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Date Responded 29 November 2018

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:

I would like to know the number of cases involving under the age of 18 that were reported as faith-based abuse over each of the past three years, using the latest figures available figures.


If possible I would like each year’s figures broken down by the five main areas as defined by Project Violet


Abuse as a result of a child being accused of being a ‘witch’

Abuse as a result of a child being accused of being possessed by ‘evil spirits’

Ritualistic abuse which is prolonged sexual, physical and psychological abuse

Satanic abuse which is carried out in the name of ‘satan’ and may have links to cults

Any other harmful practice linked to a belief or faith


For those three years I would like to know how many successful prosecutions there were for faith-based abuse.


After we advised that the only way to answer this FOI would be to search for keywords in the MO, you then provided the below words you wanted us to use as keyword searches.

Witch, evil spirits, ritualistic, Satanic/Satan, cult, belief/faith

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 not held by Northumbria Police. Searches as per the above method have brought back nil return.

Additionally we can neither confirm nor deny that we hold any other information relevant to this request by virtue of the following exemption:

Section 23(5) Information supplied by or concerning, certain Security Bodies;

Section 23 is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement to evidence the harm or articulate public interest considerations to the applicant.

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