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    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Policing and Society on 17/01/2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/10439463.2018.1424156

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‘Cost’ calculations as a barrier to gaining information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 from the Police in England and Wales

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‘Cost’ calculations as a barrier to gaining information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 from the Police in England and Wales. / Kingston, Sarah Elizabeth; Elliott, Amy; Thomas, Terry.

In: Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy, Vol. 29, No. 7, 01.08.2019, p. 834-847.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

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Kingston SE, Elliott A, Thomas T. ‘Cost’ calculations as a barrier to gaining information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 from the Police in England and Wales. Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy. 2019 Aug 1;29(7):834-847. Epub 2018 Jan 17. doi: 10.1080/10439463.2018.1424156

Author

Kingston, Sarah Elizabeth ; Elliott, Amy ; Thomas, Terry. / ‘Cost’ calculations as a barrier to gaining information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 from the Police in England and Wales. In: Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy. 2019 ; Vol. 29, No. 7. pp. 834-847.

Bibtex

@article{83b95c56cefb4fe4938d92ebc0741032,
title = "{\textquoteleft}Cost{\textquoteright} calculations as a barrier to gaining information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 from the Police in England and Wales",
abstract = "Previous research has identified the methodological value of using the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to gain access to information held by the police, as well as its limitations. Very little attention, however, has been paid to the ways in which the police calculate the cost of FOI compliance and utilise cost exemptions to deny access to information. In this article, we present our empirical findings from our FOI requests made to the police in England and Wales that demonstrates how cost calculations became a barrier to our request for information. In addition, the responses received show that there were significant differences between the calculated cost needed to retrieve the information, the reasons given for the refusal for access to information, as well as regional variations with FOI compliance. We argue that excessive cost calculations, given as a reason for not providing access to information by the police, is a {\textquoteleft}metric{\textquoteright} for institutional limitations in data recording and data management. Furthermore, in a time of 'austerity' we suggest that with increases in police funding cuts the calculated cost of FOI compliance will increase, thereby undermining police transparency and accountability. We therefore question claims that the FOIA is a {\textquoteleft}powerful{\textquoteright} tool that social researchers should use more often.",
keywords = "Police, Freedom of Information Act 2000, cost calculations",
author = "Kingston, {Sarah Elizabeth} and Amy Elliott and Terry Thomas",
note = "This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Policing and Society on 17/01/2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/10439463.2018.1424156",
year = "2019",
month = aug,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1080/10439463.2018.1424156",
language = "English",
volume = "29",
pages = "834--847",
journal = "Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy",
issn = "1043-9463",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "7",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - ‘Cost’ calculations as a barrier to gaining information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 from the Police in England and Wales

AU - Kingston, Sarah Elizabeth

AU - Elliott, Amy

AU - Thomas, Terry

N1 - This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Policing and Society on 17/01/2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/10439463.2018.1424156

PY - 2019/8/1

Y1 - 2019/8/1

N2 - Previous research has identified the methodological value of using the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to gain access to information held by the police, as well as its limitations. Very little attention, however, has been paid to the ways in which the police calculate the cost of FOI compliance and utilise cost exemptions to deny access to information. In this article, we present our empirical findings from our FOI requests made to the police in England and Wales that demonstrates how cost calculations became a barrier to our request for information. In addition, the responses received show that there were significant differences between the calculated cost needed to retrieve the information, the reasons given for the refusal for access to information, as well as regional variations with FOI compliance. We argue that excessive cost calculations, given as a reason for not providing access to information by the police, is a ‘metric’ for institutional limitations in data recording and data management. Furthermore, in a time of 'austerity' we suggest that with increases in police funding cuts the calculated cost of FOI compliance will increase, thereby undermining police transparency and accountability. We therefore question claims that the FOIA is a ‘powerful’ tool that social researchers should use more often.

AB - Previous research has identified the methodological value of using the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to gain access to information held by the police, as well as its limitations. Very little attention, however, has been paid to the ways in which the police calculate the cost of FOI compliance and utilise cost exemptions to deny access to information. In this article, we present our empirical findings from our FOI requests made to the police in England and Wales that demonstrates how cost calculations became a barrier to our request for information. In addition, the responses received show that there were significant differences between the calculated cost needed to retrieve the information, the reasons given for the refusal for access to information, as well as regional variations with FOI compliance. We argue that excessive cost calculations, given as a reason for not providing access to information by the police, is a ‘metric’ for institutional limitations in data recording and data management. Furthermore, in a time of 'austerity' we suggest that with increases in police funding cuts the calculated cost of FOI compliance will increase, thereby undermining police transparency and accountability. We therefore question claims that the FOIA is a ‘powerful’ tool that social researchers should use more often.

KW - Police

KW - Freedom of Information Act 2000

KW - cost calculations

U2 - 10.1080/10439463.2018.1424156

DO - 10.1080/10439463.2018.1424156

M3 - Journal article

VL - 29

SP - 834

EP - 847

JO - Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy

JF - Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy

SN - 1043-9463

IS - 7

ER -