingham only, rather than the entire region, that would be welcome. I would also welcome a brief summary of how the data compares to previous years to note any trends.
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 all of the requested information for questions 2 and 3 of your request, and partial information for question 4 of your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see attached file 1032A_23_attachment.pdf). 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
Regarding question 1 (warnings), this information is not centrally collated and/or searchable on any of our electronic systems. Instead, if a warning had been issued, it would likely only be recorded in an officer’s pocket notebook. However, to determine how many if any had been recorded in this way, would require manually going through every one of our officers’ notebooks. This would be a huge undertaking (made even more difficult by the fact that many would be in archive storage), and such a search would far exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).
Regarding question 4 (quad bikes seized), although we have been able to identify 11 quad bikes recovered in Birmingham in the last 12 months and the reason for the recovery (see attached). Due to the unregistered nature of these bikes, there may be more, but it would take a considerable amount of time to data quality check every unregistered vehicle on our system. Additionally, this system is not linked to our custody system and because of this, there is no easy way to determine details of resulting arrests and prosecutions without a huge amount of work cross referencing records across multiple systems.
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: