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Phone Thefts (291A/23)


Could I please have data on phones stolen/on the street thefts in the past five years across the West Midlands please? For example this includes (but is not inclusive to):

  • How many phone and bag thefts there were reported, broken down by the year and the months these happened.
  • Whether they were stolen on bikes, on foot, in cars etc.
  • The victims location at the time of incident i.e. shopping centre, street, car.
  • Outcome of case i.e. resolved, closed etc.
  • The location and time of these too please.
  • Models of phones reported.

Additionally, if there is any data soon to be released at the end of this financial year (April 2022- April 2023) on the above information please supply this too. Ideally information will be statistics and/or graphs.


Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. In relation to ‘Whether they were stolen on bikes, on foot, in cars etc’, there is no grouping facility or recording category on our database to capture this detail. This detail may be contained within the overall case file/case notes, however, to identify if this has been recorded would require manually reading each individual crime file. There are 9,401 recorded crimes relevant to your request, and at an estimated minimum of 3 minutes to review each record, this would equate to a search that would take over 470 hours, far exceeding the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).

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.

Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here:

However, under Section 16 of the Act I have a duty to provide advice and assistance in relation to your request and can provide the information requested for the remainder of your request as this was retrieved during our initial research. Please see attached document (291A_Attachment).

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

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.