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Medical Child Abuse - 707/20

Date Responded 20 May 2020

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. How many people have been arrested for Medical child abuse (MCA is defined as a child receiving unnecessary and harmful or potentially harmful medical care at the instigation of a caretaker) since January 2016 to December 2019.

2. Of those arrested
- what are their ethnicities
- what is their gender
- how many are above the age of 18

3. How many people have been arrested for Munchausen syndrome by proxy since January 2016 to December 2019. (Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a mental health problem in which a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury in a person under his or her care.)

4. Of those arrested
- what are their ethnicities
- what is their gender
- how many are above the age of 18

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, in part, by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows. However the following caveats should be noted:

• The below incidences all fell under Home Office code 011/03 - Cruelty to Children / Young Persons and includes those that were considered to be medical child abuse.
• For this request we have taken ‘medical care' to mean the administration of drugs, withholding of drugs or not taking care to store drugs away from children by the responsible adult.
• Incidents identified as medical child abuse are subjective and if the FOI was completed by a analyst then the result could differ.

1. A total of 7 individuals were arrested. However, please note that although there were 7 arrests, they relate to 5 incidents of medical child abuse.

2. All those arrested were recorded as 'White - North European'.
Male    Female
2           5
6 of those arrested were over the age of 18 years.

3. 0 individuals have been arrested as specified by this part of your request.

4. As the response to 3 above is zero this question is not applicable.

If you decide to write an article/use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document 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.

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