I request information on how many Members of Public have had all there clothing seized by Custody Sergeants due to not answering questions of the Custody Sergeant when in Custody.
When a detainee is taken to a station the Custody Sergeant does a assessment asking questions at Custody desk, I have seen that Custody Sergeants have then made the detainee strip and taken all clothing due to not answering them assessment questions, the information i am asking for is in regards to that matter, how many detainee's have been made to strip all clothing and then the clothing taken away base on the sole reason of not answering the assessment questions by Custody Sergeant.
Disclosure with Exemptions
Part Disclosure with Section 12(1) and Section 17(1) Exemptions
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:
Essex Police are unable to accurately extract the level of detail in relation to your request 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. This request would entail manually extracting the requested data and reviewing each individual record one by one to establish the information if held. 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:
Caveat: The data is correct as at 14 October 2021.
The number of detainees authorized per month against the number of strip searches undertaken are shown in the below table:
% Strip Searches
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.
You may find the below link to the E 0101 Procedure – Detainee Reception of interest and in particular Section 3.8 regarding the Removal of Clothing: