Freedom of Info request reveals 930% increase in number of ‘Police Information Notices’ issued
A tenfold increase in the number of non-criminal warning notices being handed out by police in north Wales over the last year has prompted concern from a politician and domestic violence campaigner.
Deeside Assembly Member Carl Sargeant requested figures from North Wales Police under the Freedom of Information Act, regarding the number of Police Information Notices (PIN) handed out by the force since April 2012.
The figures revealed just 20 PINs – which do not constitute formal legal proceedings – were issued between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013. But between April 1, 2013 and March 31 this year, 206 were handed out – more than ten times the total in the previous 12 months – and most of them were in relation to domestic violence, harassment and intimidation reports.
More than half (118) of those issued in 2013/14 were for harassment , three for stalking, one for threats to kill and seven for assault. Most PINs given were listed as ‘recordable’ by the police force, but still do not appear on an individual’s criminal record.
In 2012/13, seven people issued with a PIN for domestic violence, harassment or intimidation were later arrested and 27 were detained in 2013/14 – one individual more than once.
Mr Sargeant said:
“I am concerned that the number of PINs handed out has increased so dramatically in just one year, particularly as their figures show they are regularly being used in relation to domestic abuse incidents.
“I want to ensure that these notices are not being handed out instead of making arrests and issuing formal cautions where possible. It remains a disturbing fact that two women every week are killed at the hands of their partner or ex-partner as a result of domestic abuse and this cannot continue.
“Unfortunately, in the past I have been contacted by constituents who have been victims of domestic violence and intimidation and who have been dissatisfied with the response and help they have received from the police. I have therefore requested a meeting with North Wales Police Chief Constable Mark Polin to discuss the force’s domestic abuse policies in detail.”
The aim of getting someone to sign a PIN is to make it clear in possible future legal proceedings may take place if behaviour such as harassment continued.
PIN’s do not form part of any legal action or formal cautions and signing a form does not imply any harassment has taken place, however the Police can use them in future legal proceeding.
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