Begging on the London Underground
Request ID: FOI-1181-1920
Date published: 26 July 2019
F/on from FOI-0496-1920
Would it be possible to provide a list of customer reports of begging on the network for the past three years? The exact same FOI as you linked to but for the past three years?
TfL Ref: FOI-1181-1920
Thank you for your email of 23rd July 2019 asking for information about reports of begging on the London Underground.
Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy.
Specifically you asked:
“Would it be possible to provide a list of customer reports of begging on the network for the past three years? The exact same FOI as you linked to but for the past three years?”.
This follows on from your previous FOI request of 20th May 2019 (our ref FOI-0496-1920) in which you asked the following:
“Please could you provide the number of customer reports (of begging on the Underground)? If 5 years worth exceeds the cost limit, please could I have the information broken down into the past three years.”
These two requests are asking for identical information, albeit the timeframe has now shifted forwards two months. While I can confirm that we hold the requested information, it remains the case that to provide it would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450 set by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. Under section 12 of the FOI Act, we are not obliged to comply with a request if we estimate that the cost of determining whether we hold the information, and then locating and retrieving it, or extracting it from other information, would exceed the appropriate limit. This is calculated at £25 per hour for every hour spent on the activities described, equating to 18 hours work
As explained previously, we have estimated that it would exceed this threshold to collate the information to answer your request. This is because we do not have a category for ‘begging’ or any similar, related keyword in the system we use to record complaints. In order to extract the relevant data we would need to review all of the complaints received during the time period requested to find those that are specifically ‘reports of begging’. Based on the work carried out for the previous FOI response which I referred to in my previous reply (ref 2827-1819), we know that it takes approximately four hours to source the information for each reporting period. Three years worth of data would equate to 39 reporting periods, which, at the rate of £25 per hour, would therefore cost £3,900 to provide, well in excess of the £450 limit.
To help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450 limit, you may wish to consider narrowing its scope so that we can more easily locate, retrieve and extract the information you are seeking.
Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London
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