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Shoplifting Offences (777A/20)


Can I please be given details of:

1) The five shops, supermarkets or commercial premises which were subject to the most call-outs for shoplifting between April 2019 – March 2020 and the number of incidents reported.

2) Full details of each shoplifting report during December 2019, including the location, the items stolen, the value of the items stolen and whether the property was recovered.


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 (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).

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). 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.


Please note that researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).  In relation to question 2 the description of the items stolen are not always known exactly by the person reporting, or only inputted into the MO notes or property category section but not both.

For the status of the property being recovered again this information isn’t consistently recorded, therefore this would exceed the FOI time limit in order to locate and retrieve this information and it would require a manual search of all relevant records.

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