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Outrage Public Decency Offences (84A/21)

Request

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I seek the following information regarding Outraging Public Decency Offences under the Home Office code 066/21 from 2015-most recent data (calendar years).

I would like to know in particular the number of offences involving couples having sexual intercourse in public places from 2015-present. I would also like to know, if possible, the location at which these incidents occurred (e.g. roadside, park etc).

I would like this information to be presented in a table or spreadsheet, broken down to show the number of incidences each year by local authority. I would then like to know, if possible, the number of offences each year sorted by location (e.g. roadside, park).

Response

Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. This is because in order to determine how many Outrage Public Decency offences relate to ‘couples having sexual intercourse in public places’ would involve manually reviewing the details of each individual case. However, for the requested time period there have been 1,173 offences recorded. Therefore, to manually review each of these cases would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).

This means that 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.

Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here:

https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-content/information-management/freedom-of-information/#fees-and-charges

However, in order to assist, we can provide information pertaining to the number of Outrage Public Decency offences recorded for the period 2015-2020 broken down by Neighbourhood Policing Unit and ‘Location Description’. Please find this data attached (84A_Attachment).

These data should be interpreted with caution; the figures provided 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.

This should not be taken as a precedent that additional information would be supplied outside of the time/fees legislation for any subsequent requests.

Attachments

84A_Attachment