Failure To Appear Warrants (183A/22)
Please could you provide information on the number of outstanding failure to appear (FTA) warrants there are in the force area.
Ideally this data will include the offence for which the suspect was charged, the name of the suspect, the date on which the suspect was due to appear in court, the name of the court and the date on which the warrant was issued.
Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all of this information within the appropriate (cost) limit of 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 file 183A_22_attachment.xlsx). The name of the suspect however is exempt by virtue of Section 40(2) – Personal information. This exemption and explanatory notes is shown here.
With regard to ‘the date on which the warrant was issued’, this date is usually the same as the date on which the suspect was due to appear in court (attached table ‘REPORTED’ column), as the warrant is issued by the courts on the date they fail to appear.
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
In order to determine ‘the name of the court’, we would need to manually review each warrant. As at 10 February 2022 however, there were 1,791 warrants and to individually examine each of these would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).
Additionally, with regard to ‘the date on which the warrant was issued’, this date is usually the same as the date on which the suspect was due to appear in court (attached table ‘Reported’ column), as the warrant is issued by the courts on the date they fail to appear.
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: