Machete & Acid Offences (78A/22)
- For the months of November and December 2021 how many crimes were logged by your force where a machete was recorded as being an element in the offence? [Note: I would hope that this could be achieved by a computer search on the MO of crimes for the words “machete” or variants of the spelling to include “machette” and “machetes”.
- Please provide me with a table showing a breakdown of the crimes from Question 1 that are `linked’ to machete/s by its mention in the MO.
- Taking the month of December 2021 please provide me with copies of the first 5 MOs that mention machetes. [Note: To avoid falling into an exemption I am content for names, ages, geography or any other personal detail to be redacted].
- For the months of November and December 2021 how many crimes were logged by your force where acid was recorded as being an element in the offence? [Note: I would hope that this could be achieved by a computer search on the MO of crimes for the words “acid” or “acid-attack”.
- Please provide me with a table showing a breakdown of the crimes from Question 4 that are `linked’ to acid and acid attacks by its mention in the MO.
- Taking the month of December 2021 please provide me with copies of the first 5 MOs that mention acid. [Note: To avoid falling into an exemption I am content for names, ages, geography or any other personal detail to be redacted].
I can confirm that relevant information is held by West Midlands Police. However, while much of this information has been provided (see attached), redactions have been applied to some of the text for questions 3 and 6, since it is exempt by virtue of the following:
Section 40(2) – Personal information
Section 30(1)(a)(b) – Investigations and proceedings
These exemptions and explanatory notes are shown here:
Section 40(2) allows for personal data to be withheld where release would breach the third party’s data protection rights. It would be unfair to release this information where any person could be identified from the data and in this case the right to privacy outweighs any public interest in release.
In line with Section 30 above, I am required to complete a Prejudice Test/Public Interest Test (PIT) on disclosure. Please find this PIT attached.
Please note that these data should be interpreted with caution. Comparing numbers of crimes can be misleading and does not necessarily indicate the likelihood of someone being a victim of crime. In addition, the number of crimes recorded in an area over a period of time can be influenced by a number of factors. Consequently, statistics on crimes for one period may not necessarily be a good indicator of future incidents in that area.
Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.
The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.
If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.
As recommended as good practice by the Information Commissioner’s Office a version of this response may be published on the West Midlands Police website.