Officer Overtime and Stats

Reference Number: 

20171314
Dates

Request Date: 

Friday, 21 July, 2017

Response Date: 

Saturday, 26 August, 2017

Request Details: 

1. In the last three financial years, how much money has your force paid in overtime for police officers? Please supply this information for the financial years 2014/15, 2015-16, and 2016-17.

For the year 2016/17 only:

2. On how many occasions have officers reported working more than 80 hours a week? (This relates to every week, not how many individual officers have worked a week over 80 hours).

3. What is the greatest number of hours a single officer has reported working in one week?

4. What is the longest shift (or tour of duty) in hours that a single officer has reported working? I.e. without breaks longer than 45 minutes.

This request relates to all police officers of all ranks.

Exemptions Applied: 

Section 12 – Exemption where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit

SYP Response: 

Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires South Yorkshire Police, when refusing to provide such information (because the information is exempt), to provide you the applicant with a notice which:  

  1. states that fact,
  2. specifies the exemption in question and
  3. states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.

The following exemption applies to the disclosure of the information:

Section 12 – Exemption where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit

I approached our Corporate Finance Department for assistance with your request in the first instance.  Although they can supply the information for Q1, they do not hold the information for the remainder of their request; they deal with claims and monies paid, not hours worked/length of shifts. The Force does have a Rostering System, however this is only for tracking shift patterns, leave etc, rather than actual hours worked.

I then turned to the Business Managers at each of our four Districts to determine if any data is held ‘locally’.  I have been advised that we would need to review the dues worked by each individual Officer for a year - to locate/retrieve and review would easily exceeds the Appropriate Limit.

The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 provide that the cost limit for non-central government public authorities is £450. This must be calculated at the rate of £25 per hour, providing an effective time limit of 18 hours.

Guidance from the Information Commissioner to public authorities is that where one part of a request is reasonably estimated to exceed the appropriate limit then the authority is not obliged to consider or comply with the remainder of the request up to the point at which the appropriate limit has been reached.  Please note point 30 of the below link:-

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1199/costs_of_compliance_exceeds_appropriate_limit.pdf

Although excess cost removes the force's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill, I have supplied information, relative to your request, retrieved or available before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded. I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of your request neither does it bind South Yorkshire Police to any commitment that it will release information in such a manner in the future .

The Payroll Manager recently provided me with the enclosed figures for Q1.  The data came with the following caveats;

  1. I have extracted all overtime processed in the periods requested however these will not balance with any figures in the published accounts because:
    1. Some of the overtime is recharged to other organisations and therefore does not hit the forces accounts.
    2. Processing periods and reporting periods do not align.
  2. The Hours count is not a definitive figure as some OT claims are calculated off the system and entered as a cash figures.
  3. These figure reflect Pay Periods rather than actual periods worked.

PERIOD

Amount Paid

Hours Worked

2014/15

£5,022,260

198,730

2015/16

£5,363,730

194,340

2016/17

£6,758,110

239,590