Disclosure Details

Sexting - 451/15

Dated: 15 May 2015

Date of request:      11/05/15

Date of response:    15/05/15

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

Thank you for your email dated  3 May 2015 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: 

   The number of children under the age of 18 who have been investigated in the last two years by your force for "sexting" activities - that is sending or sharing explicit or naked pictures of themselves on social media or text messaging services to others. Please provide figures for the most recent 2-year periods available.
In each case please state:
The age of the child at the time of the offence and their gender
The outcome, ie. no further action, police caution, charged, ongoing
The medium used to send explicit content (for example: text message, Twitter, Facebook)
Whether the child who sent the material was added to the sex offenders's register.
If possible please include the age of the recipient of the explicit material as well as the sender.
Please also state if possible whether the sender of the material, ie. the suspect, was formally arrested.
I am aware that you will not record specific offences under the category "sexting".
I believe the most appropriate offences to search within is distributing or publishing an indecent image(s) of a child under s1 of the Protection of Children Act, 1978. It would then require a search within those offences or reported offences carried out by children to isolate those cases in which a child sent an image of themselves to another person.

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.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

Searches were made for offences of 'distributing indecent photographs of children' (HO code 086/02) for the financial period 2013/14 and 2014/15.  The results of these searches were then  viewed to establish those that relate to an under 18 sending or sharing an explicit photograph of themselves.
The detail of these is as below, which answers your query in full.
You should note that we do not have offender detail for all crimes. 
None of these children have become registered sex offenders.
No offender was formally arrested.

With the above in mind see the below attached which answers your request in full. 

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_tcm4-106398
FOI 451-15_tcm4-107165