Please provide the following 4 pieces information in a monthly table starting from when the OPFCC took on the role of initially recording and dealing with members of the public making a complaint against the police which; also includes an expression of dissatisfaction.
- Type of complaint
- A summary of the complaint (more detail is required as to the circumstances of the allegation rather than using the generic terms presently used that do not specify the circumstances of the complaint, in some complaints the term “other” has been used which does not provide information as to the type or circumstances of the complaint.
Other generic terms used in the previous spreadsheet which do not describe the circumstances of the complaint include:
General level of service
Use of police vehicles
Impolite and intolerant actions
Disclosure of information
Searches of premises and seizure of property Other policies and procedures Unprofessional attitude and disrespect Police action following contact Information Race Sex Impolite language/tone Handling of or damage to property/ premises Out of court disposals Lack of fairness and impartiality
- Which complaints were resolved by the OPFCC customer service team
- Which complaints were forwarded to the Northamptonshire Police Professional Standards Department
I can confirm that the OPFCC holds the information that you have requested. However, the cost of your request exceeds the limits for time and cost set out in 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. On this occasion we will not be taking your request in respect to complaints data any further.
In this email I will explain why that is and provide further advice as to how you could refine your request so that we may be able to answer it.
The information you are requesting is not held by the Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner in any reasonably retrievable form. The only means of establishing information of the nature you are requesting would be by way of manual examination each complaint received by the OPFCC’s Customer Service Team.
It is my assessment that the cost of providing you with the information requested would exceed the ‘appropriate level’ as set out in the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. To answer the request in full would require the Customer Service Team to examine each individual complaint received to provide a summary, as well as the other information requested.
Since February 2020, the Customer Service Team have received 1825 complaints and it is my assessment is that it would take around 5 mins to review each complaint to ascertain the summary of the complaint and to ensure it is anonymised in such a way that it was suitable for public release. This would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ which currently stands at £450 for ‘prescribed costs’ which is calculated at the flat rate of £25 per person, per hour.
We might be able to answer a refined request if it was within the costs limit. You may wish to consider, for example, further limiting the time frame of your request or the breadth of your request. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee at this stage that a refined request will fall within the FOIA cost limit. There is more information and guidance about the section 12 exemption for your information set below.
In view of the above, and in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please take this letter as a Refusal Notice.
Additional Information about Section 12 FOIA
We have provided below additional information about Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act. We have included some extracts from the legislation, as well as some of the guidance we use when applying it.
Section 1: Right of Access to information held by public authorities (1) Any person making a request for information to a public authority is entitled— (a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information of the description specified in the request, and (b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him.
Section 12: Cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit (1) Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit. (2) Subsection (1) does not exempt the public authority from its obligation to comply with paragraph (a) of section 1(1) unless the estimated cost of complying with that paragraph alone would exceed the appropriate limit. (3) In subsections (1) and (2) “the appropriate limit” means such amount as may be prescribed, and different amounts may be prescribed in relation to different cases. (4) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that, in such circumstances as may be prescribed, where two or more requests for information are made to a public authority— (a) by one person, or (b) by different persons who appear to the public authority to be acting in concert or in pursuance of a campaign, the estimated cost of complying with any of the requests is to be taken to be the estimated total cost of complying with all of them. (5) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for the purposes of this section as to the costs to be estimated and as to the manner in which they are to be estimated.
The appropriate limit
The ‘appropriate limit’, for the purposes of section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act has been set at:
- £600 for central government and Parliament.
- The hourly rate is set at £25 per person per hour.
The following activities may be taken into account when public authorities are estimating whether the appropriate limit has been exceeded.
- determining whether it holds the information requested
- locating the information or documents containing the information
- retrieving such information or documents
- extracting the information from the document containing it.