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Theft of Motor Vehicle (251A/24)


  1. the records for theft of a motor vehicle from 01/01/2023 to 31/01/2024 (inclusive) month on month i.e. the number of vehicle thefts notified each month, in Excel format, detailing:


a. the make and model of the vehicle

b. the vehicle categorisation i.e. car, HGV, moped etc


2. whether the vehicles concerned have been recovered


Please could you add a column to the spreadsheet response for the age of the vehicle.  To be clear, I am only seeking characters 3 and 4 of the VRM; the two numbers (the age identifier. . For example, 51 represents September 2001. The age identifier changes every six months in March and September.

Where the plate does not conform to this process, please either leave blank or display the 3rd and 4th characters.


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 (see attached). 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 note that researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).  Unfortunately, we cannot complete section B as we do not store the categorisation details in our data.

Question 2 exceeds the 18 hours as we would have to find this information in the incident summary. There are 16009 records, at 5 minutes per record this would equate to 1334 hours of work.

In relation to your additional request, we are unable to provide this information. The only way we could check is by reading each incident summary which would exceed the 18 hours. There are 16009 records, at 5 minutes per record, which as stated above equates to 1334 hours of work.

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.