Disclosure Details

Social Media - 573/13

Dated: 20 Aug 2013

Date of request:     25/07/2013

Date of response:   20/08/2013

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

Thank you for your email dated 25 July 2013 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 by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I would like to request the following information for the past 3 years (divided into financial years 2010-2011, 2011- 2012, and 2012-2013): 

  1. How many offences has your force recorded where either of the key terms ‘Facebook’ or ‘Twitter’ have been used? (e.g. where the words "Facebook and/or Twitter" have been mentioned in the MO field of a crime report, and/or where the ‘weapon type’ is recorded as "Written Communication – Social Networks") 

  2. The number of people arrested under Malicious Communications? (i.e. under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 and under Section 1(1) of the Malicious Communications Act 1988)
    If it is within the cost/time limit, please also divide the data into age and gender. 

  3. What is your official policy and procedure in terms of dealing with cyber abuse?

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 held by Northumbria Police.

We are now aware that you or those acting in concert with you have submitted similar requests on the same subject matter.  You should note that these requests will be aggregated due to cost and time considerations under the Acts legislation:

The Fees Regulations state that two or more requests to one public authority can be aggregated for the purposes of calculating costs if they are:
· by one person, or by different persons who appear to the public authority to be acting in concert or in pursuance of a campaign;
· for the same or similar information; and
· the subsequent request is received by the public authority within 60 working days of the previous request.

The intention of this provision is to prevent individuals or organisations evading the appropriate limit by dividing a request into smaller parts.

I have today decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.

  1. Financial Year 

    2010/11 43 

    2011/12 57 

    2012/13 61

  2. Financial Year

    Gender Age 10 -19 Age 20 -29 Age 30-39 Age 40-49 Age 50- 70 Total
    2010/11 F 2 9 3 4 2 20
    M 18 14 13 9 12 66
    2011/12 F 3 4 2 7 11 27
    M 14 18 12 10 6 60
    2012/13 F 5 4 0 2 1 12
    M 12 21 12 17 4 66
  3. We follow national guidelines re cyber related matters and all matters are recorded and dealt with as crime and therefore investigated accordingly. 

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.

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 which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

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 Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-67103