Unsolved Murders (196A/23)
Please could you provide me with a list of unsolved murders which have taken place within the force area between 1960 and 2022?
Please include for each case;
1. the name of the victim
2. the victim’s age
3. the date of offence
4. the location of the offence
5. a brief description of the offence
6. Whether any arrests have ever been made in connection with the offence
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. In relation to whether any arrests have been made, this information is not centrally collated. Therefore, in order to determine this, we would have to manually review each individual case and cross reference this against other force systems and records. To conduct this manual search, however, would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).
This means that the cost of providing you with the information is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds the ‘appropriate level’ as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004.
Question 5 & 6 would require an assessment of at least 54 separate HOLMES accounts (documents not scanned on are stored in boxes and would have to be recalled), of the remainder, equating to 37 murders whereby all boxes would have to be recalled and searched to find such information, therefore 91 incidents in total. This would also involve Information Management staff to assist recalling from external storage, and then evaluation.
It is difficult to put a time per box / HOLMES record as every case differs and information is located in different forms, but we can state that per HOLMES record and box including its recall =
91 records / boxes x 2 hours = 182 Hours
In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice for this part of the request and if one part of a request exceeds the fees limit then S12 of the Act applies to the whole request.
However, under Section 16 of the Act I have a duty to provide advice and assistance in relation to your request.
Please see attached document 196A/23 attachment for the years 1960 to 2022.
For the years 2021 and 2022, I am not required by statute to release all of the information requested. This letter serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) for details of the victims that are not already in the public domain.
In this case, this letter represents a Refusal Notice for the withheld information. The information is exempt by virtue of the following exemptions:
Section 30(1)(a)(b) – Investigations and proceedings
Section 38(1)(a)(b) – Health and safety
Section 40(2) – Personal information
These exemptions and explanatory notes are shown here:
In line with Sections 30 and 38 above, I am required to complete a Prejudice Test/Public Interest Test (PIT) on disclosure. Please find this PIT attached (196A_23 PIT).
Should information relevant to this request exist it would pertain to the personal data of any individual involved in matters leading up to and surrounding the deceased’s death and/or any other individuals connected/related to the deceased. Therefore, it is exempt from disclosure and the exemption that applies to this type of information is Section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Section 40(2) is an absolute and class-based exemption if to release the information exists would breach the third party’s data protection rights. In this case, to release this personal information would not constitute fair processing of the data. As this exemption is class based I am not required to identify the harm in disclosure and in this instance, I believe that the right to privacy outweighs any public interest in release.
This should not be taken as a precedent that additional information would be supplied outside of the time/fee’s legislation for any subsequent requests.
Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here: