Added by Freedom of Information Team on 02 March 2017 at 15:16
Please disclose the total number of arrests made by your force during each of the following calendar years: 2014, 2015, 2016 (to-date). Please break down the data for each year by nationality, country of residence, and offence (including the Home Office offence/classification code where appropriate). Note: I understand from previous FOI requests that data on both nationality and country of residence might depend on what the arrested individual has declared - for the purposes of this request it would be acceptable to simply report what the individual has declared.
Please find the information attached.
Please be aware that the information has been provided based on the centrally recorded information, and have been obtained from different recording systems. The Country of residence has been collated centrally from 2016 onwards.
In respect of the offence, an individual can be arrested for multiple offences. For the purpose of this request the primary offence has been provided.
In regard to any information relating Terrorism related arrest data, we can neither confirm nor deny that we hold any other information relevant to the request by virtue of the following exemptions:
Section 24(2) National Security;
Section 30(3) Investigations;
Sections 24, is prejudice based qualified exemptions and there is a requirement to articulate the harm that would be caused in confirming or not that the information is held as well as carrying out a public interest test.
Section 30 is a qualified class-based exemption and there is a requirement to conduct a public interest test.
Overall harm for the NCND
The threat from terrorism cannot be ignored. It should be recognised that the international security landscape is increasingly complex and unpredictable. The UK faces a sustained threat from violent terrorists and extremists. Since 2006, the UK Government have published the threat level, based upon current intelligence and that threat has remained at the second highest level, ‘severe’, except for two short periods during August 2006 and June and July 2007, when it was raised to the highest threat, ‘critical’, and in July 2009, when it was reduced to ‘substantial’. The current threat level to the UK is ‘severe’.
The security of the country is of paramount importance and the Constabulary will not divulge whether information is or is not held if to do so would place the safety of an individual at risk or undermine national security. Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations and providing assurance that the police service is appropriately and effectively engaging with the threat posed by a terrorist attack, there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding both national security and the integrity of police investigations and operations in the highly sensitive areas of which they work.
Modern-day policing is intelligence led, and intelligence changes on a day-by-day basis.
Confirming or denying whether any information is held relevant to the request would show where policing interest has or has not occurred and provide information regarding arrests that have been made. This would provide those engaged in criminal activity with information to assist them in identifying the focus of policing targets. Any information identifying the focus of this activity could be used to the advantage of terrorists or criminal organisations to plan an attack on the more vulnerable parts of the UK.
Information that undermines the operational integrity of these activities will adversely affect public safety and have a negative impact on both national security and law enforcement.
Even though the request is only asking for statistical information, by confirming or denying the number of terrorists arrested and for what offences in each Force area would allow criminals to identify where arrests for certain offences were less prevalent across the country as a whole. This would allow them to change tactics, destroy evidence or move their operations to another part of the country
In order to counter criminal and terrorist behaviour it is vital that the police and other agencies have the ability to work together, where necessary covertly, in order to obtain intelligence within current legislative frameworks to ensure the successful arrest and prosecution of those who commit or plan to commit acts of terrorism. In order to achieve this goal, it is vitally important that information sharing takes place with other police forces and security bodies within the UK and Internationally in order to support counter-terrorism measures in the fight to deprive international terrorist networks of their ability to commit crime.
The force works in partnership with other agencies in order to combat issues such as terrorism and organised crime. Confirming or denying that information exists relevant to this request would seriously undermine this partnership approach.
Public Interest Test
Factors favouring confirmation or denial for S24
Confirmation or denial that information exists relevant to the request would lead to a better informed public. The public are entitled to know the outcome of the use of public funds especially with regards to safeguarding national security
Factors against confirmation or denial for S24
By confirming or denying that any information exists relevant to the request would harm the close relationship that exists between us and other organisations. To confirm or deny whether the force hold any information relevant to the request would allow inferences to be made about the nature and extent of national security related activities which may or may not take place in a given area. This would enable terrorists or organized criminal groups to take steps to counter intelligence, and as such, confirmation or denial would be damaging to national security.
By confirming or denying any policing arrangements of this nature would render national security measures less effective. This would lead to the compromise of ongoing or future operations to protect the security or infrastructure of the UK and increase the risk of harm to the public.
Factors favouring confirmation or denial for S30
There is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations and providing assurance that we are appropriately and effectively dealing with crime. This is particularly pertinent in high profile situations where there is a high degree of media speculation. Confirming or denying whether any information is held would allow the public to make informed decisions about these matters
Factors against confirmation or denial for S30
There is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations and the outcomes of these by providing assurance that we are appropriately and effectively dealing with crime. However this has to be balanced with a strong public interest in safeguarding the integrity of police investigations and operations and in maintaining confidence in the Police Service. Confirmation or denial that any information is held relevant to the request would undermine any investigative process and compromise the integrity of any operations
The Police Service is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime and protecting the communities we serve. The security of the country is of paramount importance and we will not divulge whether information is or is not held if to do so would place the safety of an individual at risk, compromise law enforcement or undermine National Security.
Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations and providing assurance that the force is appropriately and effectively engaging with the threat from terrorists, there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding both national security and the integrity of police investigations and operations in this highly sensitive area.
It is for these reasons that the Public Interest must favour neither confirming nor denying that the requested information is held. However, this should not be taken as necessarily indicating that any information that would meet your request does or does not exist.
FOI reference: 1052/16.
Date of request: 17.08.16.