Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
I would like to request the following information for the calendar year 2019.
- How many crimes were recorded by the force relating to child grooming charges including the offence of "attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming"
- What was the outcome of these cases? How many people were charged or summonsed for the offence of "attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming"?
- How many of the cases in each of Q1 and Q2 involved evidence obtained by online child abuse activist groups (commonly known as paedophile hunters or paedophile vigilantes)?
As advised in our acknowledgement email this request has been aggregated with your previous request (FOI 002/20) with regards to time constraints under the Act, as they refer to the same subject area – Child Grooming.
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 with the below caveats noted, as to the limits of our systems/searches.
This data has been provided by a central database search for the following HO codes/offences:
088/01 Meeting a female child following sexual grooming etc. - offender 18 or over and victim under 16
088/02 Meeting a male child following sexual grooming etc. - offender 18 or over and victim under 16
Searches of the records were then made individually to identify those wherein a paedophile hunter/vigilante group has alerted Northumbria Police to the offence in question.
During this search, attention was made to those which included :
- "Decoy profile"
- References to "person believed to be under 16" or similar
- Any known groups (eg Dark Justice, Guardians of the North, Child Online Safety Team)
With the above noted please see the figures below.