Disclosure Details

Social media crimes - 240/17

Dated: 28 Mar 2017

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

Thank you for your e mail dated 28 February 2017 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:

How many crimes have involved the apps Tinder, Grindr, Facebook and other social media apps in each of the previous three financial years? (2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16)

Please can you separate by 'Tinder', 'Grindr', 'Facebook' and 'other social media' apps.

 

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention. 

Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidelines state that:

A public authority must confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit.

I can neither confirm nor deny that the information you require is held by Northumbria Police as to actually determine if it is held would exceed the permitted 18 hours therefore Section 12(2) of the Freedom of Information Act would apply.  This section does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimated that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit of 18 hours, equating to £450.00 

You should consider this to be a refusal notice under Section 17 of the Act for that part of your request.

I have set out the reasons for this below.

The information is not held in a format that allows verification it is held nor in a format that allows its retrieval within the permitted time constraints.  In an attempt to answer this request searches were made for crimes where the instrument used in the commission of the offence is recorded as either computer, Facebook or internet.  For the period requested there was over 2,100 crimes.  In order to provide a response to your request each crime and associated incident would need to be viewed to identify those relating to Tinder, Grindr, Facebook or other social media apps.   Even at a conservative estimate of 3 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable,  we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 105 hours, therefore Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act would apply.  This section does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimated that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit of 18 hours, equating to £450.00 

You should consider this to be a refusal notice under Section 17 of the Act for that part of your request.

When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under Section 16 of the Act would normally entail that we contact you to determine whether it is possible to refine the scope of your request to bring it within the cost limits.  However, from the information we have outlined above I see no reasonable way in which we can do so.

 

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.