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Witchcraft or Spirit Possession - 507/20

Date Responded 26 March 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  Please could you tell me the number of recorded cases referred to your Police service where a child was accused of witchcraft or spirit possession for the financial years 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16

In each case:

2  How many accused children were there?

3  How many non-accused siblings were there?

4  The gender, ethnicity and age at the time of referral of each accused child

5  The gender, ethnicity and age at the time of referral of each non-accused sibling.

6  The religion of the family.

7  Who accused the child(ren) of being possessed e.g. mother, father, faith leader?

8  What type of abuse did each accused child experience (physical, sexual, emotional or neglect)?

9  For each accused and non-accused child, whether they were removed from their parent/carer’s care by the local authority.

10  For each accused and non-accused child, whether they were made subject of a child protection plan.

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 not held by Northumbria Police.  Searches of all crime MOs for the time period requested for the terms "witch" "spirit" "possession" have brought back no returns relevant to point 1.  The same keywords were then used to search instances where an incident referred to ‘vulnerable child’.  Those searches brought back no returns relevant to point 1.

As there were no results to point 1 the response to the remainder is therefore not applicable.

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