Mental Health Incidents (187A/23)
Could you please provide answers to the questions below for the years 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 —
1a. How many incidents were recorded, each year?
1b. How many of these incidents were tagged as involving mental health, each year?
2a. How many crimes were recorded, each year?
2b. How many of these crimes were tagged as involving an element of mental health, each year?
3a. If possible, please let us know what is included in the term (or meant by the term) ‘incidents’?
3b. Does ‘incidents’ include both crimes and non-crimes?
Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all 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 187A_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.
REASON FOR DECISION
A new crime system was introduced in April 2021 and although this features a mental health marker that enables us to easily identify crimes with a mental health element, this marker is not available for crimes recorded prior to the introduction of the system.
Therefore, although we have been able to determine the requested information for question 2b in relation to the calendar year 2022, to provide the same information for the preceding calendar years we would need to manually go into and read through the electronically held records of more than one million crimes.
It is not possible to estimate the exact amount of time it would take to carry out this task, but even allowing only five minutes per record, it would still take around ten years!
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.