I’d appreciate the amount/total of missing children as of the date the information was requested, including older cases in which the child may no longer be a child (e.g. if a 14 year old went missing 15 years ago) but the case is still open and the child is still missing
I would like to see the numbers of missing children in the West Midlands and the statistics regarding age, ethnicity, area within the Midlands and length of time missing.
Please find attached our response.
Please be advised that the information that you have requested is not available in a readily retrievable format. In relation where you have specified you require data to the older cases in which the child may no longer be a child (e.g. if a 14 year old went missing 15 years ago) but the case is still open and the child is still missing. At the time of your request (07/11/2019) there 386 inactive cases within our system, this means that the case/individual was missing for more than 12 months and the system has deemed this as inactive. Therefore to locate and retrieve if any of these were children at the time of the report was entered as missing would require us to manually retrieve each of the cases and review these to see if this was captured by your request.
Therefore we estimate it to take 5 mins per record to locate, retrieve and review this data.
386 records x 5mins = 1,930 mins = approx. 32 hours to complete this part of your request.
Therefore the cost of providing you with the information is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds the ‘appropriate level’ as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004.
In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice for this part of the request and if one part of a request exceeds the fees limit then S12 of the Act applies to the whole request
However, In accordance with Section 16 of the Act I have a duty to provide advice and assistance in relation to your request and can provide information in relation the numbers of missing children in the West Midlands and the statistics regarding age, ethnicity, area within the Midlands and length of time missing.
This should not be taken as a precedent that additional information would be supplied outside of the time/fees legislation for any subsequent requests
Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here:
Please note that these data should be interpreted with caution. This a dynamic system and can change / be updated at any point therefore 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.