Online grooming - 757/15
Dated: 15 Sep 2015
Date of request: 12/08/15
Date of response: 10/09/15
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 12 August 2015 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.
1. How many incidents of online grooming among under 18s were reported to you between January 1st 2014 and December 31st 2014?
2. a) Of those, how many people were arrested? And b) charged?
3. How many incidents of online grooming among under 18s were reported to you between January 1st 2013 and December 31st 2013?
4. a) Of those, how many people were arrested? And b) charged?
5. How many incidents of online grooming among under 18s were reported to you between January 1st 2012 and December 31st 2012?
6. a) Of those, how many people were arrested? And b) charged?
7. How many incidents of online grooming among under 18s were reported to you between January 1st 2011 and December 31st 2011
8. a) Of those, how many people were arrested? And b) charged?
9. How many incidents of online grooming among under 18s were reported to you between January 1st 2010 and December 31st 2010
10. a) Of those, how many people were arrested? And b) charged?
I wish for the information to be based of The Home Office Classification of 88A Sexual Grooming which covers the following two offences:
• 88/1 - Meeting a female child following sexual grooming etc. (Offender is aged 18 or over and victim is under 16)
• 88/2 - Meeting a male child following sexual grooming etc. (Offender is aged 18 or over and victim is under 16)
Only the cases that deal with the offender above 18 and the victim is under the age of 16
I wish for the information broken down into cases of sexual grooming that were initiated online. However, I am aware that this involves going through the notes of each case. Therefore, if this process costs too much, I'll just take the overall figures for meeting a child after sexual grooming.
I realise I state 'under 18' in the question but I am looking for the offence codes stated that relate to the victim being under 16 and the offender over 18, sorry for the confusion. I am also looking for the number of reports or incidences filed relating to these offence codes, regardless of whether they turned out to be crimes that people were charged with.
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 am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.
The information provided is based on cases where the victim is under 16 and the offender over 18 using the codes 88/01 and 88/02.
The returned data has had each case read and checked to see if the case involved online grooming.
When considering our response below you should note the following:
Text messages from a mobile phone have not been included as these are not "online".
Such things as facebook have been included as it is an online service
Iincidents were not looked at, as to search the codes suggested would have involved looking through all cases as an incident can be opened as one issue and closed as another.
Instead crimes were looked at with the codes 88/01 and 88/02 code and that is the result given in table one "offences".
The first table shows the offences recorded that year.
The second table shows arrests that year regardless if that crime occurred that year or a previous.
The third table shows charges during that year but may contain charges where the crime was committed in a previous year.
With the above in mind please see the below which answers your request.
Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another. Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data. For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.
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 under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/freedom_of_information/disclosure_log/foi_complaint_rights/
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.