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Threat to Life Notices (422A/24)


1. Please provide the number of Threats to Life Warning Notices, (commonly referred to as ‘Osman warnings’) that the force has issued in the following calendar years: 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023.

2. If possible, for each of those years, how many Threat to Life notices were given to:
a. Sikhs
b. Those whose ethnicity/”ethnic appearance” was logged as “Indian”
c. Those whose ethnicity/”ethnic appearance” was logged as “Asian”


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. This is because we do not record the number of Threat to Life (TTL) ‘Osman’ notices that are issued in a way that is easy to count. Below is a breakdown of how many TTLs were recorded each year:

TTLs per year Total
2023 68
2022 74
2021 110
2020 171
2019 251
Total 674

For each of the above TTLs there is a likelihood that we have served a TTL Warning notice (Osman) on the potential victim and a TTL Disruption notice (reverse Osman) on the potential offender.

However it is not as a simple as just saying we have issued 136 notices in 2023 as many of these TTLs will have more than one potential offender and more than one potential victim, some will require a notice, some won’t as they are assessed on a case-by-case basis depending on the intelligence case (i.e. in certain circumstances the issuing of notices can cause the risk to escalate).

Each individual TTL are initially stored in a document on a shared drive, these documents are part risk assessment and part policy log, within that document we will record if notices are issued.

TTLs notices are mainly documented this way however there are TTL notices that are issued under crime reports which are not documented on the TTL drive, officers sometimes issue TTL notices as a result of a crime and that would be documented on the crime investigation log.

To understand the amount of notices issued we would need to access each of the 674 TTL records and read the TTL document to see if any (and how many) notices were issued, most of these documents are quite long and we would estimate a conservative reckoning of 10 minutes to locate the TTL document, read it, find if notices issued and how many.

Using the calculation of 674 records x 10 mins per record is approximately 112 hours to fulfil this request, and even that would not give an accurate record of all notices issued. As explained, sometimes they are issued in relation to crimes so that would be held in the crimes records which would be even harder and take much longer to locate.

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:


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