Unsolved Murders and Missing Person Cases (1334A/21)
1) I would like to place a freedom of information request with you. I would like to receive information relating to the number of suspicious death / murder cold case investigations your Force currently has.
2) I would also like to receive information about the number of missing person cases that you currently have.
3) I would like a breakdown to include the name of the person involved, when they died / went missing, the location of their death or disappearance, a brief summary of the case to date, and any appeal contact details should people have any information to report.
Just to further clarify with this request. By ‘cold case’ I mean unsolved
As for the details I am asking for, just to clarify this further
1. the name of the victim
2. the victims age
3. the date of offence
4. the location of 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 all of the requested information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. With regard to question 3 in relation to whether any arrests have been made in connection with the unsolved murders, 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.
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, in line with Section 16 of the Act I have a duty to provide advice and assistance in relation to your request and can provide relevant information for questions 1 & 2. Please see attached document.
However, while the majority of this information is provided above, 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 (1334A_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/fees legislation for any subsequent requests.
Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here: