Skip to content

Under 16 Year Old Arrests (493A/23)


Could you provide me with the following information for the time period 1 March 2018 to 1 March 2023:

  1. Total number of Under 16’s arrested in your constabulary area in this time period.
  2. Please may you present the data as follows: List of ages from 0-16, their sex, their race, their crimes, what they were charged with, what the outcome was (juvenile detention/fines/released without charge?)
  3. Please also highlight any repeat offenders in these figures.


Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all of 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 files 493A_23_attachment1.pdf, 493A_23_attachment2.csv & 493A_23_attachment3.csv). Please note – due to the risk of individuals being identified, the ethnic description of the persons arrested have been provided in a separate table (see attachment 3).

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.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

As recommended as good practice by the Information Commissioner’s Office a version of this response may be published on the West Midlands Police website.


Although we have been able to provide the information for questions 1 and 2, it is not possible to determine the requested information for question 3 (repeat offenders) without manually going into every custody record and carrying out a PNC search against each one. Such a search however would involve an examination of more than 7,000 custody records and 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: