We received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA):
I would ask for the following information.
1. The date that the camera/s at this location were changed from a single directional camera (which appeared to monitor speed on both sides of the road) to two cameras on the same supporting post, each pointing/recording vehicles travelling away from the camera position along Leeds Road.
2. From that date in 1 above, I would like the previous 12 months data of the number of “Intended prosecution” notices issued for each direction of travel.
3. I would also ask for data after the cameras were changed.
If the date in 1 above was within the last 12 months, then I would like the data of the number of “Intended prosecution” notices in the months since the change.
If the date in 1 was more than 12 months previous, I would like the data of the number of “Intended prosecution” notices issued in the last 12 months.
4. For the data above, please indicate clearly whether the data is for vehicles travelling in a westerly direction toward the crossroads with Apperley Lane or whether it is for vehicles travelling in an easterly direction towards Leeds.
5. Where possible, I would also like the speed recorded for each offence.
6. The date of the last review of the positioning of the cameras at this location.
7. How frequently are the speed cameras calibrated at this location.
Unfortunately, West Yorkshire Police are unable to provide you with the information requested.
It is estimated that the cost of providing/locating the information you seek within your request, would exceed the time threshold. When a reasonable estimate has been made that the appropriate limit would be exceeded, there are no requirements for a public authority to undertake the work.
Please see Appendix A, for the full legislative explanation as to why West Yorkshire Police are unable to provide the information.
If you would like to refine or narrow the scope of your request, West Yorkshire Police will assist you in negotiating the possibility of the provisions, of the information requested. Please see the Advice and Assistance, under Section 16 of Appendix A.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 creates a statutory right of access to information held by public Authorities. A public authority in receipt of a request must, if permitted, state under Section 1(a) of the Act, whether it holds the requested information. If held then this information will be communicated to the applicant under Section 1(b) of the Act.
The right of access to information is not without exception and is subject to a number of exemptions. Which are designed to enable public authorities to withhold information that is unsuitable for release.
Importantly the Act is designed to place information into the public domain, that is, once access to information is granted to one person under the Act, it is then considered public information and must be communicated to any individual should a request be received.
This letter serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Section 17 of the Act provides:
(1) A public authority which, in relation to any request for information, is to any extent relying on a claim that information is exempt information must, within the time for complying with Section 1(1), given to the applicant a notice which:-
(a) States the fact,
(b) Specifies the exemption in question, and
(c) States (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.
REASONS FOR DECISION
The reason that we are unable to provide you with this information is covered by the following exemption(s):
Section 12 - Where the cost of compliance exceeds the appropriate limit
West Yorkshire Police can confirm that we hold the information you seek, however it is not held in an easily retrievable format.
In order to provide the information requested in question 4 of your request, we would need to manually review all offences recorded to determine whether the vehicle in question was travelling in a westerly or easterly direction towards/away from the speed camera in question. Between 01/08/2022 and 31/07/2023 there were 2303 offences recorded that would need to be reviewed. At 1 minute per record this would take over 38 hours.
It has been estimated that the cost of providing you with this information is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds the 'appropriate level' as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004, which currently stands at £450 worth of work.
Our ACPO guidance states that we do not issue fees notices and therefore in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice.
West Yorkshire Police have utilised Section 12, which states "A public authority does not have to comply with a request for information if the cost of compliance exceeds the appropriate limit", this is further affirmed by the Decision Notice issued by the Information Commissioner's Office (Reference: FS50143930), and Guidance issued by the Information Commissioner's Office on Using the Fees Regulations.
ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE
Under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, my duty to provide advice and assistance to persons who have made request for information, please be advised that West Yorkshire Police can offer the following advice as to how to refine your request:
We are able to provide a response to questions 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 of your original request.
With regard to question 6, this information is not held by West Yorkshire Police and would need to be requested from Leeds City Council.
Please note that police forces do not use generic systems or identical procedures for capturing the data. For these reasons this response to your questions should not be used for comparison purposes with responses you may receive from other police forces.