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Date Responded 15 July 2019

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.

You asked:

  1. The number of cyber stalking offences recorded per financial year between 2015 - 2019.

1a. Where possible may you please provide detail on each of the recorded cases i.e cyberstalking cases involving racially aggravated abuse etc

2.The number of recorded cyber stalking offences that resulted in an arrest. Please provide the figures per financial year between 2015 - 2019

2a. The number of cyber stalking offences that resulted in charges / summons. Please provide the figures per financial year between 2015 - 2019

For your reference, I have attached the Crown Prosecution Service’s definition of cyberstalking:

"Harassment can take place on the internet and through the misuse of email. This is sometimes known as 'cyberstalking'. This can include the use of social networking sites, chat rooms and other forums facilitated by technology. The internet can be used for a range of purposes relating to harassment, for example:

- to locate personal information about a victim;

- to communicate with the victim;

- as a means of surveillance of the victim;

- identity theft such as subscribing the victim to services, purchasing goods and services in their name;

- damaging the reputation of the victim;

- electronic sabotage such as spamming and sending viruses; or

- tricking other internet users into harassing or threatening a victim."

In Response:

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 data has been taken from the central database using the crime and arrest tables for all stalking offences as follows:

  • Racially or religiously aggravated harassment or stalking without violence
  • Racially or religiously aggravated harassment or stalking
  • Stalking involving fear of violence
  • Stalking involving serious alarm/distress
  • Stalking without fear / alarm / distress

These incidents were searched for where there was a cyber flag.

Bearing the above in mind please see the below:

1.

Year

Count

2015/16

6

2016/17

3

2017/18

136

2018/19

215

Total

360

 

1a.

Year

MO

2018/19

I/P has had a friend who, since falling out is creating fake profiles on social media and dating/sex sites with the I/P's details. The snapchat messages describe the I/P using racist language.

2018/19

Unknown person keeps calling and sending messages to IP's mobile phone hundreds of times per day causing her harassment, alarm and distress - crime report updated.  This appears to be an ongoing racist harassment.

2018/19

U/K person creates numerous facebook profiles in name of victim and proceeds to link offensive content and racial slurs about victim. Suspect then makes efforts to contact victim using fake profiles. Causing distress to victim.

 

2.

Year

Count

2015/16

2

2017/18

40

2018/19

55

Total

97

 

2a.

Year

Count

2015/16

1

2016/17

1

2017/18

33

2018/19

37

Total

72

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