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.
a) How many offences of meeting a child following sexual grooming were recorded between 1st January 2015 and the present day? Please break these figures down by year.
I would like the information to be based on the Home Office Classification of 88A Sexual Grooming, which covers the following 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)
b) For this same time period, how many times were the police alerted by a sting operation carried out by a member of the public?
(NB The term 'sting operation' refers to an independent investigation carried out by a member of the public with the explicit aim of catching sexual groomers. It does not apply to members of the public reporting concerns about their own children being groomed online.)
How many officers have completed the CEOP Ambassador Course, or any other course carried out by CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection command) since 1st January 2015? Please break these figures down annually.
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 within 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
For question one a)the data was obtained from the Central database using the HO codes suggested in this request.
b) Each crime was then read through to see which ones were public sting operations.
The results of those searches is as below. To note, we have considered no harm in the release of this information at this time, however it should not be seen as an indication that it will be automatically considered for release in any future requests.
2015 – 52
2016 – 102
2017 – 142
2018 – 18
2015 – 27
2016 – 61
2017 – 91
2018 – 7
2. Northumbria Police can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any information relevant to your request at this point as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply, by virtue of the following exemption:
Section 23(5) Information relating to the Security bodies
Section 23 is an absolute class-based exemption and therefore there is no requirement to conduct a harm or public interest test.