FOI request detail

Request under the Freedom of Information Act: Begging incidents

Request ID: FOI-1467-1920
Date published: 12 September 2019

You asked

F/on from FOI-1170 -I am happy to be provided with the combined begging and busking data, for the period and transport systems for which you hold it, to avoid hitting section 12. -I am happy to be provided the free text descriptions for only the last six months, which should bring the cost within scope. Please let me know if this poses any further issues.

We answered

Our ref: FOI-1467-1920/GH

Thank you for your revised request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 15 August 2019.

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy. I can confirm that we do hold the information you require.

Please find attached the number of begging / busking incidents recorded for the last five years. As previously advised, we only hold Bus Driver Incident Reports for the period April 2014 to March 2016 - we do not hold data for London Underground before April 2016. From April 2016 to March 2019 we hold the information for incidents on Buses and London Underground only.

Also I can advise that we do not hold data for Tram, DLR, London Overground or TfL Rail systems. The British Transport Police (BTP) may be able to provide this information, but only on incidents that were reported to them. Incidents that staff were aware of but where no further action was taken would not be recorded by the BTP.

You have also asked for the free text description of the incidents for the last six months. As you will see from the attached figures, there were almost 1500 incidents recorded. Whilst many of the descriptions are simple such as ‘middle aged female begging for change by station entrance’ or ‘beggar top of stairs Belgrove Street exit’, as each incident relates to an individual, we would need to read through each of these descriptions and to consider and determine any personal information which would might require redaction. Conducting such a task over such a large volume of information would place an unreasonable burden on us. We are therefore refusing this part of your request under section 14(1) of the Act. Our principal duty is to provide an effective transport service for London and we consider that answering this request would represent a disproportionate effort. It would be a significant distraction from our work managing the TfL network, requiring re-allocation of already limited resources and placing an unacceptable burden on a small number of personnel. We do wish to clarify that whilst we consider that your request falls under section 14(1) of the FOI Act, this does not reflect a conclusion that it has been your intention to deliberately place an undue burden on our resources.

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London


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