Strip Searches (438A/22)
Please could you provide the following information regarding strip searches (sometimes logged as further searches) or under 18s.
How many strip searches/further searches of under 18s were performed by officers in the following financial years:
1 April 2021 – 31 March 2022
1 April 2020 – 31 March 2021
1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020
1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019
1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018
Please provide a breakdown for each year by gender
Please provide a breakdown for each year by ethnicity
For each year – how many of the under 18s were handcuffed during the process
For each year – how many of those searches were released by police without charge
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, please see attached for the only information we are able to retrieve in relation to your request. 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 also see the following which you may find helpful:
REASON FOR DECISION
Please note that researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).
The attached data for 2021 is only up to 7 April, at this time it would require a manual examination of 6,710 custody records to locate and retrieve the remaining data, this search would exceed the FOI time limit.
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.