18 August – 0415.2017-18 – Police removing and prosecution of birth parents
1) How many reports of Domestic Abuse or Violence led to Police removing Birth Parents from their own children and their home?
2) How many reports of Domestic Abuse or Violence resulted in prosecution against Birth Parents; Fathers and Mothers?
3) How many reports of sexual abuse resulted in a prosecution against a Birth Parent: Father or against Mother?
Extent of Searches to Locate Information
The type of information requested would be held by North Yorkshire Police therefore your request has been transferred to North Yorkshire Police.
Following receipt of your request searches were conducted within North Yorkshire Police to locate relevant information.
I am not obliged to provide you with a response to your request pursuant to Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act). Please note that when one part of your request falls under Section 12, we are not obliged to review the rest of the questions and the whole request is therefore exempt.
Section 12(1) applies to your request as the cost of complying with your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of identifying and retrieving any relevant information exceeds the ‘appropriate level’ as stated in the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.
Due to the nature of our recording systems the information requested, if held, is not in an easily retrievable format. Our information retrieval process generally relies on a computer ran report which captures any information recorded upon the surface of a record or within specified fields. Where relevant information is held deeper in the record, or outside of a specified field, a manual assessment is usually required to retrieve that information.
Q1) North Yorkshire Police do not separately record incidents of domestic abuse or violence resulting in birth parents being removed from their children and home. If such detail was recorded within the incident logs, it would not be held within a field which a computer ran report would be able to retrieve. Therefore in order to determine relevant results we would have to manually assess each record of domestic abuse or violence to see whether the detail requested was recorded. There are a considerable amount of domestic related incidents reported to the police yearly which would make a manual assessment process an onerous task, one exceeding the appropriate time/cost limit as stated within the freedom of information act regulations.
Q2 & 3) Prosecutions are conducted by the courts. Court results, for a large range of data, are not easily retrievable by a computer ran report as this type of information is not recorded within a specified field within the incident record. In order to retrieve the requested data we would again be required to manually assess all individual incidents of domestic violence and sexual abuse in order to access and report upon the court results. An additional complication would be determining whether the alleged offender was the birth parent of a child who had been removed from its parents care, as this is also not necessarily centrally recorded within the incident logs. This process would take a considerable amount of time, one exceeding the appropriate time/cost limit as stated within the freedom of information act regulations.
Pursuant to Section 17(5) of the Freedom of Information Act this letter acts as a Refusal Notice.
Pursuant to Section 16 of the Act I am required to offer you advice and assistance with regarding to refining your request to within the ‘appropriate limit’ (time/cost limit). However, due to the information provided above I am unable to suggest how you may refine your request and still receive the information within the cost threshold. If you wish to discuss this please do not hesitate to contact me.
Please note that systems used for recording information are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data. It should be noted therefore that this force’s response to your questions should not be used for comparison purposes with any other responses you may receive.