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Football Costs (618A/20)

Request

  1. Please provide me with figures of income your force has received – or has agreed to receive – from football clubs to cover match day policing in the 2018/19 season, the 2019/20 season and the 2020/21 season.
  2. Please state the name of the club and give three figures for each club, one for each season.
  3. Please also send me copies of all emails sent to or by your staff between March 23 2020 and August 12 2020 on the subject of match day policing.

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.

REASONS FOR DECISION

 Please note that researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).

Please note: Football clubs are currently only legally obliged to pay for the policing on their “footprint”, usually inside the stadium and surrounding car parks. The provision of “consequential policing” outside a football match, for example at a railway station or in the city centre, is currently the responsibility of the police. This includes any costs of such policing. These costs, except for subsistence, are not separately recorded and are therefore not identified. Policing hours are not, in the main, separately collated and are therefore not separately identifiable

Please note that researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).  Please be advised that the information that you have requested is not available in a readily retrievable format. All emails sent to or by WMP staff between March 23 2020 and August 12 2020 on the subject of match day policing is not held centrally or in an electronically retrievable format. West Midlands Police currently has thousands of Police Officers, Staff and Special Constables and each of these individuals would have to review all of their e-mails that they had sent, received, deleted, or saved anywhere to identify information that would be relevant to your request. In addition to this the subject matter ‘on the subject of match day policing` is too generic for any kind of search to be completed as correspondence may be on the subject of match day policing but may not contain these specific terms.  Therefore 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 request, you should note that 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 have therefore provided responses to your other questions as they did not require any further research.

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.

Attachments

618A_ATTACHMENT_01