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Missing Children (1590A/22)


a) The number missing children (under 18’s) in the years 2016-2021 broken down by ethnicity.

b) Additionally, a breakdown of time taken to find the missing children from 2016-2021 broken down by ethnicity.

c) Also, a breakdown of budget spent per child from 2016-2021 with details about the victim and their ethnicity.

d) Finally, I am requesting how long is spent on a missing children’s case before closing from 2016-2021, I am requesting this information presented as per child, or if possible, already broken down by ethnicity.


c) This information is not held

a), b) & d) 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 part a) of your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see attached file 1590A_22_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.


It is not possible to determine from our system, the time taken to find a missing child (part b of your request) and how long was spent on a missing children’s case before closing (part d of your request), without looking into each individual episode. This however would involve a manual trawl of thousands of records and such a search would 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: