Stop and Search (1157A/22)
Figures from 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 for the number of people who have been stopped and searched by West Midlands Police. Can this also be broken down into ethnicities and age of people stopped and searched. Please can this data also include the outcome of the search, whether the search resulted in a complaint, and if so, whether the complaint was upheld or not.
Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all of this this information within the appropriate (cost) limit of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).
However, 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 file 1157A_22_attachment.pdf). 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.
REASON FOR DECISION
Although it has been possible to provide information with regard to the ethnicities and ages of people subjected to a stop and search (see Tables 1-3 attached), data prior to September 2019 is not centrally retained. Therefore, in order to determine the information before this time, we would need to conduct a manual trawl of records. Such a search however would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).
Additionally, with regard to complaints following a stop and search. Although it has been possible to provide the number of complaints and outcomes during the requested period (see Table 4 attached), it is not possible to determine the age and ethnicity of the person stopped, without manually going into each complaint record (and even then the information may not be held) and such a search would once again exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).
This means that 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.
Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here: