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Arrests Involving Acid/ Corrosive/ Noxious Substances Since 2013

Question

This request relates to individuals being caught in possession of a corrosive/noxious substance, commonly referred to as "acid", as a suspected offensive weapon. 

1. Please state the total number of times an individual has been caught carrying a corrosive/noxious substance in each of the following calendar years: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 to date. 

2. Please state the total number of times an individual aged under 16 has been caught carrying a corrosive/noxious substance in each of the following calendar years: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 to date. 

3. Please state the total number of times an individual aged 16-17 has been caught carrying a corrosive/noxious substance in each of the following calendar years: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 to date. 

4.  Please state the total number of times a pupil on school premises (please include all educational establishments up to age 18, including primary and secondary schools, PRUs, sixth form colleges etc) has been caught carrying a corrosive/noxious substance in each of the following calendar years: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 to date. 

I understand there will be overlap between questions 2/3 and question 4. 

*If you are unable to answer question 4 because of problems retrieving location information please still answer 1-3. 

*If an individual has been caught carrying acid more than once please include the multiple incidents in the data provided.

Clarification received 7th July 2017:

Are you able to search the relevant free-text field for items that have been found on suspects - for appropriate terms such as “corrosive”, “noxious” and “acid” - during an alleged offence?

Answer

We have interpreted your request for ‘individuals caught’ as individuals arrested.

There is no specific offence for being in possession of a corrosive or noxious substance. In order to identify the requested information we have searched for arrests for the following offence:

  • Throw / cast corrosive fluid with intent to burn / maim / disfigure / disable / do grievous bodily harm.

In addition, we have searched for crimes where the words “corrosive”, “noxious” and “acid” have been used in the MO (Modus Operandi).

This has identified two arrests where the individual was believed to have a corrosive liquid.

One incident occurred in 2015, the offender was aged 46

The second incident occurred in 2017, the offender was aged 31.

A further incident has been identified in 2013 concerning an assault where corrosive liquid was used. This was on a school premises.

The offender was 15 and received a caution. I cannot provide you with any further information as to do so would allow individuals to be identified. The exemption applicable to this is Section 40(2), third party personal information. This is an Absolute exemption so therefore there is no requirement to conduct a harm or public interest test. Any information is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act if it relates to or is supplied by another individual and disclosure of that information would contravene any of the principles of the 1998 Data Protection Act, in this particular case, disclosure of this information would contravene Principles 1 and 2 of the Act, whereby personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and only obtained for one or more specified purpose or purposes.

No further records relevant to your request have been identified.

FOI reference: 823/17.
Date of request: 22.05.17.