Released Under Investigation and Pre-Charge Bail Statistics
2018 to 2021
I am writing to make a request for all the information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
James Stott made a similar request in 2020 which may be relevant to forces who replied with information. This request, however, extends and expands beyond that request.
-Released under investigation
1. How many people did your force release ‘under investigation’ each month from June 2018 up to and including August 2021?
2. For request 1, please may this be split by crime sub groups for all crime types (see HO Offence Classification index. For example, violence against the person offences are split into homicides, violence with injury, violence without injury, stalking and harassment, death or serious injury caused by unlawful driving)?
3. For request 1, for each month, please can you state the average number of days these individuals were under investigation (prior to being charged or any other outcome was given)?
4. How many people did your force release on pre-charge bail each month from June 2018 up to and including August 2021?
5. For request 4, for each month, please may this be split by crime sub groups for all crime types (see HO Offence Classification index. For example, violence against the person offences are split into homicides, violence with injury, violence without injury, stalking and harassment, death or serious injury caused by unlawful driving)?
6. For request 4, for each month, please can you state the average number of days these individuals were placed on pre-charge bail (prior to being charged or any other outcome was given)?
Disclosure with Exemptions
Part Disclosure with Section 12(1) and Section 17(1) Exemptions
Information Correct as at
26 October 2021
Date of Disclosure
28 October 2021
FOI 16185 Response
Having completed enquiries within Essex Police in respect of Section 1(1)(a), Essex Police does hold information relating to your request, however, the obligation of Section 1(1)(b) cannot be met as Essex Police does not hold all the information requested in a format that allows it to be retrieved within the time and cost limits of FOI.
When responding to a request for information under the terms of the FOIA, a public authority is not obliged to provide information if the authority estimates that the cost of the retrieval of the information requested would be in excess of £450 (equivalent to 18 hours work). The costs criteria relates to a request in its entirety, which means that if we cannot retrieve all of the information requested within the costs limit, we are not obliged to retrieve any of the information requested.
Section 12(1) of the FOIA states that a public authority is not obliged to:
“…comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit.”
The following explanation outlines the difficulty Essex Police has in answering your request:
In relation to Questions 2 and 5, Essex Police are unable to accurately extract the level of detail in relation to your request for the requested periods from our current systems. Essex Police systems are designed primarily for the management of individual cases and not primarily for the production of statistical information for FOI responses. We are unable to provide details such as the crime types these individuals have been arrested for as the system creates too many duplicates due to number of times a person has been bailed/re-bailed. This request would entail manually extracting the requested data and reviewing each record one by one to establish the information. To establish the information would, therefore, exceed the time and cost limits under the FOIA and would qualify as the creation of data as the results cannot be processed by means of purely sorting or filtering data sources or running a database query tool. There is no requirement under the act to create data purely to answer FOI requests.
Consequently, and to this extent, Essex Police are exempt from the duty to provide information you have requested under the provisions of Section 12(1) of the FOIA. Therefore, and in accordance with Section 17(1) of the FOIA, this communication must act as a refusal notice to provide all of the information that could be interpreted as being captured by this part of your request.
Having said that and in an effort to assist, although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the FOIA, Essex Police can confirm the following:
The data is correct as at 26 October 2021.
Date Range: 01 June 2018 to 31 August 2021.
The below table represent a sum of unique counts of reference number, meaning some individuals are initially bailed and later Released Under Investigation RUI), therefore, only the first instance of bail or RUI is counted in this dataset.
Year / Month
The average length of time a person was RUI/on bail is not available in the Athena Custody system, therefore, we are unable to provide this information. Under the FOIA, there is no requirement to create data purely to answer FOI requests.
Every effort is made to ensure that the data provided by Essex Police is accurate and complete. However, Essex Police systems are designed primarily for the management of individual cases and not for the purposes of providing data to answer specific FOI enquiries. Please note although data can be extracted from a number of sources via database queries, the results may be subject to inaccuracies. Care should be taken to understand our return when considering the interpretation or further use of the data.