This is a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. My request relates to the surge in GPS tracker usage involved in coercive control and stalking cases.
I would like to request the following information:
- Can you please provide me with the total number of coercive control cases AND stalking cases that your police force has dealt with over the past five years? Please display the total case numbers for coercive control and stalking separately.
- Can you also please provide me with the number of cases over the past five years that were dealt with by your police force where GPS tracking was used as a form of coercive control? This could include social media trackers, technology-based trackers, AirTags, trackers on apps etc. Please provide the number of cases each year.
- Can you also please provide me with the number of cases over the past five years that were dealt with by your police force where GPS tracking was used as a form of stalking? This could include social media trackers, AirTags, technology-based trackers, trackers on apps etc. Please provide the number of cases each year.
Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all of this information within the appropriate (cost) limit under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. In relation to questions 2 & 3, we do not have any markers or identifying categories on our systems to capture cases that involved the use of GPS tracking. Due to the broad scope of this, in order to identify the requested information we would need to conduct a manual review of each recorded offence. We have identified 35,726 records for coercive control and stalking during the requested time period, and using an estimate of 5 minutes to review each record to identify if any of these involved the use of GPS tracking would take over 2,977 hours to complete. Such a search however, 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.
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 question 1 as this was retrieved during our initial research. Please see attached document (705A_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.
Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here: