Disclosure Details

Computer hacking - 004/16

Dated: 29 Jan 2016

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act') 

Thank you for your e mail dated 3 January 2016 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

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:

The number of 'computer hacking' allegations your force has investigated between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2015. For the purposes of my request please consider 'computer hacking' to mean a breach of the Computer Misuse Act.

Please include a breakdown stating:

* the month/year the allegation was received

* a summary of the allegation including the status of the alleged victim(s), for example: private individual, financial institution, communications provider, utility provider (gas, electricity and water); retailer etc and the type of loss/harm suffered - e.g. financial loss, data loss, impact on delivery of services, unknown/undetermined loss/harm etc

* the age(s) of the suspect(s); if they were arrested or interviewed under caution and what the outcome of the investigation was for each of them, i.e. charge, NFA, out of court disposal etc 

On the 9th January you then added the below:

1. By allegations I mean recorded crimes

2. By computer hacking the crimes I am seeking have the following Home Office codes:

053/87: Unauthorised access to computer material

053/34:  Unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences

053/35: Unauthorised acts with intent to impair or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of computer, etc

053/55: Making, supplying or obtaining articles for use in offence under Sections 1 or 3 


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 held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as below attached:

Due to the low numbers involved in this subject area, this information has been provided in such a way as to avoid exemptions being applied to the whole request. Particularly the exemption outlined in Section 40 of the Act would become fully applicable should there be a real risk of individuals being identifiable through the release of information in response to a Freedom of Information request. In this case, should the full detail be supplied, it is clear from the information held that the individuals involved would quite easily be identified, particularly to those with background knowledge, if a complete response was to be released into the public domain. Ongoing cases have been excluded. The information below is supplied in the spirit of the Act. Please note that this disclosure will be taken into consideration should any further requests be submitted on this subject.

We can advise that in 9 cases the offenders details were unknown.

There were 16 suspects, of those 12 were arrested. Please note there may be more than more than one offender per crime.

The ages of the offenders are as follows:

Age                 Number

14 -18yrs         7

23 - 28yrs        5

38 - 43yrs        2

49 - 55yrs        2


The outcomes of the investigations were as follows:

Charged                4

No Further Action  6  

Cautioned             4

Youth triage          1  

Youth Caution        1


Additionally Northumbria Police can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any other information with regard to an exempt body 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 supplied by, or concerning, certain Security Bodies

Section 23 is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement to consider the public interest in this case.

Confirming or denying the existence of whether any other information is held would contravene the constrictions laid out within Section 23 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in that this stipulates a generic bar on disclosure of any information applied by, or concerning, certain Security Bodies.

Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

You may be interested to know that Northumbria Police routinely publish information via the Disclosure Log.  The aim of the Disclosure Log is to promote openness and transparency by voluntarily placing information into the public arena.

The Disclosure Log contains copies of some of the information that has been disclosed by Northumbria Police in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Whilst it is not possible to publish all responses we will endeavour to publish those where we feel that the information disclosed is in the wider public interest.

The Disclosure Log will be updated once responses have been sent to the requester.

I have provided the relevant link below.



The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure.

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.


FOI 004-16