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Intentional Harassment, Alarm or Distress (733A/23)


a) Please provide the number of cases of intentional harassment, alarm or distress (Public Order Act 1986 Sec. 4A) reported to your force between January 1st and December 31st 2022. Your force may record this under classification code 125/09.

b) If held, please outline how many cases of causing intentional harassment, alarm or distress include a sexual element (for example, have been recorded alongside another crime type as a sexual offence, or specifies ‘sexual harassment’)

c) Please provide the above totals broken down by: age of victim (just ‘child’ or ‘adult’ is fine, but more detail is welcome if within the cost limit) and crime outcome.

Note: Please include reported crime, not *just* ‘recorded’ crime in the above totals. Where reports have not progressed to a recorded crime, please flag this as a crime outcome (for example, ‘reported, not recorded’).


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).

However, 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 733A_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.


With regard to part b of your request (includes a sexual element), it is not possible to determine this information without manually going into the case files of every Home Office code 125/9 offence recorded in 2022. However, due to the number of offences that would need to be examined (13,614), even allowing a bare minimum of only a few minutes for each case would still far exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).

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: