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Taxi Drivers (1034A/20)

Request

In each of the last two financial years (i) 2018-19 and (ii) 2019-20 how many allegations of (a) rape and (b) sexual assault did you investigate where you had a suspect who was said to be a “taxi driver”, and in how many of those cases was the taxi driver working for Uber?

Please note that I envisage a response that for each financial year will give the total number of (a) rapes and (b) sexual assaults where the suspect was a “taxi driver” as well as how many in both categories were Uber drivers.

By “taxi driver” I mean any licenced or non-licenced taxi or private hire driver.

Response

Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide 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 1034A_20_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 we have an Occupation type of ‘TAXIS’ on our crime recording system, this is not a mandatory recording field and also taxi driving may not be the individual’s primary occupation, therefore this field will not necessarily capture all offences where the defendant, suspect etc. was a taxi driver. There is also no field that specifies the company that a person was working and there is also no marker to denote whether the alleged offence occurred while the person was on duty/working in that role. Therefore in order to determine all of the requested information, we would need to conduct a manual examination within the case file of every rape and sexual assault recorded in the last two financial years. Such a search however would 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:

https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-content/information-management/freedom-of-information/#fees-and-charges

Attachments

1034A_20_attachment