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Forensic Examination (1724/20)


Could you tell me please:

  1. The number of digital devices that are awaiting forensic examination
  2. The estimated time that it would take to examine these devices and clear the backlog
  3. If possible, could you also please let me know which recorded offences the devices are linked to, eg sexual offences, indecent images of a child etc.


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.


Please note that researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).  Question 3 would exceed the FOI time limit in order to locate and retrieve this information.

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.