Disclosure Details

Child Abuse - 647/12

Dated: 30 Jul 2015

Date of request:   14/08/2012

Date of response:   06/09/2012

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 14 August  2012 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

How many teachers have been arrested and/or charged by the Northumbria Force for physical or sexual abuse of a child in the years 2008/2009? 
  
How many teachers have been arrested and/or charged by the Northumbria Police Force for physical or sexual abuse of a child in the years 2009/2010? 
  
How many teachers have been arrested and/or charged by the Northumbria Police Force for physical or sexual abuse of a child in the years 2010/2011?  

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Corporate Development Department of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I have decided to disclose the located information to you as follows however you should note the following:

As the search involves looking for specific occupations searches were made on the dates the crimes were committed rather than the date of the arrest, as searching on arrest date and occupation at the same time is not available on the system used by the force.

Searches have been carried out on the Home Office (HO) categories of Violence against the Person (VAP) and Sexual Offences as a closest match for ‘physical and sexual abuse’. The offence group (i.e. VAP or sexual offences) is based on the HO code of the crime.  It should be noted that this is not necessarily the same as the HO code the suspect was arrested for.

You should also be aware that, the occupation field is based on whatever someone tells us when they are arrested and is not a mandatory field.  Occupations that have been searched are as follows: 
Assistant headmaster 
Assistant headteacher 
Classroom assistant 
Deputy head 
Learning support assistant 
Nursery teacher 
School assistant 
School teacher 
Supply teacher 
Teacher 
Teaching assistant

We have taken a child to be anyone 17 or under for violence against the person and 15 or under for sexual offences.  This is calculated based on the victim's age at the earliest time the offence was committed (if committed over a period of time).

Cases have not been included where the teacher was spoken to as a voluntary attender, ie they were not actually arrested.  This may be the case if an allegation is made by a pupil but there is little or no supporting evidence/witnesses.

Cases of parental abuse have been included, ie those where the offender is the victim’s parent and have stated their occupation is a teacher.  Also included are offences against any child by a teacher, ie those which took place outside of the school environment where the victim was a child, but not a pupil at the teacher's school and there is no 'relationship' between the offender and victim.

After considering whether any investigations would be compromised or individuals identified I have decided that on this occasion there is no harm in disclosure, however this may not be the case should further similar requests be submitted.

If you decide to write an article/use the enclosed data we would expect that you to take into consideration the factors highlighted above so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

With the above in mind please see the below attached document. 

You may be interested to know that Northumbria Police routinely publish information that has been disclosed by Northumbria Police in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 via the Disclosure Log.  The aim of the Disclosure Log is to promote openness and transparency by voluntarily placing information into the public arena.

Whilst it is not possible to publish all responses we will endeavour to publish those where we feel that the information disclosed is in the public interest.  The Disclosure Log will be updated once responses have been sent to the requester.  I have provided the relevant link below:-

http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/index.asp

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.


How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us underour complaints procedure which can be found at:http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act. 

Downloads

FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-28029
FOI 647-12_tcm4-65037