Suicide Markers (1583A/22)
Between January 2020 to January 2022:
- I would like you to provide, the number of arrest records held in your system, with an outcome of “charge”, with a warning marker of “suicidal” or “attempted suicide” whereby the detention type was not related to the Mental Health Act?
- Could you also provide the number of arrest records held in your system with an outcome of charge with a warning marker of “suicidal” where the offence codes charged with are specific to:
a: COML032 – Cause a public nuisance
b: HY80020 – Wilful obstruction of a highway (however this relates to both highways and railways), perhaps OF61086 – Throw stone / wood / thing at train with intent to endanger may fit your criteria.
c: Public Order Act – code unknown.
Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all of this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within 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 1583A_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
We do not have a marker that allows us to easily identify detentions related/not related to the Mental Health Act. Therefore, to determine the requested information for question 1, we would need to manually review all arrest records with a ‘suicidal’ marker and an outcome of charge. During this period however, there were more than 14,000 arrests that fit this criterion and researching each one would far 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: